Barony of North Cadbury
Somerset, England                                                                                                                                                                                                              

  The British Titles System


Titles of Precedence and Dignity
of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irelan

An Introduction to British Royal Titles, Titles of the Peerage and Feudal Lordship and Barony Titles 

The Sovereign

His Majesty King Charles III & Her Majesty Queen Camilla  



The heir apparent to the throne

Credit: Independent Photo Agency Srl / Alamy Stock Photo

His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales & Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine of Wales

The Lords Spiritual
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the first peer of England,
The Archbishop of York,
The Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester (and another 21).
The normal form of address is 'Your Grace'/ 'My Lord' / 'My Lady'.

Duke / Duchess
created in 1337, highest rank of the peerage. In the United Kingdom addressed as 'Your Grace' or 'My Lord'/ 'My Lady' or 'Madam'.

Marquess / Marchioness
created in 1385, in the United Kingdom the title ranks below a duke and above an earl. The normal form of address is 'Your Grace' or 'My Lord'/ 'My Lady' (or 'Madam').

Earl / Countess
first earls in England were created in 1017. The Norman kings adopted the Saxon title. The first earls created were dignitaries of enormous power. The normal form of address is Lord / Lady or 'My Lord'/ 'My Lady'.

Viscount / Viscountess
created in 1440, rank in peerage below an Earl, above a Baron. Formerly it was a the title of the Sheriff of a County. In the reign of Henry VI. the title became a degree of honour and was made hereditary. The normal form of address is Lord / Lady or 'My Lord'/ 'My Lady' (or 'Madam').

Baron / Baroness
created c. 1066, lowest rank of the peerage. Barons were introduced into England by the Normans, most of whom held that rank in Normandy before the Conquest. Baron meant literally a man, being the King's tenant-in-chief, i.e. holding his land directly from the King per baroniam and giving the owner, wether by inheritance or by acquisition, a bundle of land, minerals and other rights, including certain rights of public justice and privileges. In the 13th century they were summoned to Parliament. The Baronage emerged into an hereditary dignity of the peerage. The difference between a baron of nobility and a feudal baron is nothing except one was converted to a peer by letters patent and one was converted to free socage.  They all derived from the same feudal titles. The normal form of address is Lord/ Lady or  'My Lord'/ 'My Lady' (or 'Madam').

Life Baron / Life Baroness (by writ)
the lowest rank of the peerage. Life peerages had been granted for centuries, usually to women, until the Life Peerage Act of 1958 allowed the regular creation of non-hereditary peerages. A life peerage offers all of the privileges of a hereditary degree to the  recipient, including a seat in the House of Lords. The most significant differences being that  whose titles cannot be inherited, as contrasted to hereditary Lords. Almost all of the life peerages granted under the Act have been baronies. The normal form of address is Lord / Lady or  'My Lord'/ 'My Lady' (or 'Madam').

Baronet / Baronetess
created in 1611, a hereditary title above a Knight and below a Baron. A Baronet (trad. abbreviation Bart, modern abbreviation Bt, after the name) or the rare female equivalent, a baronetess (abbreviation Btss), is the holder of a hereditary baronetcy awarded by the British Crown. The practice of awarding baronetcies was originally introduced in England in the 1300s and was used by James I of England  in 1611 in order to raise funds for the suppression of the rebellion in Ulster. A baronetcy is the only hereditary honour which is not a peerage. A Baronet is styled "Sir" like a knight (or "Dame" for a baronetess), but ranks above all knighthoods and damehoods except for the Order of the Garter and, in Scotland, the Order of the Thistle However, the baronetage, as a class, are considered members of the gentry and rank above the knightage. A Baronet is not a noble title or knighthood, although they are members of the aristocracy. The normal form of address is 'Sir'/ 'My Lady' (or 'Madam').

Knight / Dame
Knighthood is essentially an institution of the days of chivalry. The title of knight was desired and granted as an honourable addition or mark of distinction to the highest dignity, name and rank. A knight is entitled to use the prefix 'Sir'/ 'Dame' with the orders letters after the name. The wife of a knight is entitled to use the prefix 'Lady'.

Lord of the Manor / Lady of the Manor
The Lordship of the Manor is possibly oldest titles in England. In English society, the Lordship of a Manor is a lordship originating in the feudal system of manorialism. In modern England and Wales it is recognised as a form of property. Historically a lord of the manor might be a tenant-in-chief if he held a capital manor directly from the Crown; otherwise he was a mesne lord if he did not hold directly from the Crown, yet had his own tenants. The origins of the lordship of manors arose in the Anglo-Saxon system of manorialism. Following the Norman Conquest, land at the manorial level was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The normal form of address is Lord / Lady.

Lord / Lady
is not only a title, it is also the form to address a marquess (marchioness), an earl (countess), a viscount (vicountess), a baron (baroness), a Lord or Lady of the manor, a youngster son of a duke or marquess, a judge and or a bishop.

The titles will distinguished in two distinct groups: 


I. Titles of the British Peerage

II. Titles of the British Manorial and Feudal System  



Titles of the British Peerage

The Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
(Parliamentary Titles)

Aerial View of the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace 1970's

The modern peerage system is a continuation and renaming of the baronage which existed in feudal times. The requirement of attending Parliament was at once a liability and a privilege for those who held land as a tenant-in-chief of the king per baroniam, that is to say under the feudal contract of being one of the king's barons, responsible for raising knights and troops for the royal feudal army. Certain other classes such as the higher clerics and freemen of the Cinque Ports were deemed barons. This right, entitlement or "title", began to be granted by decree in the form of the writ of summons from 1265 and by letters patent from 1388. Additionally, many holders of smaller fiefdoms per baroniam ceased to be summoned to parliament. As a result of this, the barony started to become personal rather than territorial. Feudal baronies had always been hereditable by an eldest son under primogeniture, but on condition of payment of a fine, termed relief, derived from the Latin verb levo to lift up, meaning a "re-elevation" to a former position of honour. Baronies and other titles of nobility became unconditionally hereditable on the abolition of feudal tenure by the Tenures Abolition Act of 1660, and non-hereditable titles began to be created in 1876 for law lords, and in 1958 for life peers.                                   

Today the Peerage is the collective of all the Lords of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or persons raised in class to be considered "Peers of the Monarch". These Lords have a seat in the House of Lords (or referred to ceremonially as the House of Peers) - the Upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. They are assigned by the Crown and cannot be transferred. The candidates are primarily selected by Government. Peers appointed today are either Working Peers and get a seat in the House of Lords or Non-Working and merely receive the Honour.


       Titles of the Peerage

  • Lords Spiritual
  • Duke
  • Marquess
  • Earl
  • Viscount
  • Baron
  • Life Baron

Until recently, the Peerage could be easily defined as those who held a seat in the House of Lords (part of the Parliamentary system in Britain). Today the most of the hereditary Peers have been removed from the House under recent reforms.


         A Privilege of the Peerage - Robes and Coronets     

Since the early Middle Ages, robes have been worn as a sign of nobility. At first, these seem to have been bestowed on individuals by the monarch or feudal lord as a sign of special recognition; but in the fifteenth century the use of robes became formalised with peers all wearing robes of the same design, though varied according to the rank of the wearer.

Two distinct forms of robes emerged, and these remain in current use:

1. the Parliamentary Robe is worn for parliamentary occasions (such at the State Opening of Parliament),

2. the Coronation Robe is generally worn only at Coronations. (Formerly, new peers were invested with their coronation robe by the monarch, but this Investiture ceremony has not taken place since 1621.)

Coronets are worn with the Coronation robe. The robes and coronets used at Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953 cost about £1,250  (roughly £29.6,000 in present-day terms). Peers under the rank of an Earl, however, were allowed in 1953 to wear a cheaper "cap of estate" in place of a coronet, as were peeresses of the same rank, for whom a simpler robe was also permitted (a one-piece gown with wrap-around fur cape, designed by Norman Hartnell).

Hereditary titles are those that pass from one generation to the next, usually in direct succession. Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, Barons, and Baronets (Baronets are not part of the Peerage, but as that they are hereditary titles) are usually hereditary in nature. The way they pass from one member of the family, usually from the eldes son, to the next is all dependent upon how the titles were originally granted.



Titles of the British Manorial and Feudal System

The Feudal Lords and Barons of England and Wales of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
(Gentry - 'Squirearchy')


These titles come from the Manorial and Feudal System which Feudal Lordships are not Peers or Peerages of the Realm of the United Kingdom and connected to the British honours system preceded the Peerage and still continue today. Although the feudal lordships were once historical noble titles, they now belong to the feudal system, as a form of feudal dignity. The first Lords in the House of Lords came from the Feudal Lords, Barons and Earls that managed the people and land across the country. 

Most of the rights of these title holders have been lost due to their creation or lain dormant so long ago, mostly 1066 at the time of the William the Conqueror (King William I.), but some can date back hundreds of years before. In the 11th century, the Lord of the manor was considered one of the most important people in the country and his duties included collecting taxes. A Manor is a collection of lands grouped into an administrative unit for tax collection. A Lordship is a collection of rights over the manor, including the right to call the owner Lord.

Under the laws of real property in the United Kingdom, manorial or feudal Lordships are known as ‘Estates in land’. They are in English common law as well as in English property law classified as incorporeal hereditaments and are therefore inheritable to the next generation. But one of the principal differences between parliamentary titles and baronies and manorial lordships is, that peerage titles are not in commercio. 

"Nulle terre sans seigneur" = "There is no land without a lord"

William the Conqueror, 1066


Titles of the Manorial and Feudal System

  • Earl - a feudal Earldom, like a Manor title vested in property
  • Baron - the highest degree of feudal land tenure in 1066
  • Lord of the Manor - one of the oldest titles in England

Feudal Hierarchy & Obligations


In Anglo-Saxon England, feudal earls had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts, as delegated by the king. They collected fines and taxes and in return received a "third penny", one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the king's armies. Some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria - names that represented earlier independent kingdoms  -  were much larger than any shire. The Earls originally functioned essentially as royal governors. Though the title of Earl was nominally equal to the continental duke, unlike them earls were not de facto rulers in their own right. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional system but eventually modified it to his own liking. Shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms disappeared. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Cheshire but they were associated with only a single shire at most. Their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, and shires became "counties". Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers were small. King Stephen increased the number of earls to reward those loyal to him in his war with his cousin Empress Mathilda. He gave some earls the right to hold royal castles or control the sheriff and soon other earls assumed these rights themselves. By the end of his reign, some earls held courts of their own and even minted their own coins, against the wishes of the king. It fell to Stephen's successor Henry II to again curtail the power of earls. He took back the control of royal castles and even demolished castles that earls had built for themselves. He did not create new earls or earldoms. No earl was allowed to remain independent of royal control. The English kings had found it dangerous to give additional power to an already powerful aristocracy, so gradually sheriffs assumed the governing role. The details of this transition remain obscure, since earls in more peripheral areas, such as the Scottish Marshes and Welsh Marshes and Cornwall, retained some viceregal powers long after other earls had lost them. The loosening of central authority during the Anarchy also complicates any smooth description of the change over. By the 13th century, earls had a social rank just below the king and princes, but were not necessarily more powerful or wealthier than other noblemen. The only way to become an earl was to inherit the title or marry into one - and the king reserved a right to prevent the transfer of the title. By the 14th century, creating an earl included a special public ceremony where the king personally tied a sword belt around the waist of the new earl, emphasizing the fact that the earl's rights came from him. Earls still held influence and as "companions of the king", were regarded as supporters of the king's power. They showed that power for the first time in 1327 when they deposed Edward II. They would later do the same with other kings they disapproved of. Still, the number of earls remained the same until 1337 when Edward III declared that he intended to create six new earldoms.


Barons were introduced into England by the Normans; most of whom held that rank in Normandy before the Conquest. Baron literally meant a man, holding his land directly from the King per baroniam as a tenant-in-chief. William the Conqueror established his favoured followers as barons by enfeoffing them as tenants-in-chief with great fiefdom a largely standard feudal contract of tenure, common to all his barons.
A feudal Barony or Barony by tenure was the highest degree of feudal land tenure, namely per baroniam (Latin for "by barony" or "as a baron") under which the land-holder owed the service of being one of the king's barons. Such barons were selected often on account of their personal abilities and usefulness. Thus for example Turstin FitzRolf, the relatively humble and obscure knight who had stepped in at the last minute to accept the position of Duke William's standard-bearer at the Battle of Hastings, was granted a barony which comprised well over twenty manors. Lands forming a Barony were often located in several different counties, not necessarily adjoining. The name of such a Barony is generally deemed to be the name of the chief manor within it, known as the caput, Latin for "head", generally assumed to have been the seat or chief residence of the first baron. North Cadbury, for instance, the ancient baronial seat of  Turstin FitzRolf ('Cadeberie' in his time), became known as the Barony of North Cadbury, Somerset.
The exact date of creation of most feudal Baronies cannot be determined, as their founding charters or any deeds have been lost. Many of them are first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The duties owed by and the privileges granted to feudal barons cannot now be defined exactly, but they involved the duty of providing soldiers to the royal feudal army on demand by the king, and the privilege of attendance at the king's feudal court, the precursor of parliament.
The exact date of creation of most feudal Baronies cannot be determined, as their founding charters or any deeds have been lost. Many of them are first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The duties owed by and the privileges granted to feudal barons cannot now be defined exactly, but they involved the duty of providing soldiers to the royal feudal army on demand by the king, and the privilege of attendance at the king's feudal court, the precursor of parliament.
In the 13th century the Barons were summoned to the Counselor Parliament, but at first this did not imply that a successor would necessarily also be summoned to subsequent Parliaments. The more important would probably be summoned, but by the reign of Edward III it became usual for successors to receive writs as a matter of course. Thus the Baronage emerged into a hereditary dignity of the Peerage.
The first baron created by patent was John Beauchamp de Holt, created Baron Kidderminster, by Richard III in 1387 but baronies by writ also continued to be created long after this date. The difference in summary, Barons of nobility are converted to peers by letters patent and feudal Barons are converted (in 1660 from tenure) to free socage.

Lord of the Manor
Lord of the Manor titles are arguably one the oldest feudal titles in England and still in continuous use. In English society, the Lordship of the Manor is a Lordship originating in the feudal system of manorialism. In modern England and Wales it is recognised as a form of property.
Historically a Lord of the Manor might be a tenant-in-chief if he held a capital manor directly from the Crown; otherwise he was a mesne Lord if he did not hold directly from the Crown, yet had his own tenants. The origins of the Lordship of Manors arose in the Anglo-saxon system of manorialism. Following the Norman conquest, land at the manorial level was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The title cannot be subdivided. This has been prohibited since 1290 in the Statute of Quia Emptores that prevents tenants from alienating their lands to others by subinfeudation, instead requiring all tenants wishing to alienate their land to do so by substitution.

Lord Denning, in Corpus Christi College Oxford v Gloucestershire County Council [1983] QB360, described the manor thus:                      

“In mediæval times the manor was the nucleus  of English rural life. It was an administrative unit of an extensive area of  land. The whole of it was owned originally by the Lord of the Manor. He lived  in the big house called the manor house. Attached to it were many acres of  grassland and woodlands called the park. These were the “demesne lands” which  were for the personal use of the Lord of the Manor. Dotted all round were the  enclosed homes and land occupied by the “tenants of the manor”.       


The Lord of the Manor & his household c.1920's

His Lordship's servants & tenants c.1920's

Lords & Ladies c.1900

          Feudal Lordships, Baronies and Earldoms past and present

Feudal and manorial Lordships, Baronies and Earldoms, hereinafter referred to as Lordship(s), exist today in English custom law as well as in English property law as 'Estates in land'. They are part of the feudal history of England dating back to King William I. 1066 or pre-date the Norman conquest. The feudal titles derive from the King. 
Their origins are to this very day closely related to the British monarchy, even though they are not titles of nobiliy as in the peerage. Feudal Lords, Barons and Earls are quiet rightly called Lord, Baron or Earl, but they are not the same as the Lords, Barons and Earls of the peerage, the members of the House of Lords or upper house of the parliament. Immediately after the battle of Hastings in 1066, the Normans and their followers replaced the Anglo-Saxons as leading class. King William or William the Conqueror divided the entire land into Manors and granted it to his Barons. The nobility became a cultural part of England. Only a noble could hold a manor (Marjorie Chibnall: The Normans; Oxford 2000), at later times a commoner could also own a Manor or Barony. Occassionally the Barons were summoned by the King to the Royal Council to advise him. In the 13th century this was the predecessor of the House of Lords. The current manorial/feudal Lords may well be seen as a relic of the ancient Norman noble class. A feudal Lord or Baron is the only title of dignity legally assignable and able to be legally alienated from the bloodline of its previous possessor.
Today feudal Lords are considered as relicts of the Norman nobility, though not in the sense of British peerage titles as already mentioned before, but more as titles of the gentry. The following quotation about Lords of the Manor from the English historian and lawyer Frederic William Maitland characterises nobility in the proper sense.



F. W. Maitland, LL.D., characterised manorial Lords in his book The Constitutional History of England from 1908 thus:

"Dark as is the early history of the manor, we can see that before the Conquest England is covered by what in all substantial points are manors, though the term manor is brought hither by the Normans. Furthermore, in the interests of peace and justice, the state insists that every landless man shall have a lord, who will produce him in court in case he be accused. Slowly the relation of man and lord extends itself, and everywhere it is connected with land. The king’s thanes then are coming to be the king’s military tenants in chief".


Manorial Rights

Manorial rights are part of English property law and refers to the law of acquisition, sharing and protection of valuable assets in England and Wales. As such they can be bought and sold as other properties. Therefore manorial Lordships can be rightful transferred, conveyed, inherited or sold to other parties. In addition, they are the only titles that can be purchased. Feudal titles like Lord of the Manor, feudal Baron or Earl are nonetheless historic artifacts and protected in the 1922 Law of Property Act.

Historically the feudal Lord has carried with it a bundle of rights over land within the manor, even over land that was in the hands of tenants and common land. Lordship rights varied from Lord to Lord, some of these were included in the grant of the Lordship such as the right of corporal and capital punishment or the 'Right of Gallows' and 'Right of Stocks'. Another important grant of right would be to hold a market within the manor.

Other privileges have included the right to hunt wild animals on the wastes of the manor - common land - and the right to wild fish. The Lord could demand payment from people fishing in rivers and lakes within his manor - common land.

A Manor/Lordship always came in three parts:

1.  Land,
2. Rights over the Land,
3. Lordship - power to collect fealty {services} and taxes.

To convey all three rights they had to be specifically listed in the deeds of transfer.

The Lordship of the Manor or feudal Baron title is a property – in legal terms it is known as an ‘incorporeal hereditament’

Under the laws of real property in the United Kingdom, manorial or feudal Lordships are known as ‘Estates in land’. A feudal Lordship title itself can be separated from the physical property just as any other right can. Titles became separate from the physical land in 1922. Officially a manorial or feudal Lordship title is “a property without body”. As this a Lordship title is classified in law as an 'incorporeal hereditament'.
'Incorporeal' means having no physical presence (not to see, touch or smell). 'Hereditament' means inheritable, a Lordship title can be inherited to the next generation (meaning the right continues forever more).
The lawful holder of a feudal Lordship has the legal right to style him or herself Lord or Lady of the Manor of X, Lord or Lady of X, Baron or Baroness of X or Earl or Countess of X, all feudal titles dating back to medieval times.

"... the only Lords of any importance at the present day are Lords of the Manors".

William Jowitt, 1st Earl Jowitt: Dictionary of English Law, 1959.


Titles from the Manorial and Feudal System can be owned by anyone, irrespective of nationality. With the aquisition and conveyance of a Lordship, the new owner inherits the rank and the status of a feudal Lord, even some become involved in the local community. Whilst at the same time he becomes the successor in title in line with often eminent historical figures which have essentially infuenced the history of Britain. Therewith the holder of a Lordship is a custodian of the title and its history in trust for future generations.

Sometimes there are several names (or titles) for one and the same lordship. Most Lordships were granted between 1066 and 1086 and were named then. Each Lord could change the name of the Lordship (or title) in the same way as we can change the name of a house today. These can still be used today by the owner of the lordship, depending on which name is preferred.     


Usage of a Lordship of the Manor, Feudal Barony or Earldom Title

A Lordship, Barony or Earldom is attached or refers to a certain place, which is why most Lords are proud to show their title as being Lord of X or Baron of X. The owner of a feudal Lordship or Barony is entitled to be called a Lord/Lady or to refer to themselves as Lord/Lady of that Manor or Baron/Baroness of that Barony, for example, Lord/Lady of Blakewell or Lord/Lady of the Manor of Blakewell, Lord/Lady of Codiford Farleigh, or Baron/Baroness or Lord/Lady of North Cadbury.

The right to use the title Lord or Lady of X, Lord or Lady of the Manor of X, Baron or Baroness of X, or Earl or Countess of X, etc. is a legal custom right - to seek recognition that one is the owner of a specific manorial right - as it meets certain basic requirements in this respect.

The title can be seen as a synonym for ownership with a historical background. It has also been accepted through the centuries that the “of” can be dropped. The owner of a Lordship has the choice to use his title whichever he prefer (listed below according to availability of the respective feudal titles). How to refer to a holder of a Lordship and his title is not so much a matter of English Law, as a matter of taste and etiquette. Good manners and respect for history and the Lordship title would suggest that using the title in the correct way generates respect for the Lord or Lady and his or her Manor.

How to address a feudal Lord

Lordship of the Manor of X

How to refer to the Lordship title

(The) Lordship of the Manor of X
(The) Lordship of X

The holder of a manorial lordship can be addressed or style themthelve as follows:

The Lord and Lady of the Manor of X
The Lord and Lady of X
Personal Name, Lord/Lady of the Manor of X
Personal Name, Lord/Lady of X
Lord/Lady of X
Lord/Lady X


Envelope: Personal Name, Lord/Lady of X or Lord/Lady of the Manor of X

top: Dear Personal Name Lord/Lady of X  or Dear Lord/Lady of X or Dear Lord/Lady X

Barony of X

How to refer to the Barony title

(The) Barony of X

The holder of a barony can be addressed or style themselve as follows:

The Baron and Baroness of X
The Lord and Lady of X
Personal Name, Baron/Baroness of X
Personal Name, Baron/Baroness X
Baron/Baroness of X
Baron/Baroness X
Personal Name, Lord/Lady of X
Personal Name, Lord/Lady X
Lord/Lady of X
Lord/Lady X


Envelope:  Personal Name Baron/Baroness of X or The Baron/Baroness of X

top: Dear Personal Name Baron/Baroness of X or Dear Baron/Baroness of X

Earldom of X

How to refer to the Earldom title

(The) Earldom of X

The holder of an earldom can be addressed or style themselve as follows, but he should not drop the 'of' from the title, because it originates from a placename and not from a surname like some Earls of the peerage:

The Earl and Countess of X
The Lord and Lady of X
Personal Name, Earl/Countess of X
Earl/Countess of X
Personal Name, Lord/Lady of X
Lord/Lady of X


Envelope: Personal Name Earl/Countess of X or The Earl/Countess of X

top: Dear Personal Name Earl/Countess of X or Dear Earl/Countess of X

NB: You must never use Lord or Baron or Earl in front of your name as that is reserved for peerages and an offence in the UK.
English manorial lordships, feudal baronies or earldoms are ancient titles which relate to land tenure and should not be confused with titles of the peerage.


These address code rules hold good for English manorial lordships, feudal baronies and earldoms. Because so many variations in feudal titles are accepted, it is helpful when the style preferred by the holder of an Earldom, Barony or Lordship is printed at the head of stationery, on correspondence or business cards.      

In Britain it's further possible to add Lordship titles to passports and driving licence. Newest changes made by the Crown and Government in the recognition of manorial titles to add and record titles on a passport:

In this regard, please read the latest Guidance Titles Version 14 (updated 25 October 2022/26 May 2023) of the Guidance for HM Passport Office operational staff on how to add and record titles and observations on a passport ('Manorial titles' and following passage 'Bought and styled titles') to reflect the change in our sovereign from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to His Majesty King Charles III.

Registration of Manorial or Feudal Titles and official announcements in The Gazette

HM Land Registry used a registry for lordships. In 2003 HM Land Registry ceased as only government agency registration of manorial titles.
In fact, since then there has been not one, absolutely not one, independent and trustworthy officially government recognised English Lordship and Barony Register to record any manorial title in legal ownership entirely correct and truthfully.

With only one exception, namely the The Gazette (formally The London Gazette) in which Lordships and Baronies are published and registered. The Gazette is the official journal of record of His Majesty's Government and the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. As the publication is limited to the legal community all its entries are judged to be true. 

The legal conveyance and ownership of a feudal or manorial title can be officially announced and recorded in The Gazette. It operates under strict Government and Crown approval and consists largely of statutory notices and also announces the King's Honours. The Gazette is published by TSO (The Stationery Office) on behalf of His Majesty's Stationery Office. They are subject to Crown copyright.

The entire content of the publication is dedicated to necessary publishing of legal notices, events and announcements. That implies that there are some legal requirements for the notice placer to advertise a notice in The Gazette. As an official public record, notices can ONLY be placed in The Gazette by registered and verified persons acting in an official capacity, who have the authority to create an official record of fact (e.g. UK registered Solicitors/Lawyers (SRA). A notice in The Gazette officially announces whether the title was granted or established by the Crown or legally created and tranferred by legal process and in this case who is the acting solicitor; see 'All notices' and 'Other Notices' of manorial Lordships, feudal Baronies, Earldoms.

The announcements of titles recorded in The Gazette can be seen as a kind of Who's Who of actually existing lordships.  







A peerage title is a personal dignity which will pass, if it is not a life peerage, to the next legitimate descendant and can not be acquired. Hereditary peerage dignities can only be created through HM The King by writs of summons or by letters patent. Equally a life peerage can only be created or granted by the King on advice of His Majesty's Government by letters patent. These members of nobility are custodians of parts of English history and responsible in the sense of leading politicians, as they have a seat in the House of Lords, the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

A manorial or feudal lordship title is a territorial dignity which passes as an incorporeal hereditament to the next legitimate descendant, or can also be transferred, conveyed or acquired. Furthermore a Lordship Title Right is a right in law. A ‘right’ which cannot be seen or touched so can only exist when created by a legal process, whether that is a grant by the Crown or application of statute law and common law. An English Lordship title can be owned by anyone, irrespective of nationality. The holder of a manorial or feudal title is a responsible custodian of a part of English history and heritage, which can go back more than 1000 years. Therefore the feudal Lord holds his title in trust for future generations.


Notes on acquiring and transferring a real feudal lordship title with confirmation of authenticity by UK registered Solicitors (SRA)

England is almost unique in the world in still having legally valid Lordship titles which can be bought and sold. The conveyance, transfer or aquisition of a genuine manorial or feudal title is a serious transaction and requires correctly executed legal documentation. Only a full set of consecutive deeds dating back to before 1189 or a later crown grant is the only way to confirm ownership of a lordship and that's very rare. The person transferring the legal right to the lordship/barony title has to show evidence that this person is the true owner.
The Crown only owns lordships that it can prove have no other ownership. The Crown Estate only want the most valuable of lordships and has decided that this is too much work for the value of the lordship, so make NO CLAIMS for lordships which are dormant, not in use and where the owners are not known. Otherwise, it is generally accepted that almost not a complete sets of deeds exists, so effectively there are NO OWNERS. A feudal lordship or barony which is provably not in use or dormant can only be re-assigned by the Crown or re-established (also reconstructed or restored) as a manorial lordship/feudal barony by legal process.

Caveat emptor!

If you are thinking of acquiring a manorial lordship title, trust only a long experienced and established title dealer with proven legal support from Senior London Barrister and several UK registered Solicitors (SRA)/lawyers.
Selling manorial lordship titles is a lucrative business these days, and in addition to reputable dealers, fake title dealers have recently been popping up with all kinds of promises (fake copied deeds, registries etc.) that are only copied by others without any fundamental knowledge of their own. Lately, they are springing up on all kinds of platforms to make a quick buck.
Unfortunately, there are only very few honest, independently reliable and trustworthy sources, even if they claim the opposite. So much caution is needed so that money is not wasted on nothing but worthless paper. Therefore, thorough research of so-called vendors is recommended and copycats, imitators and fraudsters can be identified very quickly. A simple research on the internet for the seller's name, for example, will reveal some criminal backgrounds! Just to note, don't be fooled, REAL manorial or feudal lordship titles are NOT available at bargain prices! These are usually quite expensive (starting from several thousand pounds sterling at least) and with this a valuable investment for future generations. A serious and distinguished appearance can also make the difference. A look at their personal appearance can obviously provide insight.
Unfortunately, such ominous figures are not the only ones spreading untruth and nonsense. Even a seemingly deliberately commissioned ignorant and narrow-minded Lord of the English aristocracy, who knows NOTHING about manorial law, only harasses, attacks and insults others as fake. Even if he is mentioned in places as an expert who exposes (just because he comes from an English aristocratic family) he does NOT have the slightest knowledge about English common law, property law or manorial law.
However, most so-called experts in feudal lordship titles or sellers are not at all familiar with the complex manorial law and, in fact, only very few lawyers (solicitors) are specialised in it. Therefore, caution is advised!

For these reasons, advice from renowned and highly reliable Manorial Counsel should be sought before any transaction of title transfer. This leading authority in manorial law and in dealing with Lordship and Barony titles handle such transactions and convey such titles in accordance with the new legal rights. They are always very helpful, extremely professional and competent in manorial law, and answer all questions without obligation. Two Senior London Counsels (Barristers) have identified a law and legal authorities to bring dormant or unused Lordship and Barony titles back in existence. Six UK registered solicitors have reviewed the barristers work and confirmed its validity.
As proof of authenticity of each manorial or feudal lordship title, the Conveyance Deed includes confirmations of legal rights from two SRA-regulated Solicitors (Lawyers) and additionally a 'Solicitor's Letter' from a third Solicitor (SRA), confirming the legal transfer of ownership.
This certifies that the obtained title is a real English manorial Lordship title and not a waste of money for worthless paper of a fake title. In this way legal assigned manorial Lordships and feudal Baronies by Deed of Conveyance are generally accepted. As a recognised authority with legal support in this field, Manorial Counsel has the authority to publish notices of legitimate title transfers in The Gazette.
Only a legal notice of transfer of a lordship title published by acting Solicitors in 'The Gazette' guarantees the validity of the title!!!
The so-called 'Legal Notices' from non-legal private persons or alleged sellers on all other internet platforms or non-recognised private "manorial sales register" are complete legally invalid and to be seen as fake, these are absolutely nonsense! Don't fall for it, don't give your money away!

Importance of UK registered (SRA-regulated) Solicitors (SRA - Solicitors Regulation Authority*)

SRA-regulated Solicitors will in principle verify whether the selling company or person is the legal owner and does the owner have the legal right to sell the title at all. Solicitors examine and confirm as well the legal assignability as the conveyance.
These law firms employed by the title dealer (at the above mentioned) are legal experts in English Common Law, English Property Law and of course also in Manorial Law.

What is a SRA-regulated Solicitor*?

All practising solicitors must be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and are given an SRA registration number. On the websites of the SRA and the Law Society can be checked if a solicitor is legitimate. It is a criminal offence for someone in the UK to claim to be a practising solicitor who is not. All solicitors also have to adhere to a strict code of conduct and each year many solicitors are struck off by the SRA for not meeting these standards. If someone claims to be a "lawyer" a search should be made for the registration number, which can then be checked with the professional bodies, the Solicitor's Regulatory Authority and the Law Society, where they must be registered.

*Please note: UK Registered Solicitors (SRA) will of course NEVER work against the law, because they risks to loose their licence!

Solicitor's Confirmation Letter with proof of conveyance 

This legal document (Solicitor's letter, Confirmation letter of introduction or statement) of a Solicitor (SRA) to each title CONFIRMS LEGAL TRANSFER, FULL LEGAL OWNERSHIP and PROVES AUTHENTICITY to the respective manorial/feudal title absolutely reliably. The Solicitor's Letter is used to PROVE the legal transfer and authenticity of the lordship or barony title as such.

The following link will bring you to a very good and interesting short article on the legal acquisition of genuine English Lordship titles. Click on the picture to read.

Highly recommended books:

  • A.W. & C. Barsby: Manorial Law. A.W. & C. Barsby Legal Research and Publishing, 1996.
  • Christopher Jessel: The Law of the Manor. Barry Rose Law Publishers Ltd., 1998.
  • Sidney Painter: Studies in the History of the English Feudal Barony. Johns Hopkins Press, 1943.
  • Nathaniel J. Hone: The Manor and Manorial Records. Methuen Publishing Ltd., London, 1906.
  • F.M. Stenton: The First Century of English Feudalism 1066-1166. Clarendon Press, 1932.
  • F.W. Maitland: The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press, 1908.