Page:Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage.djvu/70

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xxxii TITLES, ORDERS, AND DEGREES OK PRECEDENCE AND DIGNITY. of Lords is thus : He is introduced by two peers who conduct him to the Lord Chancellor. His patent and writ of summons are carried by Garter King of Arms, who presents them to the Lord Chancellor ; this dignitary directs the same to be This, however, may have been only an official title, for the word frequently appears in Saxon chron- icles in a sense inferior to that of earl, bishop, and even abbot. Otho the Great, about the year 970, is supposed read, the oaths are administered, the peer takes to have been the first to regularly constitute the his sear, and then, rising, returns to the Chan- I title of duke, as one of honour and nobility ; and cellor, who congratulates him upon his succession, j it became hereditary in France and other parts of or elevation, as the case may be. The privileges enjoyed by peers were formerly <fery numerous. Some of these would now be considered intolerable, while others have fallen into desuetude from the extinction of the matters and circumstances to which they relate. But some important ones continue, e..g : They are free from arrests for debt, as being the Queen's hereditary counsellors ; I first English Duke : the Continent long before it was adopted in Eng- land. It has been surmised that one cause of its not being introduced earlier in England was the reluctance of the Norman kings themselves Dukes of Normandy to grant subjects a title resembling their own. The following passage from a quaint old writer

ives an authentic account of the creation of the

therefore a peer cannot be outlawed in any civi. action, and no attachment lies against his person ; but if he become a bankrupt he cannot vote until his bankruptcy proceedings are ended. They are free from attending courts lect, or slieriffs' turns, or, in cases of riot, the posse comitatus. In criminal causes they are tried by peers only, who give their verdict simply upon their honour, in a court specially fitted up at the expense of the Crown, in the middle of Westminster Hall. They may sit with their heads covered in courts of justice. Each peer may qualify a certain number of chaplains as follows : An Archbishop, eight ; a Duke, six ; a Marquess, five ; an Earl, five ; a Viscount, four ; a Bishop, six ; a Baron, three. A Knight of the Garter may qualify three ; and a Peeress, being a widow, two. ' The first Duke that I finde sence the Con- quest, was made by Kinge Eduard III. xj. regnisui; where he made of the earldome of Cornwayle a dutchye, and created the Black Prince, his eldest sonne. Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwayle, and Earl of Chester, and I have a dede made by the said Black Prince, wherein his stile is, Edward Disne Fitz de Roy D'Engleter and de France, Prince de Aquitonie et de Gales, Due de Cornwall, Count de Chester, and Seignor de Biscane." In former times hereditary dukes were created with the following or similar words : " We give and grant the name, title, state, style, place, seat, pre-eminence, honour, au- thority, and dignity of a Duke, and by the cincture of a sword, and imposition of a cap and coronet of gold upon his head, as also by delivering unto him a verge of gold, we do really invest," &c., I but this and other ceremonies formerly attending To secure the honour of, and to prevent j the creation of dukes and other peers are no longer the spreading of any scandal upon peers or observed. any great officers of the realm, by reports, The ducal order, which was extinct, or in abey- there is an express law, called scandal-urn ance during Elizabeth's reign, was revived by magnatum, by which any man convicted of | James I. in the person of his favourite, Villiers. making a scandalous report, though true, j The mantle or surcoat which a duke wears at a against a peer of the realm, is condemned to I coronation of king or queen is of crimson velvet an arbitrary fine, and to remain in custody ! lined with white taffeta, and the mantle is doubled till the same be paid. j from the neck to the elbow with ermine, having Barons Kingsale and Forester are the only four spots on each shoulder. His parliamentary peers permitted to be covered in the royal robes are of fine scarlet cloth, lined with taffeta, presence without permission. j and doubled with four guards of ermine at equal In case of a poll tax, peers bear the greatest I distances, with gold lace above each guard, and burden, as everyone is then taxed according to i tied up to the left shoulder by a white riband ; his his degree. cap is of crimson velvet lined with ermine, having A peer may not interfere in any way in the I a gold tassel on the top ; his coronet is a circle of election of members to parliament. gold chased as jewelled and set round with eight ' strawberry leaves. He is styled His Grace, and Duke. This title is the highest i by the Sovereign in public instruments. Our right of our designation of nobility. We have not ! trusty and right entirely beloved cousin, with the "princes" outside of the I addition of a :nd counsellor when a member of the blood-royal. Indeed, sopre- i Privy Council, eminent in dignity is the The eldest son of a duke bears by courtesy one ducal title, that each royal prince on, or shortly after attaining his majority, is __^^^^^__ usually created a Duke, as DUKE'S CORONET, 'f the latter were the supe- rior distinction. Thus, Prince Alfred was created Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. Much learned ingenuity has been expended in endeavouring to trace the origin of a title which has, in one meaning or another, existed since the origin of theLatin tongue dux(p. leader)indicating a leading man or chieftain ; and, however anti- quarians may refine upon the matter, there cannot be any doubt that the word " duke " means a man of the highest rank and mark. of his father's inferior titles, and each younger son and daughter is addressed by his or her Christian name, as " Lord John," or "Lady Mary." Marquess is a title apparently of German origin, and, as the name implies, is derived from the Government of marches, or frontier provinces ; it was called by the Saxons, Markin Reeve ; and by the Germans, Markgravc. It has the next place of honour to that of a duke, and was introduced many years sub- sequent to the establishment of that dignity in England. Hollingshead, in his " Chronicle," fo. 235, says The first on whom that honour was conferred was that " Kinge Edgar's second wife was called the great favourite of King Richard II., Robert Alfreda, the daughter of Orgar, Duke of Devon, deVere, Earl of Oxford, who was created Marquess by whom hee had yssue, Egelthred,that was after- of Dublin, and placed in Parliament between the wards Kinge of this lande and isiedbenriPowlis." dukes and earls. The marquesses were created