Page:Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage.djvu/73

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ftTLES, ORDERS, AND DEGREES Of PRECEDENCE AND DIGNITY. LORDS OF APPEAL IN ORDINARY Of whom there may not be more than four, are appointed by Patent. They rank as barons for life, and each is entitled, so long as he holds office, to a writ of summons to attend, and to sit and vote in the House of Lords. They hold office during good behaviour, not- withstanding the demise of the crown, but may be removed from such office, on the address of both Houses of Parliament. The dignity of a Lord of Parliament does not descend to their heirs. Their wives rank as baronesses, and are entitled to the prefix of " Lady," but their children have not any social precedence. The robes of a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary are the same as Barons. A Lord of Appeal in Ordinary is styled Right Honourable. BARONETS. The title of Baronet is of ancient date, and was originally given to a class of Bannarets who were hereditary Barons of Parliament, and occupied the same position as the existing order, viz., between the great Barons (now peers) and lesser Barons, or Knights and gentlemen. By the statutes of Richard II. every Archbishop, Bishop, Abbot, Prior, Duke, Earl, Baron, Baro- net, and Knight of the Shire, was commanded to appear in Parliament according to ancient usage, and in an attaint under Henry VI., one of the jury challenged himself because his ancestors had been Baronets and Seigneurs des Parlesments. This degree of nobility also existed in Ireland, where it was hereditary, in certain families. Thus, among others, St. Leger was Baronet of Slemarge ; Fitzgerald, Baronet of Burnchurch ; Welleslye, Baronet of Narraghe (ancestor of the Duke of Wellington) ; and Nangle, Baronet of the Navan. These baronets were descended from some lesser barons.or gentlemen, whom Ed wardlll. had been advised to summon by writ, to serve and sit as barons in his next Parliament, in order that by their votes he might carry his measures in defiance of the opposition of the Ecclesiastical Lords, who had greatly crossed him in his designs. These persons having been summoned for one Parliament only did not retain their baronial rank, and were afterwards styled baronets. The circumstance of the discovery by Sir Robert Cotton, an eminent heraldic antiquary, of Letters Patent of the I3th Edward III., conferring the dignity of baronet on William de la Pole and his heirs, m return for a sum of money of which the King and his army stood greatly in need, is said to have decided King James I. on reviving this rank, and constituting it an hereditary dignity. The existing baronetage of England dates from 1611, in which year James I. established it by Letters Patent under the Great Seal ; in 1619 he further extended the order to Ireland, and in 1624 CADGE OF NOVA SCOTIA. adopted steps to create a Scottish branch, and which steps were carried Out in 1625 by his son, Charles I. The. object of instituting this order in England and Ireland was to promote the plantation of Ulster, and to this end each baronet was required to pay into the Exchequer, upon receiving his patent under the Great Seal, the sum of .1,200 for fees of honour, and for maintaining thirty soldiers in Ireland for three years, at the rate of eightpence per diem each man. The baronetage of Nova Scotia was established with a view to colonise that country. Every person who sought the dignity of a baronet was compelled to give proof that he was a gentleman of blood (i.e., descended on the father's side from a grandfather who bore arms), possessed a good reputation, and had an annual revenue of not less than ;i,ooo. Baronets are frequently and erroneously de- scribed as belonging to an order of hereditary knighthood. This mistake doubtless arose from the circumstance that all the first baronets were knighted, and that the eldest sons of baronets had the right to demand knighthood on attaining the age of twenty-one, and were, after the death of their fathers, known as "knights-baronets." A baronet does not belong to any order of knight- hood, and is not a knight until he has been so dubbed. That the baronetage was never intended as an order of knighthood is moreover evidenced from the fact that baronetesses have been created, e.g., Dame Mary Bolles, of Osberton, Notts, was in 1635 made a Baronetess of Nova Scotia, with remainder to her heirs whatsoever : and in 1686 King James II. conferred a baronetcy on Corne- lius Spellman, a General in the States of Holland, with a special clause conferring on his mother the rank and title of a Baronetess of England. The eldest sons or heirs apparent of baronets whose patents are dated prior to December ipth, 1827, have, upon attaining their majority, the privilege of demanding knighthood. This claim is, however, seldom made, possibly because George IV., on the date before referred to, ordered that al letters-patent that might thereafter be granted to confer baronetcies should be made without any such clause as is before mentioned, though this order was made without in any way prejudicing letters-patent previously granted, or to the rights and privileges of any baronet, or his heirs male. Ludlow Cotter, son of Sir James Lawrence Cotter, 4th baronet of Rockforest, in 1874, when 21 years of age, received the honour of knighthood, and this is the latest instance of the privilege being exercised. The baronets of Nova Scotia were granted by Charles I. (i7th November, 1629), permission _to wear about the neck "an orange taunie silk ribbon whereon shall be pendant in a scutcheon argent, a saltire azure thereon an inescutcheon of the armes of Scotland, with an Imperial^ Crown above the scutcheon and encircled with this motto Fax -mentis Honestce Gloria." The baronets of England and Ireland applied to Charles I. for permission to wear the Ulster Badge in a similar manner to that of the baronets of Nova Scotia, and it is believed the King few years ago, exhibited at the South _ Kensing- ton Museum the Ulster Badge worn by Sir Thomas Frankland, ist bart., of Thirkeby (creation, 1662) on a diplomatic mission to Spain. Sir George Duckett has since sold the badge, which was originally set in diamonds, to a descendant of the Frankland family. The baronets of England, of Scotland, of Great Britain and of Ireland, rank among themselves according to the dates of their respective patents. The order of baronets, though created for an ephemeral object which its members did not ac- complish, is now a dignified degree of hereditary distinction, at the head of the lesser nobility of