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General Discussion => Constitution and Law => Topic started by: Kalwejt on March 13, 2012, 08:10:34 pm



Title: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 13, 2012, 08:10:34 pm
Can a British hereditary peer, that was denied sitting in the House of Lords (as number of sitting hereditary peers in the Lords was greatly limited), be elected to the House of Commons and serve there instead?


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Simfan34 on March 13, 2012, 09:51:56 pm
I believe he can.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Trounce-'em Theresa on March 13, 2012, 11:56:04 pm
Can and several do.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: True Federalist on March 14, 2012, 12:09:05 am
There was also a provision in effect from 1963 to 1999 for a lord to disclaim his peerage in order to be eligible for the Commons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peerage_Act_1963#List_of_disclaimed_peerages


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: politicus on March 14, 2012, 11:05:22 am
From the House of Lords Bill (1999)

Clause 2: Removal of disqualifications in relation to the House of Commons
12.     Under common law (see in particular the case of Re Parliamentary Election for Bristol South East [1964] 2QB 257), peers are prevented from voting in elections to the House of Commons and from standing as a candidate for or being a member of the House of Commons. Clause 2 abolishes these disqualifications.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 14, 2012, 03:53:13 pm
From the House of Lords Bill (1999)

Clause 2: Removal of disqualifications in relation to the House of Commons
12.     Under common law (see in particular the case of Re Parliamentary Election for Bristol South East [1964] 2QB 257), peers are prevented from voting in elections to the House of Commons and from standing as a candidate for or being a member of the House of Commons. Clause 2 abolishes these disqualifications.


Wow... peers were forbidden from not only sitting in Commons (which is understandable), but also from voting in the election?


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: politicus on March 14, 2012, 04:34:47 pm
The traditional idea was that the two houses each represented a different estate (or caste if you will). The House of Commons represented the commoners and The House of Lords represented the lords. No point in letting the lords elect members of HoC which wasn't their representatives.  The two groups also had different legal standing. Until 1963 if a peer committed a crime, he could only be judged by his peers in The House of Lords, not the ordinary courts.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 14, 2012, 06:00:55 pm
The traditional idea was that the two houses each represented a different estate (or caste if you will). The House of Commons represented the commoners and The House of Lords represented the lords. No point in letting the lords elect members of HoC which wasn't their representatives.  The two groups also had different legal standing. Until 1963 if a peer committed a crime, he could only be judged by his peers in The House of Lords, not the ordinary courts.

I think it was 1948 for a trial, but even in the early 20th Century, there were several notable trials of peers by peers.  Earl Russell for bigamy.  Baron de Clifford for vehicular homicide.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: politicus on March 14, 2012, 06:50:55 pm
I think it was 1948 for a trial

1948 is correct. Remembered it as part of the Peerage Act of 1963. Should have checked it.

but even in the early 20th Century, there were several notable trials of peers by peers.  Earl Russell for bigamy.  Baron de Clifford for vehicular homicide.

Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Trounce-'em Theresa on March 14, 2012, 07:00:37 pm
My personal favorite is the trial of the first Duke of Clarence in 1478, after which he was drowned in a butt of malmsey wine.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 15, 2012, 12:56:28 am

Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.

Oh, yes.

Since elections were mentioned, the Queen cannot vote.  I'm wondering if non-peer members of the Royal Family can vote (the Princess Royal, for example).


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Lemon flavoured on March 15, 2012, 04:14:02 am

Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.

Oh, yes.

Since elections were mentioned, the Queen cannot vote.  I'm wondering if non-peer members of the Royal Family can vote (the Princess Royal, for example).

I'm fairly sure they can, they just don't. In fact, IIRC the Queen could, in theory, vote, but clearly she doesn't.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 15, 2012, 10:59:55 am

Yes, trial by their peers. Just like I said. You can find cases before 1900 as well.

Oh, yes.

Since elections were mentioned, the Queen cannot vote.  I'm wondering if non-peer members of the Royal Family can vote (the Princess Royal, for example).

I'm fairly sure they can, they just don't. In fact, IIRC the Queen could, in theory, vote, but clearly she doesn't.

Indeed, she's eligible to vote since she's a British citizen. However, as I read on the Monarchy's official website, neither Queen nor high-ranking members of the Royal Family (which certainly includes Princess Royal) does vote, as they believe it would be inappropriate for people supposed to be above any political issues.

IMO they are taking it too far. Naturally, it would be highly inappropriate for any member of the Royal Family to not only make political statements, but to give a slightest indication of their preferences, but casting a secret ballot and not telling anyone how they did vote won't be a problem, as far as I'm concerned.

There was also a provision in effect from 1963 to 1999 for a lord to disclaim his peerage in order to be eligible for the Commons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peerage_Act_1963#List_of_disclaimed_peerages

Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 15, 2012, 10:31:20 pm


Indeed, she's eligible to vote since she's a British citizen. However, as I read on the Monarchy's official website, neither Queen nor high-ranking members of the Royal Family (which certainly includes Princess Royal) does vote, as they believe it would be inappropriate for people supposed to be above any political issues.

She technically is not a British citizen, uniquely.  Others, such as Charles, William and Andrew, do have substantive peerages and a technical seat in the Lords, which precludes them from voting.  The Earl of Snowden was granted one.

Anne, however, never had a substantive peerage.  Possibly excepting Wales, Prince/ess, or Princess Royal are not peerages.

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Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?

I don't think so.  One had to disclaim the peerage almost as soon as assenting to it.  People, most notably Winston Churchill, do decline peerages.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 15, 2012, 10:34:40 pm


Indeed, she's eligible to vote since she's a British citizen. However, as I read on the Monarchy's official website, neither Queen nor high-ranking members of the Royal Family (which certainly includes Princess Royal) does vote, as they believe it would be inappropriate for people supposed to be above any political issues.

She technically is not a British citizen, uniquely.  Others, such as Charles, William and Andrew, do have substantive peerages and a technical seat in the Lords, which precludes them from voting.  The Earl of Snowden was granted one.

Anne, however, never had a substantive peerage.  Possibly excepting Wales, Prince/ess, or Princess Royal are not peerages.

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Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?

I don't think so.  One had to disclaim the peerage almost as soon as assenting to it.  People, most notably Winston Churchill, do decline peerages.

I'll take that back; the Queen can vote:  http://www.parliament.uk/about/faqs/house-of-commons-faqs/elections-faq-page/


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: True Federalist on March 15, 2012, 10:41:18 pm
There was also a provision in effect from 1963 to 1999 for a lord to disclaim his peerage in order to be eligible for the Commons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peerage_Act_1963#List_of_disclaimed_peerages

Can a life peer disclaim her/his peerage too? Or once named a life peer, one stucks with the Lords forever?

You're stuck.  Disclaiming was established to allow hereditary peers to have the choice of choosing to remain eligible to be in the Commons.  You have to disclaim within twelve months of inheriting your title (or within twelve months of the passage of the act).  Life peers have chosen to accept their title, so there is no reason to allow them to disclaim it.

Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 15, 2012, 10:49:21 pm



Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: True Federalist on March 15, 2012, 11:25:35 pm
Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.

I mentioned already that you have to accept a life peerage, and only come the deluge would it be likely that a hereditary peerage could be forced upon someone.  Even if for some bizarre reason one could not refuse a hereditary peerage, I doubt it was a hereditary peerage Major was offered.  The last former PM to be granted a hereditary peerage was Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton.  Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher were created as life peers.  Heath was in advanced old age when he left the Commons and would not have been able to serve in the Lords.  Blair one-uped Major by not only declining a peerage, but also a knighthood. Brown is still in Commons.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 15, 2012, 11:52:37 pm
Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.

I mentioned already that you have to accept a life peerage, and only come the deluge would it be likely that a hereditary peerage could be forced upon someone.  Even if for some bizarre reason one could not refuse a hereditary peerage, I doubt it was a hereditary peerage Major was offered.  The last former PM to be granted a hereditary peerage was Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton.  Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher were created as life peers.  Heath was in advanced old age when he left the Commons and would not have been able to serve in the Lords.  Blair one-uped Major by not only declining a peerage, but also a knighthood. Brown is still in Commons.

As I mentioned earlier, Churchill declined a hereditary peerage, a dukedom, and died a commoner.

We might start seeing hereditary peerages being offered as a means of honoring someone, without giving them membership in the Lords


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: True Federalist on March 16, 2012, 09:46:00 am
We might start seeing hereditary peerages being offered as a means of honoring someone, without giving them membership in the Lords

And we could see a repeal of the 17th Amendment in this country.  While technically possible, politically it just is not going to happen.  The whole concept of an inheritable honor is not palatable in British politics these days.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 16, 2012, 02:16:27 pm
Checking the text of the act, newly created hereditary peers are also stuck, altho I think it is unlikely anymore hereditary peers that are not in the royal family are likely to be created these days.

You can decline a hereditary or life peerage when offered. Sir John Major declined one.

I mentioned already that you have to accept a life peerage, and only come the deluge would it be likely that a hereditary peerage could be forced upon someone.  Even if for some bizarre reason one could not refuse a hereditary peerage, I doubt it was a hereditary peerage Major was offered.  The last former PM to be granted a hereditary peerage was Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton.  Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher were created as life peers.  Heath was in advanced old age when he left the Commons and would not have been able to serve in the Lords.  Blair one-uped Major by not only declining a peerage, but also a knighthood. Brown is still in Commons.

Macmillan was not only the last PM created a hereditary peer, but also the last person created a hereditary peer in general (excluding certain members of the royal family). And the most recent non-royal to receive a hereditary title was Denis Thatcher in 1991 (Baronetage is, of course, below peerage).

So yes, other than for Royals, that won't participate in politics anyway, the United Kingdom does not award any new hereditary titles.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 17, 2012, 08:47:22 am
By the way, the future king Edward VII did broke a precedent by voting for the 1884 Representation of the People Bill in the House of Lords.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 17, 2012, 09:47:38 am


So yes, other than for Royals, that won't participate in politics anyway, the United Kingdom does not award any new hereditary titles.

That might change with the removal of any hereditary basis for selection in the upper house.

Right now, there are a few hereditary peers elected by their fellow hereditary peers in the house (I think 92).  In the 1999 reform, the idea was that this would be transitional and that they would be eliminated.  If that happens, hereditary peers will have no involvement in the membership in the House of Lords.  At that point, you might start seeing hereditary peerages being granted. 

Here are few examples:

1.  The country wishes to honor an individual, but doesn't want the person to vote in the Lords.  The person is created a viscount (or even a hereditary baron), but not granted a life peerage or with it a seat in the Lords.  (Someone such as John Cleese or Stephen Hawkins might fall into that category.)

2.  The country wants to honor an active politician in the Commons.  He is created an earl, but not given a life peerage; he continues to serve in the Commons.  (Heath or Churchill)

3.  A politician wants to retire from politics and doesn't want a seat in the Lords.  She is granted a hereditary peerage, made a viscountess, but without a seat in the Lords. (Major)

4.  Someone with a hereditary peerage might be upgraded for services.  An hereditary viscount might be created an earl for services.  (Marquess of Lothian)

A hereditary peerage may become purely honorary, while a life peerage becomes a purely political appointment.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: True Federalist on March 17, 2012, 10:12:53 pm
Let me debunk your examples for you.

So yes, other than for Royals, that won't participate in politics anyway, the United Kingdom does not award any new hereditary titles.

That might change with the removal of any hereditary basis for selection in the upper house.

Right now, there are a few hereditary peers elected by their fellow hereditary peers in the house (I think 92).  In the 1999 reform, the idea was that this would be transitional and that they would be eliminated.  If that happens, hereditary peers will have no involvement in the membership in the House of Lords.  At that point, you might start seeing hereditary peerages being granted. 

Here are few examples:

1.  The country wishes to honor an individual, but doesn't want the person to vote in the Lords.  The person is created a viscount (or even a hereditary baron), but not granted a life peerage or with it a seat in the Lords.  (Someone such as John Cleese or Stephen Hawkins might fall into that category.)

John Cleese turned down a CBE,  Stephen Hawkins has an OAM in addition to his 1992 Olympic Gold Medal in Double Sculls for Australia , and the Stephen Hawking you likely meant has a CH and CBE in addition be a member of the Royal Society


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2.  The country wants to honor an active politician in the Commons.  He is created an earl, but not given a life peerage; he continues to serve in the Commons.  (Heath or Churchill)

As for The Right Honourable Sir Winston Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA and The Right Honourable Sir Edward Heath KG MBE, you can see they too had their fair share of honors attached to their name.

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3.  A politician wants to retire from politics and doesn't want a seat in the Lords.  She is granted a hereditary peerage, made a viscountess, but without a seat in the Lords. (Major)
You mean The Rt Hon Sir John Major, KG, CH

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4.  Someone with a hereditary peerage might be upgraded for services.  An hereditary viscount might be created an earl for services.  (Marquess of Lothian)

The Marquess of Lothian was created in 1701, so I have no idea how you think that has any relevancy to today.  The commander British land forces in the the Falklands War, Sir John Jeremy Moore KCB, OBE, MC, gives a far more likely idea of what sorts of honors are likely to be given for military success today.

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A hereditary peerage may become purely honorary, while a life peerage becomes a purely political appointment.

There are already a plethora of honors the British crown can award without granting a life peerage.  Even the granting of hereditary baronetages that are not in the peerage has fallen out of favor.  The last one was to Sir Denis Thatcher, 1st Baronet, of Scotney in the County of Kent in 1990, and last before that had been several granted in the 1960s.

There is zero evidence that there is any call for the granting of new hereditary titles in Britain, and ample ways for the Crown to honor any of its worthy subjects without resuming the practice.  I'd have thought a member of Mensa would be able to grasp the obvious, but obviously I was wrong about that given the deluge of ill-founded reasons you have given for why the granting of hereditary titles could resume in Britain.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 18, 2012, 12:19:46 am


John Cleese turned down a CBE,  Stephen Hawkins has an OAM in addition to his 1992 Olympic Gold Medal in Double Sculls for Australia , and the Stephen Hawking you likely meant has a CH and CBE in addition be a member of the Royal Society.


Cleese turned his down because he thought it was political.  A hereditary peerage may not be regarded as one.  Hawking likewise might receive an additional hone.

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2.  The country wants to honor an active politician in the Commons.  He is created an earl, but not given a life peerage; he continues to serve in the Commons.  (Heath or Churchill)

As for The Right Honourable Sir Winston Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA and The Right Honourable Sir Edward Heath KG MBE, you can see they too had their fair share of honors attached to their name.

Churchill, and possibly Heath, turned it down because they wish to remain in the Commons; Churchill's some also wanted to pursue an career in the commons.  They could, today, with a hereditary peerage.


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3.  A politician wants to retire from politics and doesn't want a seat in the Lords.  She is granted a hereditary peerage, made a viscountess, but without a seat in the Lords. (Major)
You mean The Rt Hon Sir John Major, KG, CH

He turned the peerage because he thought a seat in the Lords was inconsistent with retiring from politics.  A heredity peerage carries no seat in the Lords

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4.  Someone with a hereditary peerage might be upgraded for services.  An hereditary viscount might be created an earl for services.  (Marquess of Lothian)

The Marquess of Lothian was created in 1701, so I have no idea how you think that has any relevancy to today.  The commander British land forces in the the Falklands War, Sir John Jeremy Moore KCB, OBE, MC, gives a far more likely idea of what sorts of honors are likely to be given for military success today.

The Marquess of Lothian was chair of the Conservative Party.

Sir Mike's immediate predecessor was General Michael John Dawson Walker, Baron Walker of Aldringham, GCB, CMG, CBE, ADC, DL

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A hereditary peerage may become purely honorary, while a life peerage becomes a purely political appointment.



And, even today, a peerage does confer a political right, a right to run for and vote in elections for, some seats in the Lords.  The "next phase" was to remove them, which has yet to happen.  I'd expect all hereditary peers to be removed, but, if so, I'd expect hereditary peerages to make a reappearance as an honorary title.

Simply put, if a future government wants to reward someone for exceptional service, but to grant that person any power, they may create the person an hereditary peerage, that carries no political rights.

I would add another possibility, judges. 


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Lemon flavoured on March 18, 2012, 07:29:48 am
I personally don't see the problem with creating new hereditary peerages, I just think it's unlikely to happen.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 18, 2012, 08:30:45 am
I personally don't see the problem with creating new hereditary peerages, I just think it's unlikely to happen.

I did see a problem with it, prior to 1999.  Their kids eventually show up and vote the way you don't want them to.  :)

Giving someone a title that can be passed on is a nice way of honoring the person.  It doesn't grant them any power (without a seat in the Lords); it gives them a legacy they can pass on to their children.  It doesn't cost anything.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: True Federalist on March 18, 2012, 10:00:07 am
And, even today, a peerage does confer a political right, a right to run for and vote in elections for, some seats in the Lords.  The "next phase" was to remove them, which has yet to happen.  I'd expect all hereditary peers to be removed, but, if so, I'd expect hereditary peerages to make a reappearance as an honorary title.

Why?  It makes no sense that it would happen.  As I already pointed out, there is already a hereditary title that confers no political privilege, baronet, which has been granted precisely once in the last half-century, and there is no indication that it is ever likely to be granted again.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 18, 2012, 02:11:58 pm
And, even today, a peerage does confer a political right, a right to run for and vote in elections for, some seats in the Lords.  The "next phase" was to remove them, which has yet to happen.  I'd expect all hereditary peers to be removed, but, if so, I'd expect hereditary peerages to make a reappearance as an honorary title.

Why?  It makes no sense that it would happen.  As I already pointed out, there is already a hereditary title that confers no political privilege, baronet, which has been granted precisely once in the last half-century, and there is no indication that it is ever likely to be granted again.

I think some of that was due to a worry that hereditary title, that conferred a seat in the Lords, would be back.  The baronetcy was seen as the narrow point of the wedge.  There were come comments to that effect prior to the two viscounts created by Thatcher.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 18, 2012, 02:18:29 pm
I don't think the British do consider it as proper to create any more hereditary titles, whether said title would giving one seat in the Lords or not.

Look at the baronetage: a hereditary title that does not give one seat in the Lords and is not a peerage at all, but they resigned from creating any more Baronets.

Knighthoods and similar distinctions? Those are not hereditary honors.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: politicus on March 18, 2012, 02:19:24 pm
The connecting between peerage and upper class status might also be a barrier to reintroducing it.
Hereditary peerages was closely connected to wealth and pedigree. General Roberts was the last "pauper" who was made a lord (after the Boer War) and he received a grant of 100.000 pounds, which was a sh**tload of money back then, so he could live like a lord. After him only wealthy people or members of noble families have been offered hereditary lordships.

(One of the Thatcher viscountcies was an exception to this rule)

Churchill was a grandson of the Duke of Marlborough so he had the standing to be offered a dukedom (Dover or London), but he refused. Which helped reduce the prestige connected with a peerage.

I think that even today there several peers are quite poor there is something strange about making an upper middle class politician/judge/ scientist living in an ordinary house a lord or earl. Their children might also have quite ordinary jobs, so you would have the Earl of Whatsitsname being a librarian or something.

Knighthoods should be sufficient for honouring people. Hardly any European countries ennoble people these days.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 18, 2012, 02:27:19 pm
Knighthoods should be sufficient for honouring people. Hardly any European countries ennoble people these days.

Spain does, although I don't know how frequently. For example, Mario Vargas Llosa was created 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa in 2011 (and, as you can see, the title is hereditary).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think such title gives one any political privileges.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 18, 2012, 11:16:30 pm
Knighthoods should be sufficient for honouring people. Hardly any European countries ennoble people these days.

Spain does, although I don't know how frequently. For example, Mario Vargas Llosa was created 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa in 2011 (and, as you can see, the title is hereditary).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think such title gives one any political privileges.

According to Wikipedia, both Belgium and Spain give hereditary ennoblement; Spain uses ennoblement as an honor system, as noted.

I would add that a number of hereditary barons were from humble origins and got their titles by some government work.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: politicus on March 19, 2012, 07:07:56 am
Knighthoods should be sufficient for honouring people. Hardly any European countries ennoble people these days.

Spain does, although I don't know how frequently. For example, Mario Vargas Llosa was created 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa in 2011 (and, as you can see, the title is hereditary).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think such title gives one any political privileges.

According to Wikipedia, both Belgium and Spain give hereditary ennoblement; Spain uses ennoblement as an honor system, as noted.
Which is a clear minority among European monarchies.

I would add that a number of hereditary barons were from humble origins and got their titles by some government work.
I got my info on this from British historian David Cannadine's "The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy" (1990). A very thorough and well written analysis of how the nobility came to lose their position as the most powerfull, glamorous and wealthy in the land. But it is of course a matter of how you define "humble origins". According to Cannadine there was an expectation that people where supposed to live in style and they had to be provided for in some way, if they didn't have the means to do that, thus Roberts grant. After Lloyd George financed the Liberal Party by selling peerages to nouveaux riche types in early 1920s the authorities became very reluctant to give peerages to people not already members of noble families.

Most European monarchies have given up hereditary ennoblement. So Britain is in line with the mainstream trend on this one, but "hardly any" was clearly too strong a phrase.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 19, 2012, 10:22:13 am

I got my info on this from British historian David Cannadine's "The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy" (1990). A very thorough and well written analysis of how the nobility came to lose their position as the most powerfull, glamorous and wealthy in the land. But it is of course a matter of how you define "humble origins". According to Cannadine there was an expectation that people where supposed to live in style and they had to be provided for in some way, if they didn't have the means to do that, thus Roberts grant. After Lloyd George financed the Liberal Party by selling peerages to nouveaux riche types in early 1920s the authorities became very reluctant to give peerages to people not already members of noble families.

First of all, I think there are some very big differences when you compare other monarchies.  Sweden, do not, effectively, serve as the font of honor for its subjects.  Norway basically abolished nobility in the early 1800's.

I would also disagree with the premise that only people from noble families received peerages.  Attlee is a good example, but a number of the pre-1964 hereditary barons were not of noble families.

A major difference is that, until 1999, hereditary nobility had a limited role in governing the UK.  That might be the key.  You knew that, unless the peer was 80 and unmarried, there was a pretty good chance that his descendants were going to show up and vote.  Atlee's grandson, for example, is a Conservative elected peer.

By giving hereditary peerages, not tied to a seat in the Lords, you can reward someone with something that can be passed on, but has no political effect, at least once all the hereditary peers are removed.




Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: politicus on March 19, 2012, 10:41:24 am

I got my info on this from British historian David Cannadine's "The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy" (1990). A very thorough and well written analysis of how the nobility came to lose their position as the most powerfull, glamorous and wealthy in the land. But it is of course a matter of how you define "humble origins". According to Cannadine there was an expectation that people where supposed to live in style and they had to be provided for in some way, if they didn't have the means to do that, thus Roberts grant. After Lloyd George financed the Liberal Party by selling peerages to nouveaux riche types in early 1920s the authorities became very reluctant to give peerages to people not already members of noble families.

First of all, I think there are some very big differences when you compare other monarchies.  Sweden, do not, effectively, serve as the font of honor for its subjects.
Dont know what you mean. Sweden ennobled explorer Sven Hedin as late as 1902. In principle Sweden can still ennoble people, they just choose not to. They have orders as well. The reform in 1975 only changed the major orders

"Apart from the national, official system of orders, Sweden, like most other countries, has a number of official and quasi-official orders, foremost among them being the Order of King Carl XIII, of which The King is Grand Master. The quasi-official orders include the Order of St John in Sweden.
Other recognised orders are the Grand Order of the Amaranth, instituted by Queen Kristina in 1653, and the Order of Innocence, both of which are to be regarded as fraternities/sororities or "social orders".

Several orders - the Order of Carpenters, the Order of Good Templars and the Order of Odd Fellows, for example - work for various scholarly, idealistic and humanitarian purposes".


Norway basically abolished nobility in the early 1800's.
1814 to be precise. But they are the only monarchy without a nobility so thats not really relevant.

I would also disagree with the premise that only people from noble families received peerages.  Attlee is a good example, but a number of the pre-1964 hereditary barons were not of noble families.
Never claimed that only nobles got peerages. Nobles or rich - with a few exceptions.

A major difference is that, until 1999, hereditary nobility had a limited role in governing the UK.  That might be the key.  You knew that, unless the peer was 80 and unmarried, there was a pretty good chance that his descendants were going to show up and vote.  Atlee's grandson, for example, is a Conservative elected peer.
I think the reason is much more likely, that the whole concept of inherited nobility was just too outdated after WW2.

By giving hereditary peerages, not tied to a seat in the Lords, you can reward someone with something that can be passed on, but has no political effect, at least once all the hereditary peers are removed.
True. But why do it? The whole idea of ennoblement is dying out in the rest of Europe. Giving people an order or an honorary title works just fine.




Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 19, 2012, 12:47:25 pm


Dont know what you mean. Sweden ennobled explorer Sven Hedin as late as 1902. In principle Sweden can still ennoble people, they just choose not to. They have orders as well. The reform in 1975 only changed the major orders

The don't even give knighthoods to Swedes anymore.

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Never claimed that only nobles got peerages. Nobles or rich - with a few exceptions.

Even that isn't accurate.  You had a few (Attlee, for example) who were neither noble nor rich, but were ennobled because of public service.

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I think the reason is much more likely, that the whole concept of inherited nobility was just too outdated after WW2.

You still had them being created a decade later and you had the sitting until 1999.

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True. But why do it? The whole idea of ennoblement is dying out in the rest of Europe. Giving people an order or an honorary title works just fine.


Except it really isn't.  As noted, Spain has done it and there are a few reasons to do it particular to the UK (judges, upgrades, the ability to sit in the Commons).


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: politicus on March 19, 2012, 01:36:57 pm
Cmon! You are not reading what I write. Stop deliberately misunderstanding me.



Don't know what you mean. Sweden ennobled explorer Sven Hedin as late as 1902. In principle Sweden can still ennoble people, they just choose not to. They have orders as well. The reform in 1975 only changed the major orders

The don't even give knighthoods to Swedes anymore.
No, not in the so called official orders (Vasa etc.). But see my last post for the relevant orders and honours still in use.

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Never claimed that only nobles got peerages. Nobles or rich - with a few exceptions.

Even that isn't accurate.  You had a few (Attlee, for example) who were neither noble nor rich, but were ennobled because of public service.
Hence the line - with a few exceptions!

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I think the reason is much more likely, that the whole concept of inherited nobility was just too outdated after WW2.

You still had them being created a decade later and you had them sitting until 1999.
Only a few. By 1999 the whole system was already extremely anachronistic.

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True. But why do it? The whole idea of ennoblement is dying out in the rest of Europe. Giving people an order or an honorary title works just fine.

Except it really isn't.  As noted, Spain has done it.
Again. A few exceptions doesn't make a rule. General pattern is the idea is dying out.

and there are a few reasons to do it particular to the UK

Judges:Law lords works fine. Why on earth ennoble judges?

Upgrades:If you mean promoting a viscount to earl or something that is another matter. But many old families prefer a lower title and a higher number to signal they go way back.

The ability to sit in the Commons:What do you mean?? Anybody can sit in the HoC


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Kalwejt on March 19, 2012, 03:17:15 pm
By giving hereditary peerages, not tied to a seat in the Lords, you can reward someone with something that can be passed on, but has no political effect, at least once all the hereditary peers are removed.

Why would they give any more hereditary titles?

If you want to honor someone, lifetime honour is sufficient enough.

I think it's safe to say that hereditary honours are thing of the past. It's totally passť, J.J. and would probably be unpopular.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 19, 2012, 03:50:38 pm
By giving hereditary peerages, not tied to a seat in the Lords, you can reward someone with something that can be passed on, but has no political effect, at least once all the hereditary peers are removed.

Why would they give any more hereditary titles?

If you want to honor someone, lifetime honour is sufficient enough.

I think it's safe to say that hereditary honours are thing of the past. It's totally passť, J.J. and would probably be unpopular.

Higher precedence.  Able to award judges.  Not limited by number (as some grades of knighthood are).  A way to recognize additional service for people with a title.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on March 19, 2012, 04:12:53 pm
They had a problem with having the law lords sitting in the House.  It was a treaty violation.

Also, there were about 80 hereditary barons created after 1946, inclusive.

Since 1974-75, Swedish citizens, except for the Royal Family, are no longer eligible for Swedish orders, politicus.  My source is the Swedish Royal Court.  http://www.kungahuset.se/royalcourt/monarchy/orders/theordersinsweden.4.396160511584257f2180005761.html


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Lemon flavoured on April 04, 2012, 05:01:16 pm
I personally don't see the problem with creating new hereditary peerages, I just think it's unlikely to happen.

I did see a problem with it, prior to 1999.  Their kids eventually show up and vote the way you don't want them to.  :)

Giving someone a title that can be passed on is a nice way of honoring the person.  It doesn't grant them any power (without a seat in the Lords); it gives them a legacy they can pass on to their children.  It doesn't cost anything.

Exactly. It's pretty meaningless now there's no guarantee of being able to sit in the Lords (although it's still possible until they remove the by-election thing they do).


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on April 05, 2012, 08:17:32 am
I personally don't see the problem with creating new hereditary peerages, I just think it's unlikely to happen.

I did see a problem with it, prior to 1999.  Their kids eventually show up and vote the way you don't want them to.  :)

Giving someone a title that can be passed on is a nice way of honoring the person.  It doesn't grant them any power (without a seat in the Lords); it gives them a legacy they can pass on to their children.  It doesn't cost anything.

Exactly. It's pretty meaningless now there's no guarantee of being able to sit in the Lords (although it's still possible until they remove the by-election thing they do).

They could go the final step and remove the elected hereditary peers, but establish hereditary peerages as a title of honor (or honour, as the case may be).  If you (and "you" is ultimately the sovereign on the advice of the PM) really want to honor someone, you can give them an earldom and a life peerage.  When the First Earl dies, his son becomes the Second Earl, but not a seat in the Lords.  You honor the person, your honor of him extends beyond life (or can, at least), but you don't give any of those heirs any political power (though they could earn it).


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: Gary J on July 07, 2012, 03:57:21 pm
There is a government bill, now before the House of Commons, which would end the link between having a peerage (whether hereditary or for life) and being a member of the House of Lords. It is intended to have 80% elected and 20% appointed members, serving a nonrenewable 15 year term. In addition there would be a reduced number of 12 Church of England prelates and some ministerial members.

A provision of the bill would allow life peers to disclaim their title.

The bill has its second reading on Tuesday 10th July.

In 2009 serving judges were removed from the House of Lords, when the Supreme Court took over the House's judicial role. Supreme Court justices, who are peers, are not able to sit in the existing House of Lords until they retire from the Supreme Court. Supreme Court justices, who are not peers, are given a judicial title of Lord (as has happened with the Scottish judiciary for centuries) without being made peers.

Whatever the existing rules and precedents may be about peerages, they can always be changed for the future.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: The Conflict on July 07, 2012, 10:03:26 pm
Cmon! You are not reading what I write. Stop deliberately misunderstanding me.

Telling J. J. to stop doing that is like telling a fish to stop swimming.


Title: Re: Hereditary Peerage question
Post by: J. J. on July 09, 2012, 08:59:56 am
There is a government bill, now before the House of Commons, which would end the link between having a peerage (whether hereditary or for life) and being a member of the House of Lords. It is intended to have 80% elected and 20% appointed members, serving a nonrenewable 15 year term. In addition there would be a reduced number of 12 Church of England prelates and some ministerial members.

A provision of the bill would allow life peers to disclaim their title.

I like this, with the exception of the term limit.  There are a few members of the Lords that are chosen for their expertize in specific fields (usually non-political fields).  I think they could easily still be valuable as members 3-4 decades later.

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In 2009 serving judges were removed from the House of Lords, when the Supreme Court took over the House's judicial role. Supreme Court justices, who are peers, are not able to sit in the existing House of Lords until they retire from the Supreme Court. Supreme Court justices, who are not peers, are given a judicial title of Lord (as has happened with the Scottish judiciary for centuries) without being made peers.



And, they could be given a substantial peerage without a seat in the Lords.