I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Regency Forms of Address

What to do when one encounters a member of peerage while out and about? What does one call the Earl's mama? What's the difference between a baron and a viscount? In movies, lords are often called Your Majesty. Is that accurate?

In a word, no. And as for the earlier questions, well...that's tricky. One addresses members of the peerage according to a particular set of rules.

First of all, Your Majesty is reserved for the Sovereign (today, Queen Elizabeth II). In the Regency period, the Prince Regent was always  addressed as Your Royal Highness, and after that, Sir. (Today, Prince Charles is styled as His Royal Highness.)

Following the Royal Family, the peerage has five descending grades: Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, and Baron. Peers are men and are considered noble. Wives and children of peers are considered commoners (Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of an earl, was a commoner when she married Prince Charles--she was not a princess in her own right). Children, primarily first-born sons, often receive a courtesy title of lesser rank, and it is not until their father dies that they inherit the father's title and are considered peers.

Peers have surnames as well as titles. Rarely they are the same (as in the case of Lady Diana Spencer, whose father was Earl Spencer).

First names were used depending on family preference. Often, a peer was referred to by his title rather than his first name, even by his close family. But not always.

I have also included Lords of Parliament in my list, which is a Scottish title. You'll also see Baronets listed, although they are not peers but commoners. However, the title is hereditary.
DUKEDuke  (David Moneybags, the Duke of Bigbucks)
   Introduced as:   His Grace the Duke of Bigbucks
   Referred to as: His Grace
   In Speech: Your Grace

Duchess (Davinia Moneybags, the Duchess of Bigbucks)
    Introduced as: Her Grace the Duchess of Bigbucks
    Referred to as: Her Grace
    In Speech: Your Grace
    Dowager: Her Grace Elinor, Duchess of Bigbucks or Her Grace the Dowager Duchess of Bigbucks

Eldest Son (George Moneybags, The Marquess of Midas -- courtesy title)
    Introduced as: The Marquess of Midas
    In Speech: Lord Midas

Younger Son (Henry Moneybags)
    Introduced as: Lord Henry Moneybags
    In Speech: Lord Henry

Daughter (Olivia Moneybags)
    Introduced as: Lady Olivia  Moneybags
    In Speech: Lady Olivia


MARQUESS (Sometimes Marquis)

Marquess (John Awesome, the Marquess of Fabulous)
    Introduced as: The Marquess of Fabulous
    Referred to as: Lord Fabulous
    In Speech: Lord Fabulous, My Lord, or Your Lordship
    Referred to by employee as: My Lord or Your Lordship

Marchioness (Emily Awesome, the Marchioness of Fabulous)
    Introduced as: The Marchioness of Fabulous
    Referred to as: Lady Fabulous
    In Speech: Madam, Lady Fabulous (not my lady)
    Referred to by employee as: My Lady, Your Ladyship
    Dowager: Mary, Marchioness of Fabulous, or the Dowager Marchioness of Fabulous

Eldest Son (Charles Awesome, the Earl of Cool -- courtesy title)
    Introduced as: The Earl of Cool
    In Speech: Lord Cool

Younger Son (William Awesome)
    Introduced as: Lord William Awesome
    In Speech: Lord William

Daughter (Sarah Awesome)
    Introduced as: Lady Sarah Awesome
    In Speech: Lady Sarah


EARL

Earl (Sylvester Goodlooks, the Earl of Handsome)
    Introduced as: The Earl of Handsome
    Referred to as: Lord Handsome
    In Speech: Lord Handsome, My Lord, or Your Lordship
    Referred to by employee as: My Lord or Your Lordship
Countess (Jane Goodlooks, the Countess of Handsome)
    Introduced as: The Countess of Handsome
    Referred to as: Lady Handsome
    In Speech: Lady Handsome, Your Ladyship (not my lady)
    Referred to by employee as: My Lady or Your Ladyship
    Dowager: Elizabeth, Countess of Handsome or The Dowager Countess of Handsome

Eldest Son (Andrew Goodlooks, the Viscount Comely--courtesy title)
    Introduced as: The Viscount Comely
    In Speech: Lord Comely

Younger Son (Bertram Goodlooks)
    Introduced as: Lord Bertram Goodlooks
    In Speech: Lord Bertram

Daughter (Georgiana Goodlooks)
    Introduced as: Lady Georgiana Goodlooks
    In Speech: Lady Georgiana


VISCOUNT

Viscount (Edmund Jewel, the Viscount Diamond--note, there is no "of" in the title)
    Introduced as: The Viscount Diamond
    Referred to as: Lord Diamond
    In Speech: Lord Diamond, My Lord
    Referred to by employee as: My Lord, or Your Lordship

Viscountess (Gemma Jewel, the Viscountess Diamond)
    Introduced as: The Viscountess Diamond
    Referred to as: Lady Diamond
    In Speech: Lady Diamond, Madam (not My Lady)
    Referred to by employee as: My Lady
    Dowager: Sapphira, Viscountess Diamond, or The Dowager Viscountess Diamond
Eldest Son (The Honorable Robert Jewel)
    Introduced as: Mr. Robert Jewel
    In Speech: Mr. Jewel

Younger Son (The Honorable Giles Jewel)
    Introduced as: Mr. Giles Jewel
    In Speech: Mr. Jewel

Eldest Daughter (The Honorable Emeraldine Jewel)
    Introduced as: Miss Emeraldine Jewel
    In Speech: Miss Jewel

Younger Daughter (The Honorable Pearl Jewel)
    Introduced as: Miss Pearl Jewel
    In Speech: Miss Pearl Jewel (includes first name)


BARON

Baron (Peter Storehouse, Baron Gold)
    Introduced as: The Lord Gold
    Referred to as: Lord Gold
    In Speech: My Lord or Your Lordship
    Referred to by employee as: My Lord or Your Lordship

Baroness (Eliza Storehouse, Baroness Gold)
    Introduced as: The Lady Gold
    Referred to as: Lady Gold, Madam (not my lady)
    In Speech: Lady Gold
    Referred to by employee as: Your Ladyship
    Dowager: The Right Hon. the Dowager Lady Gold or Caroline, Lady Gold
Son (The Honorable Hugh Storehouse)
    Introduced as: Mr. Hugh Storehouse
    In Speech: Mr. Storehouse

Eldest Daughter (The Honorable Aurora Storehouse)
    Introduced as: Miss Aurora Storehouse
    In Speech: Miss Storehouse

Younger Daughter (The Honorable Cassandra Storehouse)
    Introduced as: Miss Cassandra Storehouse
    In Speech: Miss Cassandra Storehouse


(LORD OF PARLIAMENT -- a Scottish title which would fall here in order of succession)

Lord of Parliament (Angus MacDonald, The Lord Haggis)
    Introduced as: The Lord Haggis
    Referred to as: Lord Haggis
    In Speech: My Lord
    Referred to by employee as: My Lord

Lady (Flora MacDonald, Lady Haggis)
    Introduced as:   The Lady Haggis
    Referred to as: Lady Haggis
    In Speech: Lady Haggis
    Referred to by employee as: Your ladyship

Oldest Son (Alexander MacDonald, The Master of Haggis)
    Introduced as: The Master of Haggis
    Referred to as: The Master
    In Speech: The Master
Younger Son (Fergus MacDonald)
    Introduced as: Mr. Fergus MacDonald
    In Speech: Mr. MacDonald

Daughter (Fiona MacDonald)
    Introduced as: Miss Flora MacDonald
    In Speech: Miss MacDonald


BARONET

Baronet (Thomas Pleasant)
    Introduced as: Sir Thomas Pleasant
    Referred to as: Sir Thomas
    In Speech: Sir Thomas
    Referred to by employee as: Sir Thomas

Wife (Anne Pleasant)
    Introduced as: Lady Anne Pleasant
    Referred to as: Lady Pleasant, Madam
    In Speech: Lady Pleasant, Your Ladyship
    Referred to by employee as: My Lady
    Dowager: Dowager Lady Pleasant

Son (Edward Pleasant)
    Introduced as: Mr. Edward Pleasant
    In Speech: Mr. Pleasant
Eldest Daughter (Lydia Pleasant)
    Introduced as: Miss Lydia Pleasant
    In Speech: Miss Pleasant

Younger Daughter (Maria Pleasant)
    Introduced as: Miss Maria Pleasant
    In Speech: Miss Maria Pleasant


KNIGHT

Knight (Richard Braveheart)
    Sir Richard Braveheart

Wife (Georgiana)
    Lady Braveheart

The various orders of knighthood are not hereditary.
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Taken from my website. For more Regency and Victorian Americana, pop on over!

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