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An English lord is a person who has the right to sit in with the House of Lords in Great Britain. The House of Lords has both legislative and judicial duties, including trials of peers and impeachment cases. An appointment by the Queen is usually required to become a lord, although there are other ways to achieve this title.
The first way to become a lord is by receiving a life peerage. This title cannot be passed on to future generations, and it is normally given to those who have performed an exemplary service for the country. The Prime Minister nominates people for this honor, and then the Queen can choose whether or not to appoint them.
Law lords are also appointed by the Queen, after being nominated by the Prime Minister. To receive a lordship this way, you must first be a judge in the court of appeals, and catch the attention of the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor can then recommend you to the Prime Minister. Judges in the Court of Appeal in England, Wales, and North Ireland, as well as those in the Court of Session in Scotland are all eligible for this.
A third way to obtain a title is to be either a bishop or an archbishop. There are 26 archbishops and bishops who get a seat in the House of Lords. Upon retirement, this seat is passed along to the next most senior bishop in service. Archbishops of York and Canterbury are often offered life peerages when they retire, making them lords for the rest of their lives.
Some peerages are inherited. This is true of some of the oldest families in the United Kingdom. It is difficult to become a lord in this manner, unless you happen to be lucky enough to marry into an entitled family with no sons to pass the title onto. Lords who have inherited their titles no longer get a seat in the House of Lords after a change in legislature in 1999, but they do get to keep the actual title.
There are a few companies that sell titles, along with small plots of land, as souvenir gifts. The recipient will receive certificates, deeds, and other paperwork stating that he or she is now a lord or lady of a private estate — usually a 1 foot (30 cm) square plot. These peerages do not enable you to hold a seat in the House of Lords or to enjoy any of the other privileges of being a lord or lady, but they make great novelty items. Some of these titles can be inherited by future generations, but most cannot be passed on. Many of these offers are scams, however, so it is worth the extra time to research a company before buying a title through them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone become an English Lord?
Traditionally, becoming an English Lord was a matter of inheritance or royal appointment. However, in modern times, it is possible for individuals to purchase the title of 'Lord of the Manor' through private sales or auctions. It's important to note that this does not confer noble status or a peerage recognized by the British government, but it can allow one to use the title 'Lord' in a social context.
What are the benefits of purchasing a Lordship title?
Purchasing a Lordship title often comes with the right to call oneself 'Lord' or 'Lady' and may include a small parcel of land. While it does not grant any legal privileges or status in the UK peerage system, it can be a unique gift or personal novelty. Some services also offer a decorative certificate and may list your name in a registry of titleholders.
How much does it cost to buy a Lordship title?
The cost of buying a Lordship title can vary widely depending on the history and desirability of the title. Prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds. It's essential to research and ensure you're purchasing through a reputable source to avoid scams. Websites like 'Lord Titles' offer Lordship titles for purchase, with prices starting around £195.
Is the title of Lord legally recognized after purchase?
The title of 'Lord' purchased through non-governmental entities is not legally recognized in the sense of nobility or peerage. It is more of a courtesy title that can be used in social situations. It does not grant any legal rights, privileges, or status within the British aristocracy. However, the purchase often includes a deed poll service to legally change your name to include 'Lord' or 'Lady.'
How do I ensure that the Lordship title I'm buying is legitimate?
To ensure the legitimacy of a Lordship title purchase, conduct thorough research and buy from a reputable seller. Check for customer reviews, the seller's history, and any available documentation about the title's origins. It's also wise to understand exactly what you're buying, as some titles are purely decorative. Legal advice can also be beneficial before making such a purchase to understand the implications fully.