Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

29/9/2007

British nobility

The nobility of the four constituent home nations of the United Kingdom has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although in the present day nobles do not command anywhere near as much power as they have done in the past. The British nobility constists of two entities, the peerage and gentry. [Usually the gentry are considered separate from the nobility, for example, by Merriam-Webster’s, Webster’s and Encarta Dictionary.] Members of the peerage are titled (duke, marquess, earl, viscount, baron), frequently referred to as peers or lords. The rest of the nobility is referred as gentry, and with the exception of the baronet, which is a title of hereditary knight, or of those that are knighted (for life), being called Sir X Y, they bear no titles apart from the qualification of esquire or gentleman (which is a legal qualification). for more click here

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