Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/285

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271
PRECEDENCE


(t 1) wives of the sovereign's nephews;' (13) wives of dukes of the blood royal; (14) duchesses;2 (15) wives of eldest sons of dukes of the blood royal; (16) marchionesses; (17) wives of the eldest sons of dukes; (18) dukes' daughter sf (19) countesses; (20) wives of younger sons of dukes of the blood royal; (21) wives of the eldest sons of marquesses; (22) marquesses' daughters; (23) wives of the younger sons of dukes; (24) viscountesses; (25) wives of the eldest sons of earls; (26) earls' daughters, (27) wives of the younger sons of marquesses; (28) baronesses; (29) wives of the eldest sons of viscounts; (30) viscounts' daughters; (31) wives of the younger sons of earls; (32) wives of the eldest sons of barons; (33) barons' daughters; (34) maids of honour to the queen# (35) wives of knights of the Garter; (36) wives of knights bannerets made by the sovereign in person; (37) wives of the younger sons of viscounts; (38) wives of the younger sons of barons; (39) baronets' wives; (40) wives of knights bannerets not made by the sovereign in person; (41) wives of knights of the Thistle; (42) Wives of knights of St Patrick; (43) wives of knights grand crosses of the Bath, grand commanders of the Star of India, and grand crosses of St Michael and St George; (44) wives of knights commanders of the Bath, the Star of India, and St Michael and St George; (45) knights bachelors' wives; (46) wives of the eldest sons of the younger sons of peers; (47) daughters of the younger sons of peers; (48) wives of the eldest sons of baronets; (49) baronets' daughters; (50) wives of the eldest sons of knights; (51) knights' daughters; (52) wives of the younger sons of baronets; (53) wives of the younger sons of knights;5 (54) wives of commanders of the Royal Victorian Order, companions of the Bath, the Star of India, St Michael and St George, and the Indian Empire; (55) wives of members of the 4th class Royal Victorian Order; (56) wives of esquires;° (57) gentlewomen;7

A special table of precedence in Scotland is regulated by a royal warrant dated the 16th of March 1905, and a special table of precedence in Ireland was set forth by authority of the Lord Lieutenant (Jan. 2, 1895). Both contain errors and will probably be revised.

Attention to the foregoing tables will show that general precedence is of different kinds as well as of several degrees. It is first either personal or official, and secondly either substantive or derivative. Personal precedence belongs to the royal 1 There is no act of parliament or ordinance of the Crown regulating the precedence of the female members of the royal family. But the above is the gradation which appears to have become established among them, and follows the analogy supplied by the act for the placing of the lords in the case of their husbands and brothers.

2 Peeresses in their own right and peeresses by marriage are ranked together, the 'first in their own precedence and the second in the precedence of their husbands.

3 Among the daughters of peers there is no distinction between the eldest and the younger as there is among the sons of peers. Their precedence is immediately after the wives of their eldest brothers, and several degrees above the wives of their younger brothers. They are placed among themselves in the precedence of their fathers. But the daughter of the premier duke or baron ranks after the wife of the eldest son of the junior duke or baron. 4 Maids of honour to the queen are the only women who have any official precedence. They have the style or title of honourable, and are placed immediately after barons' daughters by Sir Bernard Burke, the rank which is accorded to them by the etiquette of society. But Sir Charles Young does not assign any precedence to them, and We do not know on what authority the Ulster king of arms does so, although he is by no means singular in the course he has taken.

“The wives of baronets and knights, the wives of the eldest sons and the daughters of the younger sons of peers, and the wives of the sons and the daughters of baronets and knights are all placed severally in the precedence of their respective husbands, husbands fathers and fathers.

° “ Esquire ” and “gentleman ” are not names of “dignity ” but names of “ worship, ” and esquires and gentlemen do not, in SU'1CU1€SS, convey or transmit any precedence to their wives or children (see Coke, Insl. ii., “ Of Additions, ” p. 667). " "And generous and generosa are good additions: and if a gentlewoman be named Spinster in any original writ, 'i.e. appeal or indictment, she may abate and quash the same, for she hath as good right to that addition as Baroness, Viscountess, Marchioness or Duchess have to theirs " (Coke, Inst. ii., “OfAdditions, ” p. 668). family, the peerage and certain specified classes of the commonalty. Official precedence belongs to such of the dignitaries of the Church and such of the ministers of state and the household as have had rank and place accorded to them by parliament or the Crown, to the speaker of the House of Commons and to the members of the privy council and the judicature. Substantive precedence, which may be either personal or official, belongs to all those whose rank and place are enjoyed by them independently of their Connexion with anybody else, as by the archbishop of Canterbury, the lord high chancellor or the lord great Chamberlain, peers and peeresses, baronets, knights and some esquires. Derivative precedence, which can only be personal, belongs to all those whose rank and place are determined by their consanguinity with or affinity to somebody else, as the lineal and collateral relations of the sovereign, the sons, daughters and daughters-in-law of peers and peeresses in their own right, and the wives, sons, daughters and daughters-in-law of baronets, knights and some esquires.. It is to be observed, however, that the precedence of the sovereign is at once official and personal, and that the precedence of peeresses by marriage is at once derivative and substantive. In the case of the sovereign it is his or her actual tenure of the office of king or queen which regulates the rank and place of the various members of the royal family, and in the case of peeresses by marriage, although their rank and place are derivative in origin, yet they are substantive in continuance, since during overture and widowhood peeresses by marriage are as much peeresses as peeresses in their own right, and their legal and political status is precisely the same as if they had acquired it by creation or inheritance. Bearing the above definitions and explanations in mind, the following canons or rules may be found practically useful:- 1. Anybody who is entitled to both personal and official precedence is to be placed according to that which implies the higher rank. If, for example, a baron and a baronet are both privy councillors, the precedence of the first is that of a baron and the precedence of the second is that of a privy councillor. And similarly, except as hereafter stated, with respect to the holders of two or more personal or two or more official dignities.

2. Save in the case of the sovereign, official rank can never supply the foundation for derivative rank. Hence the official precedence of a husband or father affords no indication of the personal precedence of his wife or children. The wives and children, for example, of the archbishop of Canterbury, the lord high chancellor or the speaker of the House of Commons do not participate in their official rank but only in their personal rank, whatever it may be.

3. Among subjects men alone can convey derivative rank, except in the case of the daughters and sisters of the sovereign, or of peeresses in their own right. But no man can acquire any rank or place by marriage. The sons-in-law or brothers-in-law of the sovereign and the husbands of peeresses in their own right have as such no precedence whatever. And the daughter and heiress of the premier duke of England, unless she happens to be also a peeress in her own right, does not transmit any rank or place to her children.

4. Within the limits of the peerage derivative rank is as a rule always merged in personal, as distinguished from official, substantive rank. If, for example, the younger son of a duke is created a baron or inherits a barony, his precedence ceases to be that of a duke's younger son and becomes that of a baron. But where the eldest son of a duke, a marquess or an earl is summoned to the House of Lords in a barony of his father's, or succeeds as or is created a baron, he is still, as before, “ commonly called ” by some superior title of peerage, as marquess, earl or Viscount, and retains his derivative precedence on all occasions, except in parliament or at ceremonies which he attends in his character as a peer. The younger sons of all peers, however, who are created or who inherit peerages-which they often do under special limitations-are everywhere placed according to their substantive rank, no matter how inferior it may be to their derivative rank. But if the son of a duke or a