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Re: New Peerage? (fwd)

Poster: nostrand@pi.math.wsu.edu (Barbara Nostrand)

Noble Cousins!

Lord Aedric the Green wrote concerning the proposal allocate the title
Marquis to all non-royal peers and to make peerage available separate
from admission to one of the extant orders:

>>No, please don't do this!  We already have a horrendous enough problem
>>(in my mind) that while we may have so-called Orders in the Peerage, we
>>actually have three separate-but-equal (US historical implications intended)
>>Peerages that don't fit history.  Adding any more complexity is merely
>>making it all worse.

Actually, adding the title Marquis would represent a simplification.  The
peerage itself would carry the title Marquis.  That would be the peerage.
The rest of it would be orders of peers.  This would actually place the
chivalry, the order of the laurel and the order of the pelican on the same
footing as the order of the rose which works this way already.

>> ... historically all Peers were within one system, used the same titles
>>in an absolute list (within a country, of course), but were elevated for
>>various reasons, thus the reason of having orders.

Historically, peers (big time nobles which the ruling prince had to listen
to) had titles of nobility.  Marquis is a title of nobility, knight and
master are not historically titles of nobility.  If anything, assigning
Marquis to the three orders of chivalry, laurel and pelican would serve
to equate there rank.

>>Now, the SCA decided to make it so that we (currently) have three Orders
>>for the Knight-equivalent, of which only one (Chivalry) actually uses the
>>traditional ranks and the others borrow from the old Guilds.

Well.  The chivalry also includes "masters" and has done so since at least
the time of Flieg.  Master is not an unreasonable title in association with
knighthood.  Historically, there were also Knights bachelor.  Historically,
knighthood was not a unified thing, but had degrees.  Generally, the pinacle
of knighthood was admission to one of the chivalric orders.  The greatest
problem with our current chivalric order is that it lacks an order name.  I
just posted a note about this moments ago.  My current notion is that it
should be given the name "Order of the Golden Spur".  They would retain all
of the current regalia, etc.  NOTE.  They are already using golden spurs as
one of their symbols, and this is the only symbol held in common by the knights
and the masters of arms.

>>Now, it is suggested that we add another rank for those whom the Crown decides
>>are worthy of the Peerage, but do not belong in a particular Order.

I think that this misses the very important detail that the title "Marquis"
would be freely available to all members of the Order of Chivalry, Order of
the Laurel and Order of the Pelican.  Many people in our society have multiple
titles of nobility as it is.  The same person can be a Duke, a Viscount and
a Baron and nobody blinks an eyelash.  Holding multiple titles is actually
very very period.  This is NOT something that we should be trying to avoid.

NOTE.  Very very technically, the Orders of the Laurel and Pelican are
knightly orders.  Read some of the postings about the origin of the Order
of the Laurel.  The orders exist in part to bring together people who share
things in common.  We have a few people out there who are indubitably peers,
but who do not fit well into any of these existing orders.  If we were to
create more peerage orders, then we would simply dilute the ones that we have.
Further, the new orders (whatever they were designed to be) would inherently
exclude some worthy activity and thus simply do not represent a real solution
to the perceived problem of recognizing people who do not fit into the extant

Again.  The title Marquis would carry the peerage itself.  Induction into a
peerage order would still be a matter of court busines.  Technically, this
proposal would result in a REDUCTION in the number of peerages as it would
unify the peerage orders (other than the rose) into a single title of
And, yes you can make someone who is already a Duke into a Marquis.  There are
no historical problems with that sort of thing.  Their duchy would carry
higher pecedence, but that does not eleminate their ability to aquire another
title of nobility.  Finally, this proposal would not require any kingdom to
actually give out "naked" peerages.  It would simply make them available and
reserve a currently unused title for the use of the three peerage orders and
the "naked" peers.

                                        Your Humble Servant
                                        Solveig Throndardottir
                                        Amateur Scholar

| Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D.               | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM    |
| Dept. of Pure & Applied Mathematics   | Amateur Scholar                |
| Washington State University           | Medieval Japanese Research     |
| Pullman, Washington  99164-3113       | Carolingia Status Mentis Est   |
| (509) 335-5110                        |                                |
| nostrand@pi.math.wsu.edu              | bnostran@lynx.neu.edu          |

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