I have to agree with Ken...
Posted by P. Bingham on June 09, 1998 at 23:16:08:
In response to In This Sense. . . ., written by Ken on June 09, 1998 at 07:45:42
Although the second sons did not inherit the estate, they were still considered noble, just as the daughters were. They often did inherit titles (not just courtesy ones but often from childless uncles or aunts and so on...). They sought to sustain or improve their status through marriage. They were not FREE to enter the working class (ie. Military, medicine, law, merchandising, etc.) but entered it only as a last resort (ie. Military, medicine, law, merchandising, etc.). Because of their birth, these routes were still very much frowned upon for anyone of noble birth, whatever in line they happen to be to the "title" and estates. And this latter decision on their part would have hurt their chances for a "good marriage". Even a very rich merchant would try for a titled younger son for his daughter and if that younger son was a merchant, in the navy or whatever, he would certainly not be the best catch. Also, the first born was very much in the same boat as his siblings as far as being "noble" for he was not considered anything until his father died and if he did have a title it was more than likely an courtesy title. The first born was in a kind of no-man's land until he inherited his father's title.
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