Posted by James on June 26, 1997 at 20:28:09:
In reply to Peerage posted by lucie on June 25, 1997 at 07:51:41
] If Darcy were to be given a title what would be the highest rank he could be given. Thanks
In England, the five degrees of the Peerage are, in ascending order: baron, viscount, earl, marquis, and duke. A baronet is not a peer; he is a knight, and thus a commoner. Sir Winston Churchill, though a baronet, could thus sit in the House of Commons throughout his life. He was actually offered a peerage (a dukedom, to be exact), but refused the honor because he would have been forced to leave the House of Commons for the House of Lords.
Peerages could be inherited, or created by the sovereign as a reward for distinguished service to the realm. In the period we are interested in, peers were created quite frequently. Sir Arthur Wellesley became Lord Wellington, and eventually (after the victories against Napoleon's armies in Spain), the Duke of Wellington. Parliament often voted a new peer a sum of money to purchase an estate and construct a home of sufficient dignity for the peer's new position. This was done in the case of the Duke of Marlborough, and the result is Blenheim Palace.
Thus, if Darcy were to be raised to the Peerage, he could, in theory, be created "Duke of Pemberley" or the "Duke of Darcy" (the choice of his new name, within reason, would be his). But it would be highly unlikely that anyone would be created a duke as a first step. More likely, he would be created "Lord Darcy" or perhaps "Viscount Darcy". Hope this answers your question.
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