Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Rise of Nation State England
- The British Monarchy's Peerage -
Crowns of Dukes, Viscounts,
Earls, Baronets, and Barons
Peers were the military companions and the tenants-in-cheif of
the English monarchs. Greater definition of their positon and
privileges became necessry in the 13th-century with the development
of parliamentary institutions. Summons to the House of Lords was
accepted as evidence of a peerage. In 1387, during the reign of
King Richard II, the first peerage by letters patent was created
when John Beauchamp di Holt became Baron Kidderminster.
At first, the title "Duke"
was reserved only for members of the royal family. Although
efforts to restrict it have failed, the title has been
sparingly granted. The first non-royal creations were
by Richard II.
The title, "Viscount"
is derived from the Latin term "vice-comes"
meanining responsible for a county. The first viscount
in England was based on French example, and was created
by Henry VI in 1440.
The title, "Marquess"
gets its name from the custodianship of marches or borders.
It was instituted by the French example of Richard II
in 1385 when Robert de Vere was created marquess of Dublin.
The title, "Earl"
is derived from the Saxon and Danish office of responsibility
for a shire. Therefore, earl and baron are the oldest
titles of the peerage.
Baronetcy is a hereditary
order of knighthood, founded in 1611 by James I to provide
funds for the settlement of Ireland. The original intention
was to not exceed 200, but soon there were lavish creations,
mainly to raise money, in the Stuart period. An order
of Irish and Scottish baronets was subsequently established.
They merged in 1707 into baronets of Great Britain, and
in 1801 into baronets of the United Kingdom.
The title, "Baron"
is of Norman origin. Formal recognition was first by what
later became the House of Lords. In 1387, Richard II granted
a barony by letters patent to John Beauchamp de Holt as
Though the peerage was always regarded as one of the pilars on
which the crown rested, during the 17th and 18th centuries, it
was credited with a balancing role, preventing the constitution
from sliding either into despotism or into anarchy.
The British crown jewels contain some of th most
famous gems in the world. Shown are the St. Edward's crown, used
to crown the monarch in the coronation service. Also pictured
are two scepters, the coronation ring and the Soveriegn's orb.
The Imperial State Crown (not pictured) was made for Queen Victoria.
It contains a huge ruby called the Black Prince's Ruby.
The jewels are all kept in the tower of London.
In 1707, with the Act of Union with Scotland, a new British peerage
was instituted. It was changed in 1802, after the Union with Ireland,
into a peerge of the United Kingdom.
During Queen Victoria's reign, "life peerages" were
granted to judges to enable the judical work of the House of Lords
to be carried on. But, the institution of "life peerage"
to other persons, to mitigate the party bias of hereditary peerage,
was postponed until fairly recently - in 1958. One result has
been to give a new lease on life to the House of Lords, which
probably is in higher public esteem than at any time during the
20th-century. (In the late 1990s, just under 1/3 of the house
consisted of life peers, although they had taken the greater share
of the House's business and debates.)
Back to top of page
Mr. Sedivy's Lecture Notes
& Historical Info
| Gallic He-Men | Celtic
Culture, Trade, Religion, Women |
| Threat of the Celts - Celtic Battles and
- Rise of Nation State England -
| Roman Conquest of Britain | Christianity
in Britain |
| Customs: Thanes, Churls, Thralls, Wergeld,
| Dark Ages: Alfred the Great, Edward the
Elder, Athelstan |
| The Return of the Vikings |
| Kings of Britain: Aethelred, Cnut, Edward
the Confessor |
| Bayeaux Tapestry, William the Conqueror,
Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwinson, Harold II |
| The Crusades: Richard Lion Heart, Pope
| King John, Innocent III, Archbishop Stephen
| Magna Carta / First Parliament |
Wales and Scotland
| Wales: Edward I, Llewellyn, Snowdonia
| Scotland: Alexander III, John Balliol,
William Wallace, Robert Bruce, King Edward II |
The 100 Years War
| Edward III, Longbows at Crecy, Edward IV,
Black Prince |
| Henry V, King Charles VI, Battle at Calais,
Treaty of Troyes |
| Other Kings of the Dark and Middle Ages:
William II, Henry I, Henry II |
British Monarchy's Peerage: Dukes, Viscounts,
Marquess, Earls, Baronets, and Barons |
Roman Conquest Comparison
Battle of Agincourt
Mr. Sedivy's World History - The Middle
The Complete Bayeux Tapestry
Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages
The Hundred Years War
King Henry VIII
Life of Elizabeth I
The Stuarts - James I, Charles I, Charles
II, James II