Exotic titles

Lord Norton

In an editorial this morning, The Guardian has noted that some peers revert to the old practice of selecting territorial titles, Ian Paisley for example having entered the House as Lord Bannside and John Gummer having entered as Lord Deben.  (Interestingly, John Gummer’s brother, Peter Gummer, sits as Lord Chadlington.  We thus have two Gummers but no Lord Gummer.)   The leader writer clearly has a sense of nostalgia.  As the editorial goes on to record:

“Once those who went to the Lords habitually adopted euphonious names. Talbot de Malahide. Dufferin and Clandeboye. Valletort. Saye and Sele (though the family name in this case was the even more exotic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes). Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, aka Baron Oriel. Some of these names persist: others have died with their dynasties. But at least since the introduction of life peers, the general practice has been to keep the name you arrived with, while tacking a place name on to the end….  While the unreformed Lords and unreformed honours persist, could there not be a trace more originality?”

The problem with being original and choosing a purely territorial title is that people are likely to forget who you were before you entered the House.  ‘Look there’s Lord Bannside’.  ‘My goodness, doesn’t he look like Ian Paisley!’

23 comments for “Exotic titles

  1. 17/08/2010 at 11:45 pm

    Interesting article, but isn’t the Guardian a bit slow with this? Those peers were introduced ages ago now.

    I’m glad some peers chose more interesting titles. I believe Ian Paisley’s said he wanted it to be clear his wife was sitting as a peer in her own right, not as his wife. (Of course, he would have been Lord Paisley of somewhere different. The title “Lord Paisley” belongs to the Duke of Abercorn…)

    One advantage is that news outlets, such as the Guardian and the BBC, are less likely to call him “Lord Ian Bannside”, whereas they frequently use this incorrect form for other peers.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      19/08/2010 at 10:08 am

      Jonathan: That’s probably true about the media, though it is likely that Ian Paisley will come informally to be called Ian Bannside by other peers, in the same way that John Gummer will be referred to, in conversation, as John Deben.

      • Croft
        19/08/2010 at 1:47 pm

        Well forename+title is pretty common usage and many hereditary peers have used that form for a long time.

        As to the Guardian – the first Lord Saye and Sele was Fiennes.

        I seem to remember reading that ~5% of LP titles are territorial not surname based and that hasn’t changed much.

  2. 18/08/2010 at 1:02 pm

    Much old-fashioned thinking was fraught with Fallacy which caused fallacious-lifestyles, and laws. and popular-beliefs.

    Much present-day popular,social and governance-thinking is likewise flawed and is likewise causing fallacious-lifestyles to abound.

    That an advocate of Peoples’ needs should be named in accordance with both that people-duty and some sustainworthy historical word or two, makes good common-sense.

    The task being Denied is really a simple one of Fallacy-spotting and therewith of writing clearcut accounts both of people’s essential-needs situations, and of the factual and moral reasoning that would ultimately legislate, even constitute, for such need to be affordably-met (by the individual and/or by a group, national or international means and effort).

    “A Rulebook for Arguments” very succinctly offers us 28 “rules” for concise and clear argumentation, number 5 of which is apposite to overtones and emotives such as the poetic “ring” of some titles, such as those quoted by Lord Norton: Lord Chaddlington when the man’s lifelong surname is Gummer; and more decorative, even boastful and decoying titles, like Viscount Massarene and Ferrard aka Lord Oriel and, when even the lifelong prior family-name (surname) had been flashy such as Mr Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes who on gaining a Peers Seat became Lord Valletort, Saye and Sele, it appears.

    Other such simple “rules” can be at one’s elbow and help one to practice clear and unbiased scrutiny and reasoning, as that same rule 5 says “Generally, people advocate a position for serious and sincere reasons. Try to figure out their view – try to understand their reasons – even if you disagree entirely”.

    That has now become my new little personal-task, and wider ‘Earth-citizenship’ duty.

    The posted Topic always brings to the surface underlying or overarching ‘tied’ topics and issues; and it is vital that these be made known.

    I think Anthony Weston’s 99 page road-map of 45 ‘rules’ for making clear arguments, and for making others’ arguments clear, will be indispensable for both of these tasks that face us every time a new Post and the ensuing Comments and Replies within it comes up before us.
    One of the ‘greater’ issues that I see is:

    In the legalised but ‘malfeasant’ and popularised Denial-shadow still cast upon our civilised need for clear-truth, and brazenly even as far as deliberately creating new avoidance misnomers, such as “ethnic cleansing” when the factual sense of the matter is “ethnic persecution”.
    So, yes.
    Call a spade a spade.
    The colonel’s lady and Judy O’Grady are as like as each other under the skin.


    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      19/08/2010 at 10:09 am

      JSDM: I may have missed something. Your point in a nut-shell?

      • 21/08/2010 at 1:19 am

        Thank you for your question.

        I am working on it.
        Meanwhile, many things are being missed by many people, included by highest-ground indispensably-essential leaders, educators, and paliamentarians.

        Here is a brief list of some f the new knowledge and know-how available in book form:

        “Leader Effectiveness Training” by Dr Thomas Gordon.

        “Joining Together” by Profs Johnson and Johnson.

        “Every-One Can Win” by Cornelius & Faire.

        “Mindset” by Prof CS Dweck.

        “Perceptual Control Theory” by Prof W.T. Powers

        “The Centering Book” by Profs Hendricks and Wills.

        “Strong Democracy” by Prof B.R. Barber.

        “A Rulebook for Argumentation” by Anthony Weston.

        “Wisdom of the Body Moving” by Linda Hartley.

        “Natural Vision Improvemnt” by Janet Goodrich.

        I need the LordsoftheBlog ‘community’, and the greater-public, to see this kind of submission, because of increased suppression of many modern-advances by Universities themselves; and this suppression is particularly bewildering and bothersome now that A-level standards are being raised and a Star-A high-grade has been introduced, such that currently today some 20,000 straight-A students will be refused a place at any British university so great is both the increase in numbers of high-school students passing and the steadily rising difficulty of A-levels in general.

        The clear alarm is that we are super-training veritable armies of brilliantly blinkered specialists, at the total expense of all-round life-sustaining strength and education.

        I recently arrived early at a book-launch lecture given by a senior medical professor in a university ‘somewhere in England’, on the subject of Alternative and Complementary Therapies, so that I could ask the lecturer a simple question that had been bothering me for some years:
        “Why are none of these modern-advance books available in your university’s library ?” and I held up several books including
        “Lifestreams” by David Boadella, “Life Energy” by John Diamond, and “Superimmunity” by Paul Pearsall.
        The professor took a quick look at the titles and replied
        “Because we don’t teach them.”
        “We don’t keep them because we don’t teach them”;
        and he turned away.

        Schools and universities have become so highly-successful at installing successions of specialist ‘blinkers’ on students’ minds and souls, that all-round life-supportiveness and civilisation-sustainworthiness have disappeared from both view and importance.
        Titles, robes, parliamentary-paraphernalia however historically up to-date they could become, are nevertheless mere ephemeral-type hedonistic-playthings alongside all the truly gifted and many very worthy advances in knowledge and know-how that have long been coming on-line, but are being long-term suppressed by the very leaders and educators who are highly-paid to, but somehow fail to, continually inform and teach The Public these new things.

        • Lord Norton
          Lord Norton
          21/08/2010 at 2:41 pm

          JSDM: If you want to know why many books are not in a university library, you may find it useful to ask: ‘what is your budget for the current financial year and how does it compare with previous years’? Librarians have to be selective in their ordering.

  3. 18/08/2010 at 4:10 pm

    Lord Norton,
    Surely you do not need my thoughts on this but all the more reason…

    I think when hereditary peers ascend or are created there is a good reason to emphasize the territorial designation as the institution outlives the individual. I think when the title helds large land assets and other real property then one should use the territorial assignation as it is much more convenient to say “Federal Express” than it is to say “Fred Smith’s thing” or “Virgin Airlines” rather than “Dick Branson’s planes”. Life peers using such designations should be able to admit they are deriving the usage from elsewhere.

    That leaves one other matter. There is a world of iregular and non state titles some of them held by rather serious people with security detachments, palaces, lawyers, chaplains and genealogies that maybe one ought not laugh at too much. But these people are believers in rank and reality and doff their hats to the Brits who pay what it costs to keep track of many titles and keep it all in order. The former Mr. Paisley exercises his right to be part of that living, elaborate and expensive tradition.If the aforesaid gentleman really believes a reformed church is the protocol equal of the Holy See (Anglican Communion being a special case within limits) he is sadly wounded by his background. On the other hand if the rather numerous (tiny percentage of people of course) persons in operating but not stateholding systems of royalty and aristocracy believe that the Great Britsh Establishment has earned no lattitude in matters of aristocratic protocol then they (perhaps I should say we) are also a bit deluded I am afraid.

    Owning a right, one may expect some to use it — created life barons with land titles only are within these broad rights. The broad rights Britain maintains in so many other ways.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      19/08/2010 at 10:12 am

      Frank Wynerth Summers III: I take your point about the titles of hereditary peers.

      When I was going through passport control returning from the continent the other day, the passport officer asked if I had a country seat. If only.

      • 19/08/2010 at 2:17 pm

        Lord Norton,
        You know but others will not that I am an historian by training and a man of Louisiana in so many ways and always bring these things up. I offer you an opportunity for bit of empathy. We are a genealogy obssessed land and a sizable number of French aristocrats moved here to keep their heads on their shoulders such a prosaic motive really. The Title Desination and Alternate Title Name and Conjoined Name found when their children were born that the USA’s new regime would not accept on a birth certificate anything close to what they thought of as their appelations (names not being as clear to them with titles, designations and even rare patronymics)each family came up with a different solution and then descendants have to live in a State where such things matter intensely and they must explain this perpetually.

        • Lord Norton
          Lord Norton
          21/08/2010 at 2:43 pm

          Frank Wyneth Summers III: ‘we are a genealogy obsessed land..’

          The College of Arms is self-financing and I gather a good part of its income derives from researching the genealogy of Americans keen to discover their ancestry.

      • Croft
        20/08/2010 at 11:23 am

        “When I was going through passport control returning from the continent the other day, the passport officer asked if I had a country seat. If only.”

        They barely seem to bother to look at mine. What were you doing/carrying LN for them to look carefully enough to notice your title which is now only printed at the back of the Passport?

        • Lord Norton
          Lord Norton
          20/08/2010 at 12:35 pm

          Croft: I think it was because I arrived early and I was virtually the only person in the queue. The border control officer decided he wanted to pass the time of day.

    18/08/2010 at 8:46 pm

    I actually liek the idea of “Forgettign who they were before”. A sorof new Beginning, to let hte new Lords be New Lords. When the Pope ascends to the Throne of Peter, he customarily changes his name. This Started when one Pope had rthe name of s Pagan god, and did not want to use it as Supreme Pontiff of ROme. Over time though it became custom because it did show such a clear diliniation, and mad ehim stand out.

    I think its good the Lords take on such fsnciful names. Besides, its fun.

    Let the Guardiasn howel. They even had an aticle once that complained that the Union Flag was not very attractive and not very Pictureque, preferign the American flag which to me has always been remenicent of a candy cane so there opinion really mans nothing at all.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      19/08/2010 at 10:15 am

      Zarove: I think the identify of the Pope is possibly a little better known than members of the House of Lords, so is less likely to be subject to the question ‘Who was he before he became…?’ Having said that, it may well be that for some people losing their previous identity may be an attraction, or simply that they don’t particularly like their family name!

  5. 21/08/2010 at 3:53 pm

    I am not surprised Your Lordship. Acadians are very much so proccupied as it has great significance in our culture. Louisiana which is “the land” I meant has numerous real legal reasons as well as social ones why it may matter. In the former Confederate States of America the quality of one’s membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and The Military Order of the Stars and Bars depends upon genealogy. One of the most influential organizations of our country is the Daughters of the American Revolution and they depend upon genealogical reports in their most conservative chapters.While it officaly perhaps even nonexistent the Sons of the Cincinatti is one of our most elite clubs and is genealogically based. We have hundreds of Aboriginal American Nations known as Indian Tribes and more than a few of them use extensive genealogy. There are large somtimes unclaimed insurance funds with benefits allocated Per Stirpes. These are all small potatoes and warm beer however compared to the funds and committment allocated to genealogy by the members and establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    21/08/2010 at 7:10 pm

    Blood and Family ties are among the most basic of Humanity, and despite our Modern world trying to embrace a Philosophy f Egalitarian Equality that makes family line unimportant, the truth is it remains important. You really can’t deny Human Nature. This is in page part why I am a Monarchist to begin with, as it is a part of Human nature too. A Hereditary Monarch will care more for the Long Term Good of his Kingdom than would an elected president who has no personal stake and no personal history with the Institution, and is not elevated based on personal ambition and Greed.

    But even appointed Monarchs, or Lords, if appointed for reasons of Merit based on a cause they beleive in, do a better job than do Electeds. The Pope obviosuly leaves no heir to inherit the Throne of St. Peter, but the successors of each Pope have a Sacred and Personal connection to the office. The saem is true of the other Bishops in the Catholic Church.

    Lords have that too, and a large part of preserving this is in giving the Lords their titles, and land based Titleage helps to connect them to something that makes them part of the Country and its heritage.

    Personally I think it helps in Continuity and to remind the Lord who and what they are suppose to be. Its so much bete thnan Republican Titles, which connect you with nothing. “Senator” and “president’ may sound Grand but in the end have little by mean of Attachment outside of the immediate office they hold. Yes Senators represent their State but, the connotation is so starkly different. Look at how it sounds,and how each make you feel. Imagine Bearing the Titles. “Senator from Tennessee” VS “Lord of Tennessee”.

    Worse when you get to Representatives and President this becomes. “Representitve Third DIstrict Tennessee” really doens’t actually make you feel connected to theplace in quiet the same way as saying somethign like “Duke of South Tennessee Appalachia” or “Baron Of Rocky Mountain and the Valley”.

    It just doens’t have the same ring, and certainly doesn’t draw upon the bearer to feel any sort of Ancient connection. Its mro an Imeidate thing, whose only past is the rpeviosu office holder or the actiosn fo the current holder.

    • 24/08/2010 at 7:03 pm

      First I applaud you agitating (even in the realtive saftey of this blog)for royalist, aristocratic and clannish values in today’s USA. My sincere Hoorahs out to you.
      However, I wish to point out something:

      “But even appointed Monarchs, or Lords, if appointed for reasons of Merit based on a cause they beleive in, do a better job than do Electeds. The Pope obviosuly leaves no heir to inherit the Throne of St. Peter, but the successors of each Pope have a Sacred and Personal connection to the office. The saem is true of the other Bishops in the Catholic Church.”
      Whatever the general truth of these points may be let me assure you that the Papcy is one of the oldest, greatest and most continous electoral traditions on Earth. The College of Cardinals and their millions of watchers take the votes quite seriously…

  7. 22/08/2010 at 12:56 pm

    Lord Norton, and all Others using the Lords of the Blog e-site and wishing for “nutshell” simplicity, kindly keep before you the simple graph of Human-Civilisation-Demands versus Earth-Lifesupports Supply.

    (I could mail my own double-sided A4 version of this to any-one sending me a stamped addressed envelope).

    My simplest opening-nutshell offer is
    “If every-one concerned can not see the Overall Big Picture then they will not be able to appreciate and validly-agree about any Small Picture”.

    Meantime, we have to pick up pencil and paper and see this ‘Humans versus Earth’ chart before it will be possible to grasp any nutshells, be they of sizeable but subsidiary strategic issues, or of surfeits of sub-subsidiary or trivial tactical topics.

    1. Draw a dual-exponential graph showing the rise of Human-Civilisations’ destructivity versus the fall of Earth’s lifesupportive creativity: and X within an L__ .

    2. On A4 paper landscape orientation, within a large L__ shape (vertical Y-axis, horizontal X-axis) draw a graph like an X only make the X slightly flattened (‘squat’ rather than ‘tall’) and also curve the two lines slightly oppositely, bottom-left-to-top-right line gradually curves steeper and steeper upwards, and the top-left-to-bottom-right line curves gradually downwards. (A contrastingly ‘exponential’ graph shape).
    The higher Earth-Lifesupports line starts high up the Y-axis, on the left above the timeline where Human-Civilisation began.

    3. Label the Y axis ‘Earth-Lifesupports’: Quantity and Quality’, and the X axis ‘Human-Civilisation: Quantity and Quality’. ( ‘E-L’ versus ‘H-C’).

    4. Also mark along the X-axis “dates” of significant events in the History of human-civilisations (versus the Earth’s Lifesupports).

    e.g. beginning of tree-felling tools; beginning of deliberate –burning; greater-killing power of tools and weapons; beginning of horticulture and agriculture; beginning of fishing-nets; rise of city-building; rise of food-storage technology; rise of transportation technology; the Industrial-Revolution; rise of Mass-Killing and Mass-Production; increase in chemicalisation and in the toxification of air, water, soils, and foods; increasing disruption and destruction of lifesupportive-biomes, habitats and species; negative-effects of ‘the Space-race’; destructive increase in warfare by destructive-nuclear, destructive-chemical and destructive-biological weaponry; increase in hedonistic- and mass- consumerism; decreases in Human-Governance’s ability and willingness to be comfortably-frugal in Lifestyling and to be adequately supportive towards Earth-Lifesupports; failure of human-economics, politics, sociology and psychology to create Earth-Lifesupports-Supportive formulae and equations; exponential ‘run-away’ and ‘gapping-up’ rise in the Extinction of Earth-Lifesupports by human-civilisations.

    What these two opposite curves represent, is the Human increase in population and industrial-destructivity, versus the Lifesupports decrease in cleanliness and in variety-&-quantity of Species.

    In other words, our Humankind “environmental-friendliness” has become hopelessly insufficient and inadequate to support *both* humankind’s long-term survival on Earth *and* humankind’s ultimate “space-conquest” dominant-Intention and industry.

    I have already thanked Lord Norton, who is included here, for his challenge to me to put it in a nutshell, so here are some major ideas “in nutshell form” for any-one still unclear about the innate duty, of any level of ability and willingness throughout Humankind, to perform *sustainworthy* evaluation, planning, budgeting, and Civilisational-Self-Control

    “The Governance of Humankind has become increasingly both Penny wise and Pound foolish, but also Pound wise and Penny foolish”.

    “Humankind owes the Earth a Sustainworthy Living: the Earth does not owe humankind an Extinctive Overkill-Living”.
    (Lord Norton) In one half of slightly bigger nutshell, :
    if you or any-one else using The Lords of the Blog could come up with and similarly donate a clearer ‘snapshot’ scenario of Humankind’s Predicament and a “nutshell” thereof, then why is that not in clear evidence already; and why not being kept clearly evident, continually ?

    And in the other half of that nutshell:
    Greater Governance people, along with Educators, Media, the Judiciary. The Civil-Service, and the Community-Sector should all have been donating or propagating such scenarios and nutshells.
    Why is none of your governance-class doing so, or at least continuously promoting such scenarios as have been on sale for prime-place on Governance and Lifestyling tables, such as “State of the Planet” (Sir David Attenborough); “Only One Earth” (Ward & Dubos); “Atlas of Planet Management” (ed Myers foreword Prof David Bellamy, I believe); “Silent Spring” (Rachel Carson; and similar leading books-for-sale by increasing scores of qualified or experienced researchers, life-experiencers, or professional or amateur writers and speakers ?

    A probable “nutshell-conclusion” is not simply that the relatively-miniscule Lords of the Blog’s proud owners are “in denial” but that the whole towering Stack of Governance and Planet-Management personnel all around The World, including throughout the United Nations, is in Major-Denial.
    Lord Norton, you also replied to a separate point, but in that, that you should be seeking to hide the unwillingness and dishonesty of universities and their owners, to have peripherally-serious books in their libraries not just “we only stock the books we are actually teaching”, seeking to hide that Denial behind “budgeting does not allow it”, surely tends to show yourself up as one of the principal ‘deniers’ not only of Life’s Needs but of civilisation’s subjects’ and especially of our leader-class’s need and duty to become and thereafter maintain themselves both Work -competent and all-round Life-efficient.
    My closing “nutshell” is therefore the same as my opening one:
    “If every-one concerned can not see the Overall Big Picture then they will not be able to appreciate nor to validly-agree about any Small Picture”.


  8. Senex
    24/08/2010 at 5:54 pm

    To obtain a Flesch Reading Ease score of zero and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of infinity.

    25/08/2010 at 10:13 pm

    Mr. Summers, I have always had an admiration for the Catholic system, which was also once employed by many Monarchs in the Temporal realm, such as the Holy Roman Empire before it became a Solidly Hapsburg Throne. But a part of the reason it succeeds is that its a Limited Franchise. I can’t Imagine the Popes being anywhere near as good quality if they were elected from Popular Vote. Just Imagine the Church divided along party political lines, with an elected Pope. Whole Parishes would divide into X party and Y party, and the Unity of the Church lost.

    Sort of like how the US is constantly divided,and always manages to Elect a Dictator, depending on who you ask. Bush was a Dictator, who destroyed our Constitutional Rights, and now Obama is a Dictator, who destroyed our constitutionals Rights.

    The endless fighting prevents the United States from being “United” in any meaningfully way other than by statues of law. Meanwhile, even a Hated Pope is the Pope, and heard.

    He is elected by Cardinals, who are educated men, who take seriously their vows, and look for the best candidate, and pray for God’s own Guidance. There are no Political parties and none of the Popes campaign for office. The Pope doesn’t ask to be Pope. He is selected based on Merit.

    This unity and splendour, and thee avoidance of always getting an ambitious and corrupt politician compromised by dealmaking, is what is best about the elective system of the Papacy.

    Its also not really all that Democratic, but I can’t Imagine the Church being Democratic and working. We do follow King Jesus, not President Jesus, don’t we?

    Then again there are some in the Catholic Church who do want Democratic reform, and someone wrote years ago a “Constitution’ for it… but its not likely to get us anywhere.

    But then there’s the point, if the Catholic Church runs so much better as an undemocratic aristocracy, why do we think Democracy is such a good thing in terms of how it works int he real world? While Aristocracies and Monarchies have never been perfect, they tend to do betterthan republics long term.

    • 26/08/2010 at 12:58 pm

      That is a very nicely written reply and you concede to and expound on the only clarification I was seeking. The constitution of the Roman Catholic Church is a living thing. Its political DNA determines parameters, forms and expressions while there is constant change. However it is worth saying that one of the things I admire about it is that it has always combined what classical political science sees as the three and two great tensions: It has Monarhic, Aristocratic and Democratic elements. It also has elements of Royalist style and elements of Republican style (not GOP). Abbots are elcted and it would make me happier if a few were once again Cardinals. Today the democratic element is in lay observers at Synods drawn from Parish Councils and Steeering Committees of Movements and Pious Asscoiations. I wish we still had a few more nuanced iregular dioceses where bishop’s election played a key role. Royalist style not only includes the Holy See and its temporal monarchy but also some priestly dynasties in the Eastern Rite where priests marry and an occasional relative become a celibate bishop.

      The College of Electors in the USA was supposed to be more than it is and the direct election of Senators while regular violates much of the spirit of our country’s founding. A skilled political surgeon could probably give us more democracy, aristocracy and monarchy in the US and leave the vast preponderance of our institutions intact. Thanks for your well thought out response and again for your highly unusual public positions in our fair but troubled land…

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