What is a Marquess?

With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, many people from all over the world have become curious about the royalty ranking system. To an ordinary person unfamiliar with the royalty system, it can sure seem complicated. Yes, there are many levels and many different titles that can be earned or handed out.

By the way, some titles can be purchased. For instance, an interested party could buy a lord title if they so choose. More on this is provided below.

In the following sections, the information is going to focus on one particular title, that being Marquis. Also, mention will be made of other titles, the ranking of royal titles in order, and the comparison of levels like Viscount vs Duke.

What is a Marquess (or is it Marquis)?

Based on the French word Marquess, a marquis is a centrally positioned title within the European royalty peerage.

In Britain, and historically speaking also in Ireland, the correct spelling of the noble title of this rank still is marquess. Having said that on the European mainland and in Canada, the correct spelling is marquis.

In England, a Marquess would rank above an earl, count, and baron but below a duke. This ranking seems to be viable in other European countries such as Scotland, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The feminine form of marquis is referred to as a marchioness.

Note: Imperial China and Japan also list Marquess as an established title within their peerages

For a better perspective of the Marquess title ranking, let's take a look at the peerage within England as of the date of this article:

Duke / Duchess Marquis / Marchioness Earl / Countess Viscount / Viscountess Baron / Baroness or Lord / Lady of Parliament

Note: All of these titles were created by the kings and queens of England throughout history. Each of these titles was designated before the Acts of Union in 1707. To be clear, most marquises are not of royal blood. They are appointed to the position as a promotion, something that can only be done by a King or Queen. For the most part, only the titles of Dukes and Dutchesses are reserved for direct members of the royal family.

The Responsibilities of a Marquess

At this point in history, a Marquess would seem to have limited functions. In the not-so-distant past, they were charged with the responsibility of protecting their respective nation's frontier lands from enemies of the country. These frontier lands were referred to as marches.

Counts and countesses had similar responsibilities with one very important distinction. The land protected by a Marquess was located at or near the frontier lands. The lands protected by a count were not anywhere close to the frontier.

More About the Marquess Title

The first marquis in England was Robert de Vere. He was so appointed as the "Marquis of Dublin" in 1385 by King Richard II. He also held the title of Earl of Oxford. His time as a marquis was limited because of the displeasure of other earls when the appointment was made. His marquis title was removed just one year later.

Currently, the Marquess title is held by 34 individuals. Throughout the UK, here are the 34 appointed Marquess and their titles:

  • The Marquess of Winchester - Nigel Paulet, 18th Marquess of Winchester

  • The Marquess of Huntly - Granville Gordon, 13th Marquess of Huntly

  • The Marquess of Queensberry - David Douglas, 12th Marquess of Queensberry

  • The Marquess of Tweeddale - David Hay, 14th Marquess of Tweeddale

  • The Marquess of Lothian - Michael Kerr, 13th Marquess of Lothian

  • The Marquess of Lansdowne - Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice, 9th Marquess of Lansdowne

  • The Marquess Townshend - Charles Townshend, 8th Marquess Townshend

  • The Marquess of Salisbury - Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury

  • The Marquess of Bath - Ceawlin Thynn, 8th Marquess of Bath

  • The Marquess of Hertford - Henry Seymour, 9th Marquess of Hertford

  • The Marquess of Bute - John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, 8th Marquess of Bute

  • The Marquess of Waterford - Henry Beresford, 9th Marquess of Waterford

  • The Marquess of Downshire - Nicholas Hill, 9th Marquess of Downshire

  • The Marquess of Donegall - Patrick Chichester, 8th Marquess of Donegall

  • The Marquess of Headfort - Christopher Taylour, 7th Marquess of Headfort

  • The Marquess of Sligo - Sebastian Browne, 12th Marquess of Sligo

  • The Marquess of Ely - John Tottenham, 9th Marquess of Ely

  • The Marquess of Exeter - Michael Cecil, 8th Marquess of Exeter

  • The Marquess of Northampton - Spencer Compton, 7th Marquess of Northampton

  • The Marquess Camden - David Pratt, 6th Marquess Camden

  • The Marquess of Anglesey - Charles Paget, 8th Marquess of Anglesey

  • The Marquess of Cholmondeley - David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley

  • The Marquess of Londonderry - Frederick Aubrey Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 10th Marquess of Londonderry

  • The Marquess Conyngham - Henry Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham

  • The Marquess of Ailesbury - Michael Brudenell-Bruce, 8th Marquess of Ailesbury

  • The Marquess of Bristol - Frederick Hervey, 8th Marquess of Bristol

  • The Marquess of Ailsa - David Kennedy, 9th Marquess of Ailsa

  • The Marquess of Normanby - Constantine Phipps, 5th Marquess of Normanby

  • The Marquess of Abergavenny - Christopher Nevill, 6th Marquess of Abergavenny

  • The Marquess of Zetland - Mark Dundas, 4th Marquess of Zetland

  • The Marquess of Linlithgow - Adrian Hope, 4th Marquess of Linlithgow

  • The Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair - George Gordon, 8th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair

  • The Marquess of Milford Haven - George Mountbatten, 4th Marquess of Milford Haven

  • The Marquess of Reading - Simon Isaacs, 4th Marquess of Reading.

How to Become a Lord

As the lowest-ranking title in England's peerage, the lord ranking is one of the most common and easiest to get. So, how can someone become a lord?

There are three ways to achieve this status:

1. Marry someone who has already been given the lord or lady of parliament title through the purchase of land.

2. Be anointed with the title directly from the House of Commons

3. Get a proper lord title at Lordship-Titles.com

Don’t delay! Purchase your title now!

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