Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Ancram Retirement

I see that the genial Michael Ancram, MP is to retire from Parliament. Mr Ancram was a Northern Ireland Office minister for about five years, between 1993 and 1997. I remember him fondly enough; and always thought of him as rather a good egg.

I described him as Mr Ancram because that has been his style whilst sitting as a Member of Parliament. He was really Michael Earl of Ancram, MP, holding a courtesy title, because he was heir to the 12th Marquess of Lothian. Courtesy lords are not peers; in legal terms they are commoners until they succeed to the title.

His style now, legally and technically, is the Most Honourable Michael Andrew Foster Jude Marquess of Lothian, PC, QC, MP, having succeeded to his late father's titles as the 13th marquess.

Hereditary Peers can now sit in the House of Commons because they no longer automatically sit, as of Right, in the House of Lords.

The Lothian family seat is Ferniehirst Castle, near Jedburgh in Roxburghshire; and Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire is another Lothian residence; as well as a London residence.

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