Friday, 13 December 2013

The Marquessate

A Marquess, Marchio, ranks next above an earl and is the second degree of the nobility.
"His office (said Sir William Blackstone) formerly was (for dignity and duty were never separated by our ancestors) to guard the frontiers and limits of the Kingdom, which were called the marches, from the Teutonic word marche, a limit; as in particular were the marches of Wales and Scotland, while each continued to be an enemy's country.

The persons who had commanded there were called Lords Marches, or Marquesses, whose authority had abolished by statute, in the reign of HENRY VIII, though the title had long before been made a mere ensign of honour."
The first English marquessate was conferred by RICHARD II, in 1386, upon Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, KG, who was created Marquess of Dublin, and in the next year, Duke of Ireland.

His Grace was, however, banished and attainted in 1388, when his honours became forfeited.

And the second creation of the same dignity occured in the same reign, when John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset, KG, was created, in 1397, Marquess of Dorset.

From that period the dignity of Marquess appears to have remained dormant until the reign of EDWARD VI, but thenceforward it became a regular and common grade of nobility.

A marquessate is invariably created by letters patent, and the descent regulated accordingly.

The style of a marquess is "Most Honourable" and he is officially addressed by the Crown, "Our Right Trusty and entirely beloved Cousin".

The last marquessate to be conferred was in 1926, when Rufus Daniel Isaacs, Viceroy of India and statesman, was created Marquess of Reading.


THE ROBES of a marquess at a coronation are of crimson velvet, lined with white taffeta, having four guards of ermine on the right side and three on the left, placed at equal distances, each guards surmounted with gold lace; the robe is tied up to the left shoulder by a white ribbon.

His lordship's cap is of crimson velvet, lined with ermine, having a gold tassel at top; and his coronet is of gold, and is encompassed by pearls and golden strawberry leaves intermingled.

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