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8 Feb 1910 - Warrant regarding the Roll of the Baronetage


(Source :Times, Feb. 12, 1910)


To the Lord President of Our Privy Council, Our Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, Our Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, Our Kings of Arms, and all others whom it may concern



Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, to all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting!


Whereas the Hereditary Degree of Baronet was instituted by Our Royal Predecessor King James the First in the ninth year of His Reign with divers privileges and pre-eminences, and certain Rules were made by His Majesty for the preservation of the Dignity of the Baronetage:


And whereas by Warrants under the hand of Our Royal Predecessor King George the Third further Rules were established for the prevention of abuses touching the status of Baronets: And whereas on the third day of November, one thousand nine hundred and five, a Committee was appointed to consider and report what step should be taken to safeguard the status of holders of Baronetcies, and to prevent the assumption of the title of Baronet by persons who have no right thereto:


And whereas it has been represented to Us by Our Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, to whom the Committee appointed as aforesaid reported on the twelfth day of December, one thousand nine hundred and six, that divers abuses have crept into the said Order, and that persons have assumed the title of Baronet without any just right:


Know ye, therefore, that We have thought fit to signify Our Royal Will and Pleasure that for the correction of such abuses and for preventing the like in future, the following regulations and Ordinances be established: And We do accordingly hereby declare and ordain:


I. That from and after the date of these Presents an official Roll of Baronets shall be prepared and kept in the Office of Our Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department.


II. That no person whose name is not entered on the official Roll of Baronets shall be received as a Baronet, or shall be addressed or mentioned by that title in any civil or military Commission, Letters Patent or other official document.


III. That the Roll shall be prepared in consultation with one or other of the Kings of Arms (Garter, Lyon, or Ulster) according to their respective heraldic jurisdiction: That such Roll shall be revised and corrected from time to time and shall be submitted to Us and to Our Successors once in each year, and shall be published annually in the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Gazettes, and be placed on sale ; and that any person whose name does not appear on the Roll, but who considers that he is entitled to be enrolled therein, shall be at liberty to petition Us through Our said Secretary of State.


That every person who shall succeed to the title and degree of Baronet or shall claim to be entitled by right of succession to be placed on the Roll subsequently to its first issue shall exhibit his claim to such succession, with the proofs thereof, to one of Our Kings of Arms according to their respective heraldic jurisdiction, who shall forthwith make a Report thereon, and submit the said claim and Report to Our said Secretary of State.


IV. That if in any such case, or in any circumstances whatever. Our said Secretary of State finds difficulty in advising Us as to the validity of the claims of any person to be placed or to be retained oh the Roll he shall refer the matter either to Our Attorney-General for England, to the Lord Advocate for Scotland or to Our Attorney-General for Ireland for his opinion thereon, and may on consideration of that opinion direct that the said matter be referred to Our Privy Council to submit the same to examination and to advise Us thereon.


V. That in cases of reference to Our Law Officers or to Our Privy Council parties claiming to have their names placed or retained on the Roll must supply, at their own cost, all necessary evidence that may be called for.


VI. That the form and contents of the Roll of the Baronetage shall be settled and determined in accordance with Regulations to be made by Our said Secretary of State.


VII. That Our said Secretary of State shall appoint an Officer of the Home Department to be Registrar of the Baronetage.


VIII. That subject to the directions of Our said Secretary of State the Registrar of the Baronetage shall be charged with the duty of keeping the Roll and of making all necessary entries and deletions in it and of publishing the Roll annually, and shall be responsible for its contents and shall initiate enquiries and proceedings when necessary to ensure the correctness of the Roll.


IX. That the Registrar shall attend to the service of the Baronetage, and shall execute such directions as he may receive from Our said Secretary of State in all matters pertaining thereto.


X. That every person who succeeds to the title and degree of Baronet or is created a Baronet or is placed or claims to be placed on the Roll subsequently to its first issue shall pay to Our said Secretary of State or to some person deputed by him a Fee of Five Pounds; and each such Fee shall be paid into Our Exchequer in manner to be directed by the Lords Commissioners of Our Treasury.


XI. That every person who after the date of these Presents succeeds to the title and degree of Baronet or who is created a Baronet shall within six months of such succession or creation as the case may be register his full names and the full names and ages of his living descendants at Our College Of Arms or Our Lyon or Ulster Offices of Arms.


XII. That the Warrants under the hand of His late Majesty King George the Third dated the 3rd December, 1783, the 24th February, 1785, and the 30th September, 1789, respectively, shall be and are hereby cancelled and made void and of no effect.


XIII. That nothing in this Our Warrant shall be deemed to abolish or derogate from the jurisdiction, authority, and rights of Our Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, or of Our Kings of Arms, save in so far as the same may be affected by the cancelling of the aforesaid Warrants of the. 3rd.December, 1783, the 24th February, 1785, and the 30th September, 1789.


Given at Our Court at Saint James's, the eighth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and ten, in the tenth year of Our Reign.


By His Majesty's Command.

H. J. Gladstone.




(Times, Feb 24, 1914)





A Supplement to the London Gazette, published last night, contains the Roll of the Baronets of England, Ireland, Scotland, Great Britain, and. the United Kingdom, which has been prepared in conformity with the Royal Warrant dated February 8, 1910. The Roll was submitted to the King on December 19 last. It contains the names of 1,309 baronets, of creation ranging from May 22, 1611, to October 17, 1913 (Sir David Burnett, the last Lord Mayor). Many of these titles are not familiar to the public, being merged in peerage titles. Thus, the eight creations of May 22, 1611, are:—Bacon of Redgrave; Molyneux of Sefton (Earl of Sefton); Shirley of Staunton Harold (Earl Ferrers); Pelham of Laughton (Earl of Chichester); Hoghton, now De Hoghton of Hoghton Tower; Hobart, now Hobart-Hampden-Mercer-Henderson of Intwood (Earl of Buckinghamshire); Gerard of Brynne (Lord Gerard); St. John of Lydeard Tregose (Viscount Bolingbroke and St. John); and Shelley of Michelgrove. Six of these, all baronetcies of England, are merged in peerages. The senior baronet of Ireland is Sir Algernon Coote of Castle Cuffe (April 2, 1621); the senior of Scotland is Innes, now Innes-Ker of Innes (the Duke of Roxburghe, May 28, 1625); the senior of Great Britain is Sir John Dashwood of West Wycombe (June 28, 1707); and the senior of the United Kingdom is Saumarez of Guernsey (Lord De Saumarez, June 13, 1801). From the last date all creations have been of the United Kingdom.


A note appended to the baronetcy of Burnaby of Broughton Hall (Great Britain, October 31, 1767) says:—" No information can be obtained by the Registrar as to Sir Henry Burnaby. It is not known whether he is alive."


For convenience of reference an alphabetical list of the baronets, each with his number on the roll, is given.


Prefixed is a historical review of the circumstances which led up to the formation of the Roll.


Mr. Akers-Douglas (now Viscount Churston), who was then Home Secretary, on November 3, 1905, appointed a Departmental Committee to consider and report whether any, and if so what, steps should be taken to safeguard the status of the holders of baronetcies, and to prevent the assumption of the title baronet by persons who have no right thereto. The Committee were presided over by the Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery and issued their report on December 12, 1906 :—


The Committee were satisfied on the evidence brought before them that a certain number of persons had assumed the title of baronet, either wrongfully, or on a very doubtful basis : they considered various schemes which were submitted to them With the object of dealing with the evil ; and they finally recommended the preparation by the Home Office of a Roll of Baronets to include all persons who should for the future be officially recognized and entitled to the dignity.


Accordingly a Royal Warrant was issued on February 8, 1910, to give effect to the Committee's recommendation. The Warrant provided that an official Roll of Baronets should prepared and kept in the Home Office, and no person not entered on it shall be received as a baronet.


Mr. (now Sir) W. P. Byrne was appointed Registrar of the Baronetage, and Mr. R. F. Reynard, I.S.O., Assistant Registrar, and in their report dated December 1, 1913, they say :—


"The investigations of the doubtful claims to baronetcies have necessarily been spread over a long period, and, although a few cases are still outstanding, the Secretary of State has decided that the Roll shall be submitted to the King, in the accompanying form. It is impossible to postpone the publication of the Roll until every claimant has completed the inquiries which may produce evidence in support of his claim. The issue of successive annual editions will enable corrections to bo made from time to time, and will allow of the Roll being eventually brought up to the highest standard of accuracy and completeness of which the subject-matter permits.


The Committee of 1905 did not contemplate that strict proof of his right to the title should be exacted from every person claiming to be a baronet. This would be an undoubted hardship in many cases, and, owing to lapse of time, destruction of records, and defects in registration, many genuine baronets would fail to survive the ordeal. The Home Secretary concurs in this view, and in his directions to the Registrar has adopted the recommendations of the Committee, that "the formation of the initial Roll should be a matter in which a wide discretion should be allowed, so that all who can fairly be said to have a good title shall be enrolled, and only cases shall be rejected or put on trial which are clearly bad or open to serious question, or where there are rival claimants."


On this principle names have been admitted to the Roll where there has been bona fide and unchallenged use of the title for several generations, though doubts may be entertained respecting the descent or even the creation of the dignity. It must be remembered that, as the Committee point out, inclusion in the Roll does not give or purport to give an indefeasible title to the person enrolled, it has not the authority of a legal decision, and each entry can and will be cancelled at any time on the production of evidence, or on an adjudication by a competent legal tribunal, against the validity of the claim.


The large majority of cases of doubtful claims have been dealt with sufficiently by the procedure indicated in the Royal Warrant—that is to say, by consultation between the Registrar and the Kings of Arms, Garter, Lyon, and Ulster. The experience and knowledge and the invaluable records of these officers lave been placed freely at the service of the Registrar, and have generally enabled a decision to be arrived at without difficulty.


In a number of cases in which the Secretary of State has found difficulty in advising the Crown on the claim the Attorney-General of England, the Lord-Advocate of Scotland, or the Attorney-General of Ireland have been called into consultation; but in very few instances has it been necessary to have recourse to the final appeal to the Privy Council provided in the Warrant.


Rules to be observed by petitioners praying to be placed or retained on the Roll of Baronets were drawn up by the Privy Council, and, between December 16, 1911, and the present date, formal hearings of four disputed cases have been held.

1. On July 19, 1912, the advice of the Committee of Council that the name of Robert Fraser Turing ought to be entered on the Roll in respect of the Baronetcy of Turing of Foveran was approved by the King.

2. On March 17, 1913, the King approved their report that the name of Anthony Cope should be placed on the Roll in respect of the Baronetcy of Hanwell and Bramshill.

In the other two cases the advice of the Committee was that the names of the claimants should not be placed on the Roll.


Each baronetcy named in the Roll bears, as far as can be ascertained, the name under which it was created ; but where the original name is no longer borne by the holder of the title, the present name is also inserted.


In the preparation of the Roll the Registrar has received much valuable assistance from Dr. Horace Round in connection with difficult genealogical points, and from Mr. P. W. Pixley, Registrar of the Standing Committee of the Baronetage, who made suggestions as to the form and contents of the Roll.


It is understood that many baronets desired the addition of a distinctive title, some suggesting " The Honourable," so that a baronet would be "The Honourable Sir——," while others favoured the appellation " Sir Baronet —." But these suggestions were not adopted.

1309 names as of December 1913

1525 names as of Jan 31, 1947

1495 names as of Jan 31, 1956, including 32 unclaimed baronetcies



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