The Complete Guide to the British Peerage & Baronetage
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The Peerage of Scotland
Dukes of Scotland
Marquesses of Scotland
Earls of Scotland
Viscounts of Scotland
Lords of Scotland
In the Kingdom of Scotland the three estates of nobles, Commissioners of the Shires, and Commissioners of the Burghs, which comprised the Parliament, sat together in one house. Noble titles were considered hereditary.
In the Scottish peerage the equivalent of a baron in England is termed a Lord of Parliament. The word "baron" in Scotland relates to feudal barons, survival of a system which lasted longer in Scotland than in England. They are landed proprietors who do not possess any peerage title conferred by the Sovereign.
Most Scottish peerages date from the 17th century, although some survive from medieval times. The earldom of Mar (cr. c. 1115) is the oldest peerage of all. The earldom of Crawford dates from 1398; other earldoms from the 15th century; and various lordships from the same period. There are today some 19 Scottish peerages created before 1600. In 1707 the Scottish peerage numbered 154, compared with 190 English peers.
After the Union 16 Scottish peers were to be elected by their fellow peers to sit as representatives of the Scots peerage in the House of Lords in London for the duration of each Parliament. In 1782 the principle was established that a Scottish peer who also held a peerage of Great Britain could sit in the House of Lords as a peer of Great Britain.
Unlike Irish peers, those Scottish peers not elected to the Lords did not enjoy the right to stand for election to the House of Commons. The Peerage Act 1963, however, entitled all Scottish peers to sit in the House of Lords.
from "Aspects of Britain: Honours and Titles", Office for National Statistics Crown Copyright 2000
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