Table of Precedency
[ Issue 15 ]

Table of Precedency keeps Emily Bronto occupied for hours

Let Bikwil introduce you to Table of Precedency

Table of Precedency

Fizzgig gets nostalgic over an old book that sets out the Table of Precedency — that is, the relative position  from the Sovereign down of anyone who's anyone in Britain.

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From the Back Verandah — Fizzgig


I’ve just been doing a nostalgic ramble through my 1931 Pears’ Cyclopaedia. As an adolescent I derived a lot of information from it, both helpful and trivial, despite the fact that when it was given to me second-hand by an aunt it was almost 20 years out of date.

With your indulgence, I’d like to present here some picturesque information that 68 years ago the publishers, A. & F. Pears Ltd., “Soap Makers by Appointment to Their Majesties The King and Queen”, deemed most suitable for inclusion in their “handy volume”.

No doubt it is all still relevant today, but how baroque it seems.

It’s the Table of Precedency I’m referring to. This page gives the relative position of everyone in Britain from the Sovereign right down to “Gentlemen entitled to bear arms”.

Especially intriguing is this extract from the notes on the ways women were/are ranked:

Women rank as their husbands or as their eldest brothers; but the daughter of a peer marrying a Commoner retains her title as Lady or Honourable . . . Daughters of Peers marrying Peers of lower degree are given only thenceforth the same order of precedency as that of their husbands; thus the daughter of a Duke marrying a Baron ranks as Baroness only, while her sisters married to commoners would retain their rank and take precedence of the Baroness.


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