FAQ

These are the frequently asked questions we receive from our clients.
Should you have any additional questions about our service, or these answers are not clear, please contact us.

About Lordships/Lordship Titles

What is a manor?

A manor was a collection of lands grouped into an administrative unit for tax collection.

What is a lordship?

A lordship is a collection of rights over the physical manor.

What is a Lordship Title?

The owner of a manor/lordship gained by English custom law the right to use the titles of Lord and Lady.  To be a custom, a right had to be used for decades, so Lordship Titles easily qualify.

How many lordships and feudal baronies were there?

No one knows exactly, however it is estimated that there were approximately 30,000 lordships and 300 feudal baronies.

Does the Crown own all the lordships where the owners are not known?

Although all “unowned” property passes to the Crown, the Crown still has to prove there is no owner. It takes extensive knowledge and time to do this work. The Crown Estate has told us this is too much work for the value of the lordship, so makes very few claims for lordships where the owners are not known.

What is the difference between a feudal barony and any other type of barony?

A feudal barony is the earliest form of barony. The term was used for a collection of overlordships. A feudal baron would have rights over a group of lords/manors. Feudal baronies were sold/conveyed like lordships, so are property. The later use of the words baron and barony were titles granted by the Crown to individuals, these are known as peerages. Unlike feudal baronies these cannot be sold/conveyed. The Crown decided at the time it was granted whether a peerage could be inherited or if it would become extinct when the holder died. If a peerage was inheritable and a baron has no heirs a peerage barony becomes extinct, whereas a feudal barony continues forever.

How old are lordships?

The earliest lordships were created by the Romans in the first century after Christ, so are almost 2,000 years old.

Does a lordship give the right to be a Lord and Lady?

A lordship when granted by the Crown did not have the right to use the titles. However, the owner of the lordship did gain the legal right to use the titles by English custom law.

Do I get a seat in the House of Lords?

No, only peers sit in the House of Lords. We are selling legal rights to lordship and feudal titles, which are property in the eyes of the law.

I am in a same sex relationship/marriage so what can you offer me?

The English custom was for the owner of the lordship to be called “Lord”.  Where the lord was married their spouse used the title “Lady”. Where a lordship was owned by a female she was still known as the “Lord” but could also use the title “Lady”.  Her spouse used the right to use a “Lord” title.  There are no precedents on how to apply Lordship Titles to same sex couples today, so we have taken the view that the custom was to allow the partner of the lordship owner to have a title, “Lord” or “Lady”.  We therefore believe it is a fair assumption for same sex couples to use both “Lord” or both “Lady” titles.

Do Lordship Titles still exist?

Once a Lordship Title has been created through English custom law it never expires.

I own a manor house, so do I own the Lordship/Lordship Title?

No, to show ownership of a Lordship requires, in most cases, a set of deeds dating back to before 1189.  The only exception to this is if the Crown later confirmed the existence of the Lordship. These deeds are completely separate from any deeds or registration that confirms the ownership of the physical land/property.

Are all lordships documented at the National Archive?

No, the National Archive only know of lordships that have been brought to their attention.  During our research we locate lordships that are recorded in recognised manorial journals and publications but are not listed in the National Archive.

Our Service

What paperwork will I receive?

A Deed of Creation executed by Manorial Counsel confirming the necessary research has been undertaken and the legal authorities identified by our barrister have been applied to create the new legal right to the Lordship/Barony Title known as “quiet enjoyment”

Two Statements of Truth from UK registered solicitors (lawyers) confirming the Deed of Creation

OPTIONAL – A chronological table of the previous lords, shown against English monarchs and key historic events

OPTIONAL – A translation of the Domesday Book entry

A 19th century map of the location of the manor from which the Lordship Title originates

A contract setting out the terms of the purchase

A conveyance deed transferring the legal right to the Lordship/Barony Title to the client

A letter from a UK registered solicitor confirming the client has acquired the legal right to the Lordship Title (to be copied and sent to third parties to notify them you hold the title)

A print out of The Gazette public notice.

Why are some titles so much more expensive than others?

Our least expensive titles were not listed in the Domesday Book, and we know of five or less names of previous lords. They have all been recorded in key historic records/publications and come with the same legal paperwork as our more expensive titles. Our most expensive titles were listed in the Domesday Book and have comprehensive information about previous lords. We also estimate the number of previous lords, for example you may become the 23rd Lord of Chenson. Our service is unique, so it is impossible to compare our prices with other titles web sites that do not have the legality we offer.

Some other websites sell titles much cheaper than Manorial Counsel’s, why are you so expensive in comparison?

Other titles web sites are not worried about selling you a legal right to a Lordship Title so have no legal costs. We had to invest in legal research with a senior London barrister to identify a legal way to sell Lordship Titles. Each title we sell requires work from three UK registered solicitors as well as our own. We are also unique in paying for a public notice in The Gazette. All the legal work, publication costs and VAT (where applicable) are included within the quoted prices.

What other costs do I have to pay over the price quoted?

All our legal costs, publication costs and VAT are included in the stated price. The only other cost you may have is if you employ a solicitor to assist you with the transaction (most clients do not bother as we have employed three solicitors to confirm the legality of what we offer and we have endeavoured to make the process as easy as possible).

How does paying monthly work?

You may spread the cost of paying for a title across 12 monthly payments. If your finances would suit a different option we are always happy to discuss. The benefits of paying monthly is that you reserve the title you have chosen but also guarantees the total price you will pay. When on a monthly plan you may pay off the balance whenever you wish.  We do not transfer the legal right to the title until the title has been paid for in full.

What is a UK registered solicitor?

All practising solicitors must be registered with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) and are given an SRA registration number. On the SRA website you can check if a solicitor is legitimate. All solicitors also have to adhere to a strict code of conduct.

What is “The Gazette”?

The Gazette (formally known as the “London Gazette) is a publication where legal notices are placed and where the King announces his Honours. As such, it is also an official public record announcing to the world the client’s ownership of a legal right to the Lordship/Barony Title.

How do I pay?

You can purchase a Lordship/Barony Title on the web site by using a credit/bank card. If you are nervous of using a card online you may email us and we can provide our bank details for you to make a bank/international transfer.

How long does it take to purchase a lordship title?

It can be concluded in 3 weeks but is dependant how quickly the client returns signed paperwork.

Can I use my solicitor for the purchase?

You may, although most lawyers/UK registered solicitors have little or no knowledge of this unusual section of law, so their role will be limited to reading our terms and conditions for the purchase. We get three UK registered solicitors to confirm the legal rights we sell to give clients confidence that we are complying with English law.  Solicitors are held to the highest standards by the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority.

I am a foreign national, can I still purchase a lordship title?

Yes, a lordship title is property and there are no restrictions on this type of property being purchased by foreign nationals.

Do I get land with a title?

No, we only sell legal rights to use historic lordship/barony titles. Our clients want to own a piece of English history but do not wish to be burdened with land and potential liabilities that can be contained within the lordship. Possible liabilities you DO NOT get with our service are maintaining a church, repairing roads, bridges and quaysides. These liabilities can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds and be hidden at the time of purchase.

Are there any liabilities when purchasing a Lordship Title from you?

No, we only sell legal rights to exclusive use of Lordship/Barony Titles, we are not selling the lordship which may come with liabilities such as maintenance of churches, bridges etc.

What rights come with a Lordship Title from you?

We only sell legal rights to exclusive use of Lordship/Barony Titles, we do not sell the lordship which may come with other rights and liabilities.

Where do you research lordships and baronies?

We research the National Archive, HM Land Registry, Victoria County Histories, historic gazettes, historic journals and publications.

Are you solicitors or barristers?

No, to understand English law requires extensive training and expertise so we employ registered professions to advise us.

Are you experts in manorial law?

We have been provided with research into manorial law by our barrister so have a good level of knowledge. We are one of the leading authorities on lordships and lordship titles.

Why do you not publish the legal authorities you rely on to provide legal rights to Lordship/Barony Titles?

We have invested a huge sum of money into identifying these legal authorities. If we publish them a competitor might use them to replicate our business without having to make a similar investment.

How do you know I will not be challenged for using the Lordship/Barony Title?

When we completed the work and applied the legal authorities to create the legal right to the Lordship/Barony Title we published online that we had obtained the legal right. This gave the opportunity for anyone who feels they own a previous right to the Lordship/Barony Title to challenge us. The stock of titles we have for sale have had this publication online for at least 18 months, but in most cases many years.

I just don’t want any title, I would like one that has a special meaning to me, can you help?

Our search facility on the “Titles for Sale” page allows you to search to hopefully find the perfect title for you.  If you require assistance or wish to search for a title with a family connection you can email us.

A solicitor says you are fraudsters, how do you respond?

They should know better than to make false statements like this. Five minutes searching The Gazette notices will show that we have a solicitor who places our notices. That solicitor would not place notices that they know are false, so we must be acting on the advice of a legal professional. If we act on legal advice, we cannot be fraudsters.

Why start an historic titles business?

Our founder Kevin Norris bought a title for £3,200 from a titles’ web site. It turned out that it was a fraud. The fraudster would not give back his money. Having just retired from being a Business Architect for a public limited company he decided not to sue for his money back but to invest the money in creating a legitimate business to take sales away from the fraudster. After further research he realised that nearly all the titles web sites are run by fraudsters.

You say you sell new legal rights to historic titles, but what does that mean?

Lordship Titles are usually owned by the owner of the lordship.  A lordship originates from a grant prior to 1189 in most cases or a later crown grant. A new legal right is where we use current law to create a new legal right to replace the lordship which has been lost over the centuries.

Adding a Lordship /Barony Title to your Life

Where can I use the title?

You acquire a legal right to use a historic title.  The right is similar to your right to use your name.  So everywhere you use your name you may use your title.

What do I do if someone refuses to use my title?

You own a legal right to a Lordship/Barony Title, this does not mean anyone has to acknowledge it.  Some people/institutions may refuse to use your title and there is nothing you can do about it.

Can I add my title to my UK passport?

Many of our UK clients have successfully added their titles to the Observation Page of their passports. Complete the correct passport amendment/renewal form, these are available online or at the post office. Send a copy of the solicitor’s letter of introduction (stating it confirms the chain of ownership to yourself).  Unfortunately, many civil servants have their own interpretation of government guidelines and reject applications.  Bizarrely a second application with the same paperwork can result in a successful application.  We even have an instance where a husband and wife applied at the same time, one having their title accepted, the other rejected.  If after following the above guidance you are still rejected, we regret there is nothing that can be done, but wait and try again.

Can I add the title to my passport from another country?

We do not know.  We rely on feedback from our clients and no one has confirmed acceptance or rejection from any other country.

Can I add the title to my UK driving licence?

Many UK clients have done this, but unfortunately, the DVLA rules have changed recently and they no longer accept lordship titles.

Can I add the title to my driving licence from another country?

We do not know.  We rely on feedback from our client and no one has confirmed acceptance or rejection from any other country.

How do I word my title?

A lordship or barony title is an expression of being tied to a certain place, which is why most lords are proud to show their title as being Lord of XXXX. It has also been accepted through the centuries that the “of” be dropped. You, therefore, have a choice as owner of the title to use whichever you prefer. It should be noted that a title is an addition, not a change, to your name, so for official documentation, you must still provide your name. It is acceptable in some circumstances to just use your title. For example, your bank accounts must include your name but on your cards, you may wish to just have your title. Unfortunately, there are not enough characters on cards to have both your name and your title.

Can I use Lord or Lady in front of my name?

You must never use Lord or Baron in front of your name as that is reserved for peerages and is an offence in the UK.

How do I ensure the title passes on to my heir?

Make a will. A title can only be passed on to one individual, not necessarily a family member, but if you have two children who will inherit half your estate each then you must specify which child will receive the title.  If you have a will already you can write a simple codicil to the will specifying your desire for the title.

I want to pass my title onto my son/daughter whilst I am still alive?

Contact us and we can prepare a conveyance to make the transfer. We can also place a notice in The Gazette and provide a new solicitor’s letter of introduction. A fee for this service will be required.

Can I sell my Lordship Title if I do not want it anymore?

Yes, the legal right to the title can be bought or sold like any other property although its transfer must be made by deed.  If you would like us to sell your title we charge a 20% of sale price fee plus legal fees of circa £250 + VAT.

Beware

Can I register my lordship title?

No. HM Land Registry used to maintain a registry of lordships but they did not require the applicant to prove ownership. Due to lack of demand, the registry was closed in 2003. Any registry you see online and run by societies/companies has no standing legally or otherwise. Care should also be taken when providing your details to these societies/companies as they may use them for illegal purposes. Also, many of these societies/companies charge a fee. What are you getting for your money? As part of our service we publish your ownership of your title in The Gazette.  As these notices can only be placed by a member of the legal profession, the online notices act as an accurate record of titles held, and therefore undertake the similar function as a register.

There appear to be historic societies for manorial lordships, are they what they appear to be?

Historic implies something that has existed for at least 100 years. There are NO societies on the internet that have existed this long. Unfortunately, there are limited companies that trade in titles on the internet who claim to have existed for over 100 years. Where such a claim is made look in the small print and you will probably find that the society is in fact a limited company incorporated much later. A search of UK Companies House will show when the company was incorporated. If a company/society lies about the time they have existed, we strongly recommend you treat them with extreme caution.

Other websites offer insurance policies to guarantee the lordships they sell, do you offer this?

No, the rights we sell all have three UK SRA registered solicitors confirming their legality.  If a seller claims to offer an insurance policy, ask to see a copy before you proceed and contact the insurance company direct to check it out. We suspect it will not be sent to you, as we know of no such policies that exist. If a policy is sent to you it will only deal with defects in products, it will NOT cover fraud.  So if the seller is a fraudster you will lose your money with no recourse to the insurance company.

Other websites offer manorial rings, chains of office, and manorial robes, do you offer these?

These items can be readily purchased on the internet for far less. We only supply a legal right to use a lordship title and that is where our expertise lies.

Can another titles web site use adverse possession to sell me a lordship/lordship title?

No, adverse possession can only be used for physical land, it does not apply to rights of any sort.

Can another titles web site use prescription to sell me a lordship/lordship title?

No, for prescription to be used the right has to affect physical land eg. A mining operation through mineral rights.  The claimant has to prove that the right has been enforced for the last 20 years.  It is not sufficient for someone to claim that they own a lordship or Lordship Title as it does not affect physical land.

If there is a deed older than 50 years old, does that prove ownership of a lordship?

No, it is proof of nothing.  It does not confirm that the conveyer actually owns the lordship they are claiming to transfer.  One deed does not confirm the ownership of the person conveying the lordship to the person you are dealing with.  A full set of consecutive deeds dating back to before 1189 or a later crown grant is the only way to confirm ownership of a lordship.

If an independent web site, not selling titles, recommends a titles web site/society can I assume they are telling the truth?

Most definitely not.  We know of at least one titles web site that pays agents to maintain web sites rubbishing competitors and subtlely pointing you at their employer.

Another web site states the title will come with a lawyer’s letter confirming the title?

In England only a solicitor or barrister are registered to provide a legal service.  If someone is claiming to be a “lawyer” look for a registration number so you can check it out with the professional bodies, the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority and Law Society.  If you are in doubt contact us and we can either confirm their registration for you or show you they are not registered.

My paperwork includes a deed witnessed by a solicitor, is this sufficient to confirm the legality of my new title?

No, some of the fraudsters selling titles have deeds witnessed by a solicitor.  The solicitor is confirming their client has signed the deed, NOT the content of the deed is legal.

My paperwork has arrived. It includes a transfer deed from the manorial court?

A lordship has to be conveyed by the legal owner.  You must see evidence that the person transferring the legal right to the Lordship/Barony Title is the true owner.  This is shown by a set of deeds dating back to before 1189 or a later crown grant.