Lordship Titles – Acquisition and understanding ownership

What is a Lordship Title?

An English lordship is much older than you would believe.  They originate from the Roman Empire when the Romans controlled what is now England.  The efficient Romans implemented a method of land management so that they did not have to collect taxes from all land owners but made a single land owner responsible for the collect of taxes for an area.  This system was adopted by the Saxons when they took over from the Romans.  At the Norman Conquest in 1066, which is when many people assume lordship titles were first use.  William the Conqueror adopted this framework but also introduced features of manorial land management from Normandy.  This hybrid form of land management still retained the same principles of a single individual responsible for tax collection on behalf of the Crown.  So we can quite confidently state that lordships as we know them now are about two thousand years old and maybe older.  William the Conqueror also retained the same areas of land, with very little changing.  We know this as the Domesday Book, compiled towards the end of Williams reign in 1086, lists the lords prior to the Conquest and the lords after.  The Domesday Book therefore can provide us with the names of lordships dating back to the Romans in many cases.

There are two main types of English lordship title which could not be more different.  For hundreds of years the Crown has bestowed personal titles on individuals called Peerages.  These are divided into two categories, inheritable and non-heritable.  Queen Elizabeth II very rarely bestows an inheritable title. However her predecessors gave mainly inheritable ones.  These titles are for an individual and CANNOT be transferred to anyone else.  On the death of the holder, depending on any other conditions the Crown made when bestowing the title, a lordship title will either fall into abeyance (not be used) or will be taken up by a living descendant of the holder who meets the Crown’s requirements.  We will not going into this type of lordship title any further as they cannot be acquired.

The English lordships that can be acquired come from English custom law as explained above, and are most commonly called ‘Lord of the Manor’ titles.  As they are a legal property they can be bought and sold like any other property, but as they have no physical presence their acquisition is fraught with dangers. This is because ownership of a lordship can only be proven by a complete, correctly executed and consecutive set of deeds from the time of grant or Time Immemorial.  As with Peerages there are different types.  ALL of them are inheritable.  They have existed for many hundreds if not thousands of years, and like the land from which their names derive the lordship title legal rights will last forever.

The MythsBuying a title

An industry buying and selling rights to English lordships has existed for approximately 40 years.  In this time “title sellers” and so-called experts have created myths about the whole subject.  These are a selection of the most common for you to be cautious of:

An English lordship title:

  1. Ownership CANNOT be proven by a signed statutory declaration by the last known purported so-called owner. As stated above ownership can only be proven by a complete, correctly executed and consecutive set of deeds from time of grant or Time Immemorial (exceptionally rare)
  2. Research, however detailed and comprehensive does not prove ownership
  3. Is not a pile of papers, or Court Rolls however old they are
  4. Does not entitle you to sit in the House of Lords
  5. Does not give you UK citizenship
  6. Can be owned by anyone, irrespective of your nationality
  7. Does not come with a manor house
  8. Does not come with manorial rights
  9. Does not come with land

For further information please contact Manorial Counsel who are experts in this field. Offering an exclusive and unique service providing Lordship and Barony Titles with the legal right of ownership.