Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Artymouse

Who's got questions?

Recommended Posts

I've been rewatching the first five seasons, and I'm realizing there are so many things I wonder about. Some are related to the nuances of English society or early 20th-century life in England, some are just questions about interpretations of scenes or dialogue. So I thought I'd create a topic where we could talk about the things that make us curious. No spoilers please!

 

Here are my first two questions:

 

1. Cora is called Lady Grantham, while Rosamund is Lady Rosamund. I'm guessing it's related to the aristocratic hierarchy, but how.?

 

2. In Shirley MacLaine's first episode as Cora's mother, Sybil introduces Tom and tells her grandmother he's a journalist. Martha Levinson responds with a comment about hearing about those "journeys" on her side of the water, but not knowing about the other side. I've assumed she was using "journey" as short for "journalist" (though as a 30-year journalist myself, I've never heard that used as a shorthand term). But in rewatching, I started wondering if she was misunderstanding and meant "journey" as in "trip," especially as it seemed that everyone gave her quizzical looks. Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post

1. Cora is called Lady Grantham, while Rosamund is Lady Rosamund. I'm guessing it's related to the aristocratic hierarchy, but how.?

Heh. Let me refer you to this article on British titles and orders of precedence, which opens with the statement that 'the British title and its order of precedence is the most baffling, yet simple concept on the planet'.

 

Cora is called Lady Grantham because she is a Countess, the wife of an Earl. Rosamund is Lady Rosamund because she is the daughter of an Earl; her husband had no title. Basically, Cora outranks Rosamund, hence the different styling.

Edited by Llywela
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The "journey" Martha is referring to, is meant as a synonym for "career" IMO. A "journey" from one class up to another and from chauffeur to journalist. Usually people remained in their class and they remained in their professions for a lifetime. 

Share this post


Link to post

Various sources say Dr. Clarkson's first name is Richard.  I feel like his full name may have been mentioned in last night's episode, but I'd have to re-watch.

Share this post


Link to post

From the Season 6, Episode 8 thread
 

This episode taught me that the proper pronunciations of Marquess and Marchioness are something like MAR-kwess and MAR-chih-ness.  I had always thought it was mar-KESS and mar-CHEE-uh-ness.
 
Question... obviously George is heir to the earldom, since he is the son of Matthew who was the heir before his death.  But I recall that there is talk that Matthew made Mary is heir.  What is the effect of this?  I think it's that it gave her half of the house, right?  But not the title?  When Robert dies, then George becomes the 8th (or 6th) Earl of Grantham.  I believe Mary will always be known as Lady Mary Crawley (or I suppose now, Lady Mary Talbot), but she doesn't have a title.  When George becomes Earl does she get any kind of courtesy title?  When Henry Tudor became Henry VII, Margaret Beaufort started considering herself a queen and called herself Margaret Regina.  Is Mary going to get anything, or no?
 
What happens if George dies while a child?  Then we have season 1 issues all over again, right?  Much like how Bertie is the surprise new Marquess I am curious as to who is next in line to the earldom behind George.  When did England change to allow females to inherit titles?  Was that not until Elizabeth II ascended?

 
A. Mary as Heiress & Her Title
I don't think Fellowes was particularly clear about what Mary was heir of. I believe Mary is the heir to the money that Matthew inherited from Reggie Swire. I'm not sure about the land or anything else.

Mary can never inherit the earldom and become the Countess of Grantham, nor will she have any courtesy title. Since she was never married to the Earl of Grantham, she cannot be the Dowager Countess, as Lady Violet is (though it's my understanding Mary could petition some obscure court to try to change that; by default, however, she wouldn't be). She also wouldn't have a courtesy title.
 
Mary will only have a title unless she marries a nobleman -- perhaps Henry will be made the Baron of Zoomy Fast Cars -- or the King grants a title to her, such as the Viscountess of Turkophilia.


B. George's Heirs
George's claim to the Earldom of Grantham passes from a younger son of the 3rd earl. If George died without having a legitimate son, then the title would pass to the next man who could claim unbroken legitimate descent from father to son via

 

  • an even younger son of the 3rd earl, if there was one, then
  • a younger son of the 2nd earl, then
  • a younger son of the 1st earl.
     

If there's still no one, then the title goes extinct. There are no more Earls of Grantham. I don't know what would happen to the lands, money and other property.

Titles go extinct. For example, the 12th Duke of Leeds died in 1964. Since there was no longer any man living who descended via the male line from any of Dukes of Leeds, the title went extinct in 1964 when the 12th duke died. This tends to happen with relatively newer titles than older ones because you have fewer generations over which you can find an heir. For example, as mentioned in the show, the Talbots are the Earls of Shrewsbury. That title goes back to 1442. When the 17th earl died in 1856, he was succeed by his 10th cousin once removed (according to cracroftspeerage.co.uk)


C. Women Inheriting Titles
Don't look to the laws of royal succession as any kind of guide to the inheritance of a noble title. They have entirely different set of rules, and laws, that may overlap but frequently don't. For example, Catholics can inherit titles, but by law, a Catholic cannot become King/Queen regnant of the UK (at one time, you were also barred if your spouse was Catholic).  Elizabeth II's accession has nothing to do with it.

For the most part, England, or more broadly, the UK hasn't changed to allow women to inherit titles. There are exceptions.

 

  • Scottish titles
    There are several Scottish titles that can be inerhited by a woman, though by no means all of them.
     
  • If the letters patent permit female heirs
    Most titles were created by letters patent from the monarch. Typically those were drawn up to bar women, but sometimes there were exceptions. In recent centuries, the terms have sometimes been liberalized. For example, when Field Marshal Frederick Roberts was made Earl Roberts in 1901, his only son was already dead. The title was created with the provision that his elder daughter could inherit, and then her male heirs. If she didn't have any male heirs ,at her death, then the younger daughter could inherit followed by her male heirs. The title went extinct in 1955 when the younger daughter died, her only son having been killed in WWII.
     
  • Barons by Writ
    Some Baronages were created by a writ of summons (or right) to serve in Parliament, specifically the House of Lords. I don't know how these became hereditary, but they did. One catch is that a woman can't inherit if there are any other female heirs or heirs of female heirs (this limitation does not apply to men). For example, if Robert was Baron of Downton by writ, Mary could not inherit the Barony while Edith and Sybbie were still alive (love children like Marigold don't count) and while any of their legitimate descedants are still alive. It can take a while for everyone to die off so sometimes these titles go in abeyance for scores or hundreds of years.
     

D. Effect of the Life Peerages Act
Much of these rules of inheriting titles are becoming a bit moot because these days, most new titles are for life only. No one inherits, man or woman. Since the passage of the Life Peerage Act, I think only a handful of hereditary titles have been created and about half of those went to members of the Royal Family.

E. Existing hereditary titles
Some people, typically the eldest daugthers of sonless peers and the husbands of those eldest daughters, have called for legislation overriding the terms of letters patent so that women can inherit. So far that's gone nowhere. Julian Fellowes's wife would have been the Countess Kitchner of Khartoum and of Broome if such legislation had taken effect before her father's death. Surprise, surprise, JF supports this cause.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for such a detailed and interesting explanation. I'm still not totally clear on all of the nuances, but all of this helps me understand a bit better.

My next question is: they talk about the servants' rooms being in the attic, but do they mean attic in the sense of, the very top part of a house just below the roof? Or is it just generally upstairs and away from the servants' hall? Because if it truly is the attic, as in the rooms just beneath the rafters, then I don't know how they could have gotten down all those stairs when one of the Crawleys needed them to come quickly. Because I would think there are approximately 17 million steps between servants' hall, which wouldn't bode well for speed, never mind how sweaty they'd be after running up and down the stairs a few times throughout the day.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

One catch is that a woman can't inherit if there are any other female heirs or heirs of female heirs (this limitation does not apply to men). For example, if Robert was Baron of Downton by writ, Mary could not inherit the Barony while Edith and Sybbie were still alive

 

Does this apply only to the title of Baron? Or can women with no other sisters inherit other peerage titles?

Share this post


Link to post

One catch is that a woman can't inherit if there are any other female heirs or heirs of female heirs (this limitation does not apply to men). For example, if Robert was Baron of Downton by writ, Mary could not inherit the Barony while Edith and Sybbie were still alive

Does this apply only to the title of Baron? Or can women with no other sisters inherit other peerage titles?

I think, but I'm not sure, that Baron was the only title created or subsequently recognized by writ (or the only titles created by writ that are still around). However most Barons were probably created by letters patent and Mary would be just as SOL with that as she would be with the earldom.

Share this post


Link to post

My next question is: they talk about the servants' rooms being in the attic, but do they mean attic in the sense of, the very top part of a house just below the roof? Or is it just generally upstairs and away from the servants' hall? Because if it truly is the attic, as in the rooms just beneath the rafters, then I don't know how they could have gotten down all those stairs when one of the Crawleys needed them to come quickly. Because I would think there are approximately 17 million steps between servants' hall, which wouldn't bode well for speed, never mind how sweaty they'd be after running up and down the stairs a few times throughout the day.

 

Most often in old homes the servants had bedrooms in the uppermost floor which was the attic/top part of the house. Servants only go those rooms for sleep and bathing (if they were lucky enough to have a bath). They do not "hang out" there. Traditionally and as in the show, they would take their meals, work (there's a sewing/laundry room as we see in the show), and socialize in the servants hall below the stairs. So once they get up, they start their day from the Hall below stairs where the service bells would be too. Yes there are lots of stairs from downstairs to the family quarters, but that's another point.

Share this post


Link to post

Most often in old homes the servants had bedrooms in the uppermost floor which was the attic/top part of the house. Servants only go those rooms for sleep and bathing (if they were lucky enough to have a bath). They do not "hang out" there. Traditionally and as in the show, they would take their meals, work (there's a sewing/laundry room as we see in the show), and socialize in the servants hall below the stairs. So once they get up, they start their day from the Hall below stairs where the service bells would be too. Yes there are lots of stairs from downstairs to the family quarters, but that's another point.

 

This makes me think about the plumbing in the abbey, I must confess.  I've often wondered when we see Cora or Mary in bed and having breakfast brought in, have they gone to the bathroom yet?  Where is it?  Do they even have a bathroom with flush toilets and running water?  Thomas in his bath tub -- did he have to haul up the hot water himself?  Because from what my relatives tell me about life in the U.S. 1920s, there wasn't indoor plumbing or heating.  Of course they were not wealthy.  We do see the fireplaces and them being lit quite often at Downton, but what of the plumbing?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the explanations about the titles.

 

I would love to see a floorplan of where all the rooms on this show are supposed to be.  There's the servants' hall.  Is that in the basement?  I always assumed it was since it was always so dark.  But there appears to be direct outside access.  I always thought there were stairs or something down to the entrance.  There seems to be a servants' dining room, a kitchen, Mr. Carson's office, Mrs. Hughes' office, a boot room (which may also be the laundry/sewing room)... and then some other rooms, like the one that Green raped Anna in.

 

I had always thought that the servants' bedrooms were one floor up from that, and imagined that the servants' hall was two floors below the ground.  If the bedrooms are all the way up in the attic, then that would be many stairs for Baxter to climb to look for Thomas, since the house itself has at least three main floors.  In looking at the scenes of the exterior of the house, is that full top floor (what I would call the third floor, what Brits would call the second) where the servants live?

 

I realise that we only see a fraction of the house, but I can't imagine what all the rooms in the real house were used for.  On the show we have only seen the foyer with that staircase, the dining room, the library, and maybe a few of the parlour/sitting rooms.  Upstairs we only see the Granthams' bedroom, which has some kind of attached dressing/sitting area.  Mary's room.  Tom and Sybil's room.  And not much beyond that.

Share this post


Link to post

I would love to see a floorplan of where all the rooms on this show are supposed to be.  There's the servants' hall.  Is that in the basement?  I always assumed it was since it was always so dark.  But there appears to be direct outside access.  I always thought there were stairs or something down to the entrance.  There seems to be a servants' dining room, a kitchen, Mr. Carson's office, Mrs. Hughes' office, a boot room (which may also be the laundry/sewing room)... and then some other rooms, like the one that Green raped Anna in.

 

I had always thought that the servants' bedrooms were one floor up from that, and imagined that the servants' hall was two floors below the ground.  If the bedrooms are all the way up in the attic, then that would be many stairs for Baxter to climb to look for Thomas, since the house itself has at least three main floors.  In looking at the scenes of the exterior of the house, is that full top floor (what I would call the third floor, what Brits would call the second) where the servants live?

 

The servants hall is traditionally the basement. There is a servants entrance which all the help use and deliveries, etc. This entrance is usually built at a lower ground than the Main Entrance. There are often stairs to the Servant Entrance too because of the multiple floor situations. This is why in old European cities such as Bath and London, there are townhouses with stairs from street level. These were the servants' entrances. NYC brownstones employed similar layouts. These places have not been renovated to flats or incorporated into the house wholly now.

 

In very big manor houses, the servants would require a whole quarter of a house for their accommodations. I do wonder if this was not the case for Highclere in reality though. In many places, they would sleep under the attic and the windows and space would be very small that they probably don't feature much into the facade.

 

For more information, the Jane Austen's World blog has information on Servants Quarters and Highclere itself.

Share this post


Link to post

I seem to recall also that many of the large grand houses -- like Highclere -- were never ever fully occupied ... their facade (and enormity of scale) was for "effect" based on aesthetic and architectural standards ... and some grew over time with new wings built as the family residence with things like full bathrooms and hot water pipes, much more manageable and attractive (and cheaper) when incorporated in the original design and construction). 

 

Many houses, iirc, retrofitted for cold-water plumbing for toilets in "water closets" (one or two to a floor in selected wings) ... Chamber pots and servants were too cheap and easy and "traditional"  to be done away with quickly, silent and low-maintenance as well. Large scale hot water boilers were usually situated in a close-by out-building. Pumping hot water around old buildings was an engineering challenge. I think Downton's kitchen still only has a (high volume) cold tap ... Good catch wrt Thomas's bath tub.  

 

Many old roofs (and even upper floors) were not strong enough to carry the weight of large volume water cisterns (see New York skyline water towers) so for hot water, small scale even on-demand appliances (your very own hot water heater) is still employed. See also the water tank on most toilets. 

Edited by SusanSunflower
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Most often in old homes the servants had bedrooms in the uppermost floor which was the attic/top part of the house. Servants only go those rooms for sleep and bathing (if they were lucky enough to have a bath). They do not "hang out" there. Traditionally and as in the show, they would take their meals, work (there's a sewing/laundry room as we see in the show), and socialize in the servants hall below the stairs. So once they get up, they start their day from the Hall below stairs where the service bells would be too. Yes there are lots of stairs from downstairs to the family quarters, but that's another point.

My cousin bought a house in Westchester County NYC that was only very recently put on any maps (it had been, with apologies to Mrs. Patmore, a house of ill repute, but with payment for services, not just simple adultery).  She & her husband only recently repurposed the space taken up by a staircase that went between the kitchen and the servants quarters at the very top of the house.  The story goes that often the police would be entering through the front door and going up the main ("public") staircase while the patrons were scampering down the servant staircase and out the back door.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Okay, since Constantinople seems to have so much knowledge about titles can I ask a question?

Why is Robert both a Lord and an Earl? Do you know?

It was described in the show that Lord Cinderby seemed to buy his title when he bought an estate in Yorkshire. I always found that odd. 

Edited by caligirl50

Share this post


Link to post

Okay, since Constantinople seems to have so much knowledge about titles can I ask a question?

Why is Robert both a Lord and an Earl? Do you know?

It was described in the show that Lord Cinderby seemed to buy his title when he bought an estate in Yorkshire. I always found that odd. 

In conversation, an earl is referred to as Lord (Grantham) rather than the Earl of (Grantham) (see Debretts for more info)

 

I don't recall the specifics of Lord Sinderby's case, but it can be possible to purchase a title that has gone extinct, if one has sufficient cash and contacts in the right place. What more usually happens, however, is that when someone is newly elevated to the peerage and wants a grand house and big estate to really play the part, they go out and buy the house and land from some other toff who's lost his fortune and can no longer afford to keep it (which is what happened to Mr Mason's old landlord) so that the title and the estate come separately, so to speak.

 

ETA - the estate where Lord Sinderby invited everyone for the last Christmas special was rented for the occasion, rather than his own place.

Edited by Llywela

Share this post


Link to post

Two random pieces of personal info to confirm some facts mentioned above:

 

1. I grew up in an old house built around 1912, and it too had a set of stairs that started from a side alley outside and went up to a small door on the second floor, which we were told were indeed for the servants. They were partially taken down many years before we lived there, but there was half a staircase that ended in midair from a tiny balcony at the back of the house. The really strange thing is that this house is in Southern California!

 

2. My mother was raised in rural Ireland, having grown up in a 2 room house for 2 parents and 7 children, and by the time she left for America in the early '60s, they still did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. Her family built a more regular home later, but as my city-grown husband discovered on his first visit when asked to help with the plumbing, even then the water came to the house through garden hoses stretched through PVC pipes. 

Edited by MaryM47
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I've always wondered why Robert didn't at least attempt to petition the Crown to allow Mary to have the title. It might not have worked but they could have tried since exceptions have been made in the past. 

 

Another question I've never been entirely clear on when it comes to titles is whether or not a person with a courtesy title has precedence over a person who has a title in their own right. Would the wife of a baronet, baron, or viscount come before or after the daughter of a Duke? Similarly, would the younger son of a Duke or a Marquess come before or after a baronet/baron/viscount, etc.? 

Share this post


Link to post

It was described in the show that Lord Cinderby seemed to buy his title when he bought an estate in Yorkshire. I always found that odd.

 

He didn't buy the title. Most likely, due to the success of his family, he or one of his ancestors were probably awarded the title by the king or queen for their wealth (see the Rothschild family). Even though it was never mentioned exactly what rank Lord Sinderby actually, most fans assume he is either a Viscount or a Baron, since those were the ranks people were usually elevated to.

 

they go out and buy the house and land from some other toff who's lost his fortune and can no longer afford to keep it

 

Which makes Rose's marriage into the Aldridge family all the more interesting. You'd think her mom would have been less of a bitch about it.

Edited by AndySmith

Share this post


Link to post
Another question I've never been entirely clear on when it comes to titles is whether or not a person with a courtesy title has precedence over a person who has a title in their own right. Would the wife of a baronet, baron, or viscount come before or after the daughter of a Duke? Similarly, would the younger son of a Duke or a Marquess come before or after a baronet/baron/viscount, etc.?

It's complicated, but there's information available online that might help: British titles and orders of precedence

 

So...the eldest son of a duke comes before an earl but after a marquess, the eldest son of a marquess comes before the younger son of a duke, and so on - I won't reproduce the entire list. Suffice it to say that it's complicated! But everyone within that system would always know the system inside out, they learned it from childhood.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, that an interesting list. And yikes, I know growing up they were probably aware of where someone was ranked, but...yikes.

 

I'm surprised the daughters of Viscounts and Barons weren't addressed as "Lady".

Share this post


Link to post

Which makes Rose's marriage into the Aldridge family all the more interesting. You'd think her mom would have been less of a bitch about it.

 

But it was a Jewish family, and many had prejudices against children marrying even a Catholic (like Duke of Devonshire when his son wanted to marry Kathleen Kennedy whose mother was opposed the match as much).

 

Robert had prejudices against Catholics (Sybbie's christening) which was indeed natural as Crawleys' wealth was originally based on the property confiscated from the Church by Henry VIII and Cromwell. For some reason Robert showed no prejudices against Sinderbys: maybe because Cora's father was a Jew, or maybe because Rose wasn't his daughter.

 

Finally, I guess Rose's mother would find a reason to object against almost anyone Rose wanted to marry. 

Edited by Roseanna
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

So what? They were a rich and titled British Jewish family. Robert and his family were ok with Cora's Jewish roots (or least, put them aside), and she was also American and not-titled. She had money, which is what mattered to them at the time of the marriage.

 

If Tom had been titled and not simply a chauffeur,or came from a wealthy family, I have a feeling Robert and co. would have been less offended by his being Catholic.

 

In any case, given the state of the finances of Rose's family, her marrying into an extremely wealthy and titled family, regardless of their religion, would be somewhat welcome.

Edited by AndySmith

Share this post


Link to post

It's complicated, but there's information available online that might help: British titles and orders of precedence

 

So...the eldest son of a duke comes before an earl but after a marquess, the eldest son of a marquess comes before the younger son of a duke, and so on - I won't reproduce the entire list. Suffice it to say that it's complicated! But everyone within that system would always know the system inside out, they learned it from childhood.

Thanks for that Llywela. So if I'm reading the list correctly if Edith were to somehow have children with Betie then Robert would still outrank them all until the eldest son, assuming they had one, inherits the title. Similarly, Cora would still come before her unmarried granddaughters if Edith were to have any girls. Any children Edith might have had with Bertie would be way ahead of Mary in the pecking order. Interestingly though, Mary would outrank any woman married to a younger son of Edith's. A daughter of an earl also outranks a Baroness married or in her own right. That one is surprising since there are some really old baronies. 

Share this post


Link to post

A daughter of an earl also outranks a Baroness married or in her own right. That one is surprising since there are some really old baronies. 

Yeah, there are some really old baronies, but it is the lowest rank in the peerage system.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, there are some really old baronies, but it is the lowest rank in the peerage system.

It reminds me of a story I read about Lady Diana Cooper who was (officially) the daughter of the Duke of Rutland. She married a guy who didn't have a title and when he finally did receive one after years of service in the government and became a viscount, the idea of losing her rank horrified her enough to put out an article in the Times saying that she would still be going by Lady Diana Cooper as opposed to becoming Lady Norwich. 

 

ETA: It also made me wonder how it works for somebody like Irene Ravensdale whose father went on to become a Marquess. She was a daughter of a Marquess but also ended up being a baroness in her own right. 

Edited by Avaleigh

Share this post


Link to post

if Edith were to somehow have children with Betie then Robert would still outrank them all until the eldest son, assuming they had one, inherits the title

 

Not quite. If Bertie and Edith were to have kids, the eldest son would and could take the title of Earl until Berite dies (the first born sons of Dukes, Marquesses, and Earls were all allowed to take the rank below them until they inherited their father's title). So Bertie's first born son would be of equal rank to Robert even before Berite dies.

 

It reminds me of a story I read about Lady Diana Cooper who was (officially) the daughter of the Duke of Rutland. She married a guy who didn't have a title and when he finally did receive one after years of service in the government and became a viscount, the idea of losing her rank horrified her enough to put out an article in the Times saying that she would still be going by Lady Diana Cooper as opposed to becoming Lady Norwich.

 

It is my understanding that the daughter of a Duke (and possibly the daughter of a Marquess as well) were allowed to keep their precedent title as daughter of a Duke even if they did marry someone of a lower rank. It was their choice, whereas, say, if the daughter of a Viscount did marry lower, she would have to take his precedence.

Edited by AndySmith

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, this is all very confusing! But fascinating nonetheless. So since Rose is the daughter of a marquess, does she outrank the Crawley daughters? Or, since they're Scottish, if I remember correctly, is there a different hierarchy? And did her title/status change after marrying Atticus?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It also made me wonder how it works for somebody like Irene Ravensdale whose father went on to become a Marquess. She was a daughter of a Marquess but also ended up being a baroness in her own right.

 

A titled women could still be awarded the rank of Baroness. Which might have been what happened. As a Baroness, she was allowed to sit in House of Lords, something she could not do as the daughter of a Marquess. She might have enjoyed that benefit the "lower rank" offered.

 

Check out this website. It details about the 5 peerages and also the other titles (Baronets, Knights, etc) and lists what each should be called and how they should be addressed. Not only does it give info about the different ranks, but also tells you how to address widows, ex-wives, other sons besides the first born son, and also the wives of other sons as well. Interesting.

 

With regards to Rose's family...from Wikipedia:

 

"The Peerage of Scotland is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Scots before 1707. Following that year's Treaty of Union, the Kingdom of Scots and the Kingdom of England were combined under the name of Great Britain, and a new Peerage of Great Britain was introduced in which subsequent titles were created."

 

So while Rose and her family were Scottish nobility, their ranking probably matched up with the English ones, so yes, Rose and her family outranked the Granthams. As to what Rose's title and rank were after marrying Atticus, it could be her choice to keep her title as Lady (which is her right as a Marquesses daughter) or take the lower precedence Atticus' family offered. Since Atticus' dad would either be a Viscount or a Baron (since Atticus was the only Aldridge son and was titled "The Honorable Mr.", his dad would have to be ranked below an Earl), her choice would be either to be addressed as Lady or The Honorable Mrs. As for her rank, Rose would no longer be ranked above the Crawley's, but she could at least be still be referred to as Lady until Atticus became Lord.

Edited by AndySmith
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Not quite. If Bertie and Edith were to have kids, the eldest son would and could take the title of Earl until Berite dies (the first born sons of Dukes, Marquesses, and Earls were all allowed to take the rank below them until they inherited their father's title). So Bertie's first born son would be of equal rank to Robert even before Berite dies.

 

 

It is my understanding that the daughter of a Duke (and possibly the daughter of a Marquess as well) were allowed to keep their precedent title as daughter of a Duke even if they did marry someone of a lower rank. It was their choice, whereas, say, if the daughter of a Viscount did marry lower, she would have to take his precedence.

According to the site Llywela linked Robert would come before any sons of Edith and Bertie's even the eldest because the eldest would have a courtesy title of Earl or Viscount. Here's the relevant part of the chart:

 

Marquesses (vide Dukes)

Eldest sons of Dukes

Earls (vide Dukes)

Eldest sons of Marquesses

Younger sons of dukes

Viscounts (vide Dukes)

Eldest sons of earls

Younger sons of Marquesses

As for daughters of peers who marry men without titles, they do retain their title. If that guy ends up getting a title during their marriage then they'd end up switching over to that title. If a daughter of a marquess married a viscount say, Viscount Duncannon, then she'd stop being Lady First Name Last Name and would become Lady Duncannon. 

Edited by Avaleigh
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

This is so confusing.  I live in Canada.  And thought there are definitely people who "technically" have titles (ancestors are immigrants), they don't usually use them.  There was a faculty member at my high school (headmistress, actually - and last to use the title.  Every other successor has used "head of school") whose brother is the current Marquess of Ely.  Just like every other faculty member, she was addressed as Miss.  We didn't even call her Reverend, despite being ordained. 

Share this post


Link to post

 I come from a culture where you have to acknowledge and address people by titles and ranks. PRgal, that 'non-recognition' would be an affront in my country.

Share this post


Link to post

 I come from a culture where you have to acknowledge and address people by titles and ranks. PRgal, that 'non-recognition' would be an affront in my country.

 

But you also have to respect how people WISH to be addressed.  Otherwise, you're going to sound like Carson. 

 

PS: Children these days address adults by THEIR first names - something I'm not a fan of.  I don't like kids under 12 calling me Cynthia.  That's what their parents call me.  I much prefer Ms. (or Mrs.) LASTNAME, Ms. Cynthia or Auntie Cynthia (which is what kids of East Asian descent - if at least one of their parents is Asian - call me anyway...automatically.  No questions asked).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Call me an old curmudgeon, which my grown children often do, but I will not tolerate a child calling me by my first name.  Or calling any other adult  by their first name if I am within earshot.  I immediately correct them that I am not their friend and I am an adult and they are the child.  I am Mrs. Smith or Miss Ginger but never Ginger to them!  The appalling lack of manners nowadays makes me crazy!!!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Call me an old curmudgeon, which my grown children often do, but I will not tolerate a child calling me by my first name.  Or calling any other adult  by their first name if I am within earshot.  I immediately correct them that I am not their friend and I am an adult and they are the child.  I am Mrs. Smith or Miss Ginger but never Ginger to them!  The appalling lack of manners nowadays makes me crazy!!!

 

I will DEFINITELY do that next time!  Even if it sounds rude.  And even if THEIR PARENTS are the people who tell the kid(s) to greet me by my first name. 

Edited by PRgal
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

This is so confusing.

 

Yes it is, between trying to figure out who outranks whom and who is entitled be addressed as what after a marriage/inheritance/re-marriage...

Share this post


Link to post

 

I will DEFINITELY do that next time!  Even if it sounds rude.  And even if THEIR PARENTS are the people who tell the kid(s) to greet me by my first name.

 

I do try to do so nicely but I still make my point very clear.  Most parents react shame-facedly. (if that is a word?)  Good manners are just good manners no matter the year or the era.  Someone has to teach them since thier parents maybe aren't.  (told you, crabby old lady here! )  :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not old ( more conservative) but I definitely agree with you, nothing to do with being crabby AT ALL. That's why I will probably be the last person to say that the English titles/hierarchy is confusing or stuffy. I find it fascinating and orderly.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I have studied little about the British divorce laws: http://www.cflp.co.uk/a-brief-history-of-divorce/

 

That makes me wonder the divorce of Bateses. Was it so that Mrs Bates had committed an adultery? Then Mr Bates could have got a divorce, provided he could prove that. Why was there then so much talk that because Mrs Bates opposed, Bates couldn't get a divorce? Or was it so, that Bates had no proof but he had made Mrs Bates to confess adultery? Was confession enough without any proof? Why was it then in other cases that are told in many biographies (usually) a man had to go to the hotel and have the staff to witness adultery (usually with an unknown woman)? 

 

Bates had also given the house he inherited from his mother to Mrs Bates, that is, bribed her to confess and when she told that the court, the divorce couldn't be granted. Does that mean that the rule that there must be "absence of any collusion or condonation of that adultery" had been broken?            

  

Share this post


Link to post

Bates talked about it to Anna one time, but I can't remember the details. The grounds for divorce were different depending on whether the husband or wife wanted the divorce. I do recall Bates telling Vera (in her first appearance) that he would go to a hotel with a "tart" so she could get the divorce on grounds that he had committed adultery, but Vera said no. But I'd have to go back and find the Season 2 episode where he talks to Anna to get the details that he told her.

Share this post


Link to post

Bates talked about it to Anna one time, but I can't remember the details. The grounds for divorce were different depending on whether the husband or wife wanted the divorce. I do recall Bates telling Vera (in her first appearance) that he would go to a hotel with a "tart" so she could get the divorce on grounds that he had committed adultery, but Vera said no. But I'd have to go back and find the Season 2 episode where he talks to Anna to get the details that he told her.

 

If that was Bates's idea, it was impossible, for before 1923 a wife could get a divorce on the basis of a husband's adultery only if it was connected with an aggrating factor", such as rape or incest.

 

http://www.cflp.co.uk/a-brief-history-of-divorce/

 

Could it really be that Fellowes had no knowledge of this or didn't he care?  

Share this post


Link to post

 

Could it really be that Fellowes had no knowledge of this or didn't he care?

 

Ha!  

It all got really confusing. I think the fly in the divorce ointment was 

a) In addition to the marriage dissolving, Vera was pissed he found someone else. I think if he had just wanted to be rid of her and not had someone, she would have agreed.  If she had found someone else before him (unlikely), I would think she would have been amenable.

b) Publicizing the story about Mary/Pamuk gave her the opportunity to hurt him and get some money - she was a greedy bitch as we know. So Bates gave her money to go away and not publicize the story.  I guess paying someone to agree to a divorce was wrong in those days?

 

The laws back when were so weird.  Do you know that you could sue someone for Breach of Promise of Marriage in the early part of the century? My grandfather asked a woman to marry him but then married someone else.  The thrown over finance sued and won.

Soo complicated!

Share this post


Link to post

The laws back when were so weird.  Do you know that you could sue someone for Breach of Promise of Marriage in the early part of the century? My grandfather asked a woman to marry him but then married someone else.  The thrown over finance sued and won

 

Yes, breaking the promise of marriage was dealt in Anne Perry's detective story Whited sepulchres. The reason for suing the man was to prove that there was no fault in the woman that would have caused the man to end the engagement, that is, if she or her family hadn't sued the man, her reputation would have suffered and no othe man would have wanted to marry her.  

Share this post


Link to post

Here’s a question:

Does anyone know if “toffs” took houses in the Hamptons in the 1920’s?  Yes, it was a beach town but it was also a huge farming area.  Lots of old prestigious families out there were farmers.  I wondered when Mary read Rose’s letter if JF wasn’t making assumptions. 


 

Yes, breaking the promise of marriage was dealt in Anne Perry's detective story Whited sepulchres. The reason for suing the man was to prove that there was no fault in the woman that would have caused the man to end the engagement, that is, if she or her family hadn't sued the man, her reputation would have suffered and no othe man would have wanted to marry her.

 

The lady also made herself a lot of money as well.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm fascinated by Marigold's storyline. Downton Abbey is far removed from reality in many ways, but her story seems the most fantastical to me. What was/would be the real life fate at that time of someone like Marigold, the illegitimate daughter of an unmarried female aristocrat? It struck me as really odd that Edith would place her daughter with the Drewes whose social and financial status are so far removed from that of the Crawleys in an era when such things really mattered. 

 

And what is Marigold's last name? Schroeder? Drewe? Crawley? 

Share this post


Link to post

Her life was probably a hell of a lot better than the average orphan/ward, most certainly. I'm not spoiled as to the end of the show, so not sure if Edith and Bertie get back together again (I'm guessing they will), but in either scenario, she is either the ward of a daughter of an Earl, or the ward of a Marquess and Marchioness (if Edith and Bertie end up getting married). Even if Edith can't publicly acknowledge her as her daughter, as the ward of aristocracy she'll still have many advantages in life with regards to access to education, jobs, suitors, inheritance, etc than the ward of a commoner family would have (unless that commoner family is really rich). Granted, just guessing.

 

As for placing them with the Drewes...not Edith's best idea, but she probably did that to keep Marigold close to Downtown without having to clue in the family members who still didn't know about her yet (Cora, Robert, Mary, and possibly Tom).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size