[lit-ideas] Seat Pretty

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 20:02:24 EDT

In a message dated 4/27/2010 6:25:00  P.M. , ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
Made more glorious by the removal of a  village, which the Duke thought 
spoiled the view.
I have never understood how  it was that the Duke of Devon didn't have a 
seat in Devon.  Maybe he  did?  Maybe he collected seats?  Married into them.  
And so on.  

---- The thing is very serious to take it lightly.
It all depends on your pedigree. Debrett has:
"Devonshire, Duke --" which he traces back to Offa, in Birmingham.  
"Strictly, his seat is in the Black Country".
Devon was "thought of as too low a land for a duke. In those days, the  
currents of the English channel were even worse than they are today. The family 
 decided to settle in Derbyshire."
In general, once you ask or know, it's easy enough. The Duke of Rutland for 
 example, has his seat in Hertfordshire. "The new boundaries to our shires  
brought about in 1974 was a great blow to the Dukedom of Rutland. Rutland 
ceased  to exist."
---- In general, if you are a male you inherit, if you are otherwise (read: 
 a female) you don't. But, unlike a male, a female can MARRY gentry -- 
landed  gentry.
In the case of male marrying landed gentry ABOVE their station, there is  
always some prejudice that 'he never really belongs'.
Noel Coward was very conscious of that: "Gertie Millar married the Viscount 
 of Scarborough and became a Duchess, but there's no duchess I can marry 
that  would make me a lord". He thought that was positive discrimination.
------  Debrett's Peerage contains charts and maps as to what belongs  to 
what, and why. 
"In principle," they write in their Foreword ("Debrett" is really a  
collective name), "every bit of land you step your foot on belongs to one duke, 
or other."
The blurb of my copy is a good one. "Buy before the Revolution".
J. L. Speranza
--- safe at Villa Speranza, Bordighera
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