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Baronets, Bad and Otherwise

Writing redhead
Spent yesterday evening, in the interstices of breaking my head against the plot of "The Mystery of Cwmlech Manor" (Why does Sir Arthur not want Tacy to go into his workshop?  "Because I don't feel like describing it before the climactic scene" is not an acceptable answer.) I spent chasing down Fun and Useful Facts about Baronets.

I'd been curious ever since we saw Ruddigore two weeks ago (how time flies when you're beating your head against a plot!), and I decided, out of the cloudy gray sky, to make my Sir Arthur a baronet just like Sir Roderick Murgatroyd, only Welsh.  And an inventor.  And several other things it would be very spoilery indeed to tell you.  So then I had to find out how he would be addressed and how his ancestress Angharad Cwmlech would be addressed and what his formal title would be, etc., etc., etc.

For your information, then.  Baronets are gentle but not noble.  They have no seats in the House of Lords, but the title is hereditary.  Said titles are usually (but not always) place-based (Sir Arthur Cwmlech of Cwmlech Manor, for instance).  They are addressed as "Sir Arthur," or "Sir."  Their wives are Lady.  Their children are Miss and Mr.  Historically, there have been four Baronetesses in their own right.  There really is such a word as baronetess.  All modern baronetcies date from the reign of James I, who handed them out to all and sundry for the price of hiring and equipping 80 soldiers for his army. 

Now you know.

ETA the right king instead of the wrong one.  This is what happens when I don't look it all up again.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
dramaturgca
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
The more you know...

So, as gentles, would they be permitted coats of arms or must one be noble for that?
deliasherman
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Yes to coats of arms.
emilytheslayer
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
It's not a *good* reason but I enjoyed it.
girasole
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
Holy mother goddess, I do love this sort of thing.
themaskmaker
Jan. 30th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
This is what I was going to say. *grin*
movingfinger
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
(Why does Sir Arthur not want Tacy to go into his workshop? "Because I don't feel like describing it before the climactic scene" is not an acceptable answer.)

10. It's a mess. Socks everywhere. All unmatched. (He cannot work unless he is barefoot.)

9. She'll dust. Women always dust. Intolerable!

8. He's been disobeying the cook and feeding that stray cat that's been hanging around leftover kedgeree from breakfast, and he doesn't want anyone to find out.

7. She'll steal his ideas.

6. She'll steal his whisky.

5. She'll steal his secret stash of biscuits.

4. The last time Tacy went into his workshop, she immediately called his attention to several glaringly obvious (in retrospect) fundamental mistakes in his work, and that just won't do.

3. He has Tacy′ nearly ready to go, and if Tacy sees her replacement, or if the replacement sees Tacy, before the time is ripe, mayhem will ensue, or at least a very awkward scene.

2. For very good reasons (at least they were good at the time) he constructed the one-way inter-dimensional portal around the doorway, and instead of leading to Australia, it has already sent the gardener's boy, a groom, and that unpleasant little man from the bank to the Lower Devonian, and he'd just as not soon inflict Tacy on them while he figures out how to make it work in both directions.

1. If he lets Tacy in there, his wife will want to go in also, and dammit a man needs a place where he can close the door and smoke a few cigars and putter around with his death ray in quiet and contentment.
themaskmaker
Jan. 30th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
*laughing*
deliasherman
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! I very much like Reason 2, although Reason 3 is closer to the story I've written. Hmm.

Can I say that I miss your writing lots? And you just reminded me why?
harriet_spy
Jan. 30th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Baronetcies were actually introduced into England by James I, Charles's father.
deliasherman
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you. See correction above.
kalimac
Jan. 30th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
Baronets can be considered hereditary knights. They're of about the same standing in the great chain of being, and they're usually addressed in the same way. Most baronetcies do have a place attached to them, but the baronets do not commonly take the place's name, though some do. Thus the Murgatroyds are Baronets of Ruddigore, but they don't take Ruddigore as a surname or in place of a surname, as a nobleman would do or as some baronets do.
deliasherman
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
True enough.
tithenai
Jan. 30th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
All modern baronetcies date from the reign of Charles I

Actually, from what I remember of my Early Modern British History course, and reading Lacey Baldwin Smith's This Realm of England, James I was the one who started handing them out like penny candy for the settlement of Ireland.
deliasherman
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
You are so right, Ms. Bones. My deplorable memory!
sartorias
Jan. 30th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
That didn't stop many of them from calling themselves noble.
handworn
Jan. 30th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
And as a suffix, they're abbreviated "Bart." So you could have an episode about "Sir Homer Simpson, Bart."
birdhousefrog
Jan. 30th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
Good heavens. Huge difference in your kings there. One authorized a bible translation and the other had soldiers who were known as 'cavaliers.' Miss E is studying Virgnia history in Social Studies all year and it seems to be rife with odd pieces of trivia for obscure (to me) reasons, such as "What did Charles I call his soldiers?" Ans: The Cavaliers. This test question is only fathomable when one connects that it's also the name of the UVA men's athletic teams.

Oz
natesmomclaire
Jan. 31st, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
1. I believe Anne Elliot's father is a baronet (in Persuasion).
2. Hence the breed of dog known as the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.
sovay
Jan. 31st, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
to make my Sir Arthur a baronet just like Sir Roderick Murgatroyd, only Welsh. And an inventor.

Huzzah.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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