January 29th, 2010

Writing redhead

Baronets, Bad and Otherwise

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.