Using Your Title
. . . . . . . I would like to know about the laws regarding using a title and how to incorporate a title on bank accounts, passports and other legal documents . . . . . . .
THIS NOTE IN THE VISITORS' BOOK seemed to justify the one word answer ~ DON'T ~ but then we thought that would be unkind, that we ought to advise seriously. So here we go.
We do not recommend buying any sort of title on the Internet. However, if you have done so, then it falls into one of two categories ~ either it is genuine (1 per cent chance) or it is not.
Gary M. Beaver
If it is in the second category, then it is either a "styled, titled name and legend" (which means it has been registered as a trademark), or it is tied to a miniscule plot of land and is fiction, or it has been notionally resuscitated from the past (if it ever did indeed exist), or it is impure fantasy.
The use of bogus titles risks severe embarrassment unless you are content to restrict your social and business life to the mickey mouse world of other fantasists. The figure on the right, for example, describes himself as The Lord Chevalier Gary Martin Beaver of Richecourt, Lord Beaver of Newport, LL.D.
His greatest claim to fame is as the webmaster and principal author of the internationalscams website that anonymously libels the Baronage staff. His work is supposedly that of a computer programmer (his LL.D. was bought on the Internet), but most of his time now is spent promoting an "order of knighthood".
He is the "Grand Master" of the "Most Noble Order of the Sword", an organisation for which, two months after founding it as a company limited by a guarantee of one pound sterling, he was attempting to recruit "knights" who would pay £300 p.a. to belong to "one of the world's most prestigious Orders of Knighthood". His Newport "lordship" (a trademark) enabled "Baron" Graham Fothergill, he claimed, to create him a baron.
This is the sort of world you enter when you buy a bogus title, on the Internet or off it. Of course, if you like fancy dress parties and, in a manner similar to dudes at "Wild West" ranches, enjoy the fun ~ that's fine. But don't, as does Gary Martin Beaver, confuse it with real life, and don't expect your imaginary titles to excuse you paying your bills.
Now if you have bought yourself a genuine title, then you should use it as a genuinely titled lady or gentleman would. For the purposes of this article we shall assume that it is either a manorial lordship or a Scottish barony. If it is the former you will not become a "Lord" (or "Lady") despite what the sales promotion told you.
A manorial lordship is not an aristocratic title; it is but a semi-extinct form of landed property. A "lordship" in this sense is a synonym for ownership. However, if it is a genuine manorial lordship, the Manorial Society may help you have your possession of it noted on one of the pages in your passport (but not on the main page where your name is entered).
Remember that there are many bogus manorial "titles" for sale, and that if you decide to buy a manorial lordship it is unwise to do so without the assistance of a lawyer. The Manorial Society of Great Britain will recommend solicitors known to have experience in these matters, and will also aid new manorial lords to understand what is expected of them.
If, on the other hand, you buy a Scottish barony, and if the Lord Lyon judges the relevant documentation "perfect" (a legal term), you will become a feudal baron. Accordingly, your title will be necessary on all legal documents (cheques, credit cards, passport, licences, etc), and your status as a feudal baron will be recognised by the Court and the Government in all matters. The Convention of the Baronage of Scotland will be very helpful and will give you guidance on all social and official use of your title. (If you write to the Honorary Secretary for information, you should address your letter to Dorothy Newlands of Lauriston, Lauriston Castle, St Cyrus, Kincardineshire DD10 0DJ, Scotland.)
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