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Vol. V, No. 3
May-June 2000

mounted knight
Editorial Statement(s)
THE THREATS of legal action, now withdrawn, and their consequences, especially the censorship exercised by the ISP then hosting the Baronage website, lost the editorial staff seven weeks of our operation while we prepared the defence for our Court appearance. We apologise to those of our readers who have missed our presence on the Internet, but we are sure they will understand that we could not surrender to the threats offered by the merchants we had exposed.

We now operate with a new ISP and shall continue our campaign to rid the Internet of those who sell bogus titles and fraudulent coats of arms to unwary readers visiting their websites.


We sympathise with our new ISP. Today, 14th July, faced with yet more threats from the merchants whose bogus titles operation we recently exposed, our ISP's directors decided that the waste of their executive time was not justified by the financial rewards earned from servicing the Baronage website. Unlike our experience with our previous ISP, however, we were not faced with a sudden and unannounced suspension. Instead, we have been asked to remove the names of the three merchants from our pages until the situation is resolved. This we have done, replacing them with asterisks, etc, and the critical links have been broken. This is a temporary measure.

The easiest way to resolve the situation is for the merchants to bring their case to the courts with a suit against The Baronage Press, but this they will not do. Instead, they concentrate their attack on the ISPs, knowing that the ISPs, aware of the lost time and money all legal actions bring, even those that are merely vexatious and pernicious and wholly without justification, will not call their bluff.

Accordingly, while we are temporarily muted, the importance of the newsletter, The Feudal Herald, is enhanced, for although the copies archived on the website, and thus notionally the responsibility of the ISP, are censored, the copies despatched by e-mail will remain uncensored. It is thus important that they be given the widest circulation, for there are other Internet merchants waiting to be exposed, and this situation may occur again. Readers who already receive The Feudal Herald are asked to forward it to all the friends who share their heraldic and genealogical interests. Readers who do not yet do so are asked kindly to consider a subscription. (There is no subscription fee.)

The loss of seven weeks of publication has reduced this May-June issue to one item only ~ a review of the situation in which we found ourselves and an examination of one example of what the merchants offer for sale.

New readers will find the original report in the March-April issue. In it we described how an English company, Manor Titles Ltd, was registering the names of extinct feudal manors as trademarks and then, directly and through agents, under the description of "styled titled name and legend", selling the trademarks as "noble titles". Furthermore, while briefing the customers that they could style themselves as, for example, "Lord of the Manor of Sinnerston", the company was advising them that "custom and practice" allowed them to style themselves and be addressed as, for example, "Lord Sinnerston".

Manor Titles Ltd, together with English Manor Titles Ltd and Noble Titles (two of the agents) and The Landed Gentry Society (an entity their clients join when their purchase is complete), wrote to our ISP to complain. Our ISP, without consulting us, first closed us down, then put us back online with the key pages missing, and then, when we refused to pay the ISP's legal costs, took us offline again.

Now, let us examine one of the letters that so terrified our ISP.

Dear Sirs,

We are writing to you as host to the above site.

You should understand that we are engaged in honest and legitimate business and consider the remarks made on this site to amount to nothing less than slander. We are also concerned about a breech (sic) of copyright as the Baronage site displays our company logo without our permission.

Accordingly we are seeking advice from our solicitor with intention to sue and insist that you remove this site with immediate effect.

Your early response will oblige and please acknowledge receipt of this letter.


Paul Dunkley

 We could have expected our ISP's legal advisers (who apparently billed our ISP £ 990.00 for their services, a sum our ISP inconsiderately expected us to pay) to have noted that a business letter signed off with "Sincerely" after beginning "Dear Sirs" was suspect, and that its writer cannot have taken much legal advice if he could spell "breach" as "breech". However, let us concentrate on the claim that ~

....... we are engaged in honest and legitimate business .......

and take for an example the Barony of Northwick offered for sale at £ 25,000.

Barony of Northwick - with Constable's or Greenham's Manor (£ 25,000)

It is only very rarely that a title of such rank becomes available, and its history adds further to its historical interest and value. Northwick was located in Rutland, the smallest of English Counties, and the rich history dates back to the early 13th century. The history is so rich it is impossible to do it justice here - here are a few highlights:

It is not just rare for such a title to become available ~ it is impossible. The Barony of Northwick is not a feudal barony. It is a peerage title. It was created by Letters Patent 26 October 1797 and was extinguished by the death of George Rushout, 3rd Baron Northwick 11 November 1887. Only the British Monarch can resuscitate it, and apart from the lèse majesté perpetrated by the pretence that Noble Titles now has sovereign powers, it should be noted that the last man to trade in peerage titles so blatantly, Mr Maundy Gregory, was in 1933 sentenced to two months' imprisonment.
Baron's coronet
The Baron's coronet
John Rushout inherited the manors in 1711 and became the 4th Baronet - he was MP for Evesham and Malmesbury, and married Anne, daughter of George Compton, fourth Earl of Northampton. John Rushout's grandson, also called John, was also MP for Evesham, and was created Baron Northwick of Northwick Park in 1797. The title became extinct in 1887 when George Rushout-Bowles died childless.
arms of Rushout of Northwick
The 1st Baron Northwick was the son of the 4th Baronet, not the grandson, and George, the last Baron took the surname of Rushout, not Rushout-Bowles (the surname of his father). George was not childless ~ he had a daughter who died aged eight. And Northwick is in Worcestershire, not Rutland. (Well, so much for the accuracy of the history that "adds further to its historical interest", a "rich history", a "history" that "is so rich it is impossible to do it justice".)
The arms of the
Northwick Barons
And so much for the honest and legitimate business of which Mr Dunkley boasts. Here on the right is his logo (which the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 specifically permits us to reproduce without infringement ~ it being a matter of reporting news and current events).
We conclude with two flat statements ~

1. - Registered trademarks cannot, as claimed, recreate feudal titles of nobility.

2. - Manorial lordships do not, as claimed, confer any rank, dignity or title.

The 1999 Contents Pages

Volume IV, Number 1 ~ January-March

Volume IV, Number 2 ~ April-June

Volume !V, Number 3 ~ July-September

Volume IV, Number 4 ~ October-December

The 2000 Contents Pages

Volume V, Number 1 ~ January-February

Volume V, Number 2 ~ March-April

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