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The Editor
These pages and those which will be added with future editions of the Baronage magazine contain the Editor's answers to some of the most frequently asked questions sent to him during the last six years.
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I've seen on e-bay auctions for what they call "offices of nobility". These include such as "the Hereditary Knight Banneret and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of Krak des Hittites", and it is claimed that "although now ceremonial, the Knight Banneret is the most illustrious knighthood capable of being bestowed." The buyer is promised "a certified copy of the issuing barony's official Letters of Patent showing the signature of Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and under the embossed State Seal and Stamp of the United Kingdom." Are such offers genuine?
No. These offers are most certainly not genuine, and thus it is perhaps only of academic interest that the title of knight banneret was never hereditary. As for the signature of the British Foreign Secretary and the use of the Royal Arms ~ this is answered elsewhere on these pages.

Many, many readers have written in about the e-bay auctions, and not one "title" offered there and examined here has yet been found genuine.

Hereditary knightships are being offered on e-bay. Are they genuine?
No. There is no such dignity as a knightship. We have discussed this scam elsewhere.
I have seen an upcoming auction for a Feudal Noble title. It is that of Baron Marshal. Is there such a title ?
A genuine baron would in mediaeval times appoint men to certain offices in his barony, but such appointments did not ennoble them. A baron baillie, for example, was the baillie of the barony ~ he was not a baron. Similarly, the baron marshal was the marshal of the barony (if there was one) ~ not a baron.

This is a new pyramid scheme. The scam merchants are selling bogus titles with the added inducement that the new "baron" can recoup the price he pays by selling to his friends (if he keeps any), or by auction on e-bay, the "noble" offices of baillie, chamberlain, marshal, falconer, butler, constable, etc, etc, etc, in his "barony". (If he is sufficiently industrious he might even show a profit.)

I have been offered a French feudal title. How do I tell if it is genuine? And if it is genuine, will it be as good as an English title?
If you are seriously considering a French title you should consult a French lawyer who is a specialist in nobiliary law. If, however, you are reluctant to pay the fees involved, then you should read the basic facts about French nobility listed here.
I should like to buy a book on basic heraldry, not one that just lists the very basic information, but one that starts at the beginning and takes the reader up to a stage competent to discuss the subject sensibly. What do you recommend?
The best of the most recent books is BASIC HERALDRY by Stephen Friar and John Ferguson. The hard cover edition is ISBN 1-84100-051-5, and the soft cover edition is ISBN 0-7136-5119-9. These editions can be ordered from Amazon in America by clicking on the ISBNs above. Readers in the British Isles should click on "hard cover" or "soft cover" as appropriate.
Can I wear my mother's tartan?
There is no law to prevent you wearing any clan or district tartan you wish. However, the adoption of a tartan does signify loyalty to the chief of the clan whose tartan it is. You should read the notes on this subject in the Journalists' and Authors' Guide.
My name is Smith. What is my motto?
Unless you are an armigerous Scot, your motto is whatever you choose. If you are a Scot whose arms are matriculated in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, your motto is that recorded in the Register. (However, this may be changed on Petition to the Lord Lyon.)
I should like to buy a Crusader barony which will entitle me to be addressed as a Right Honourable Lord. How much should I pay?
Nothing. Baronies were indeed created in the lands seized by the crusaders along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, but their feudal rights, and thus their existence, were extinguished centuries ago. They do not exist in any form today outside the imagination of the people selling them. Even if they did, they would carry no right to be addressed as a British Lord, or to use the British prefix of Right Honourable.
I have read everything you have written about the scam merchants, and I know it will not make me a lord, but I would still like to be a Lord of the Manor. Can you give some general advice on how to avoid the crooks?
The principal advice we can give is to use a reliable lawyer. However, we have printed the advice provided by the Manorial Society of Great Britain. We hope it will be helpful.
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