Debrett's (/dɪˈbrɛts/[2]) is a professional coaching company, publisher and authority on etiquette and behaviour,[3] founded in 1769 with the publication of the first edition of The New Peerage. The title is named after John Debrett.

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Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
DistributionMarston Book Services[1]
Publication typesBooks
Nonfiction topicsReference


Debrett's Academy was established in 2012 to provide coaching in interpersonal skills to individuals and corporations.[4] Its courses for businesses cover topics such as public speaking, networking, sales pitches, relationship management, personal presentation and dress codes.[5] Its private client courses focus on confidence-building and social competence, as well as personal presentation and impact, career progression and digital networking.[6]

A non-profit arm, Debrett's Foundation, provides coaching through the Debrett's Academy to sixth form students from UK schools in business skills, as well as access to internships, work experience and mentoring opportunities.[7]


Debrett's has published a range of guides on traditional British etiquette, dating from the mid 1900s. Those currently in print include Debrett's A – Z of Modern Manners, Debrett's Guide for the Modern Gentleman and "Debrett's Handbook" , a revised and updated version of its Correct Form. Debrett's Wedding Guide (first published in 2007) was revised in 2017 and published as Debrett's Wedding Handbook.

Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, a book which includes a short history of the family of each titleholder,[8] is now published every four years. The current editor is Charles Kidd.

Debrett's People of Today, an annual publication, contains biographical details of approximately 20,000 notable people from the entire spectrum of British society.[9] The selection of entrants is made by the editorial staff of Debrett's and entries are reviewed annually to ensure accuracy and relevance. Entries include details of career, education, family, recreations and membership of clubs as well as contact addresses. An additional feature is the correct style of address to be used when addressing correspondence to an entrant.

Like its rival publication Who's Who, selection of entrants is at the Editorial Team's discretion and there is no payment or obligation to purchase. However, unlike Who's Who, entrants are removed if they are no longer deemed to be suitable for inclusion.[10]

Debrett's [Illustrated Heraldic and Biographical][11] House of Commons and the Judicial Bench[12] was published from 1867 to 1931. Butler calls it "particularly useful".[13][14]

Debrett's 500

Since 2014 Debrett's has published an annual list of the UK's 500 most influential people across 24 sectors.[15] In 2017 the list was published in the Saturday Telegraph Magazine.[16]

Debrett's website

Debrett's website contains information on British tradition, etiquette, dress codes and style, and the biographical profiles of those featured in People of Today and the Debrett’s 500.[17]

Appearances in popular culture

An out-of-date Debrett's is a key plot element in an Elizabeth Mapp story (1920–1939) by E. F. Benson.

In season three of the television series, Downton Abbey, Lady Cora Grantham mentions Debrett’s in jest when defending the choice of her late daughter, Sybil, to have her daughter baptised as Catholic.

There was once a storyline in Doonesbury where Zonker had a large cash windfall with which he planned to purchase a British peerage. To prepare for his new role, he had a friend quiz him from Debrett's, to great comic effect.

In Brideshead Revisited, Sebastian says to Charles on defending his not letting Charles meet his family when they visit Brideshead the first time together, "You don't know what you've been saved. There are lots of us. Look them up in Debrett."

In Montague Rhodes James "The Residence at Whitminster", Uncle Oldys draws his information about the (spooking) viscount of Kildonan from Debrett's "Peerage": "It's all in Debrett's - two little fat books".

John Debrett

John Debrett (1753 – 15 November 1822) was the London-born son of Jean Louys de Bret, a French cook of Huguenot extraction. As a boy of thirteen, John Debrett was apprenticed to a Piccadilly bookseller and publisher, Robert Davis. He remained there until 1780, when he moved to John Almon, bookseller and stationer. John Almon edited and published his first edition of The New Peerage in 1769, and went on to produce at least three further editions. By 1790 he had passed the editorship on to John Debrett who, in 1802, put his name to the two small volumes that made up The Correct Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland. Despite twice being declared bankrupt, Debrett continued as a bookseller, and retired in 1814. He was found dead at his lodgings on 15 November 1822, and was buried at St James's, Piccadilly.[18]

See also


  • Hankinson, Cyril Francis James. My Forty Years with Debrett. London: R. Hale, 1963.
  • "Debrett" (1868-1869) 9 The Reliquary, Quarterly Archaeological Journal and Review 124


  1. ^ "Marston Book Services". Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  2. ^ "British pronunciation of Debrett's". Macmillan Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  3. ^ "Debrett's Limited". LinkedIn.
  4. ^ "About Us". Debrett's.
  5. ^ "Business". Debrett's.
  6. ^ "Personal". Debrett's.
  7. ^ "Foundation". Debrett's.
  8. ^ "Debrett's Peerage". The British Library.
  9. ^ "Debretts People of Today 2009". Archived from the original on 18 December 2008.
  10. ^ "David Beckham enjoys wine tasting, says celebrity hobby guide". The Daily Telegraph. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  11. ^ The words in square brackets are not always included in the title.
  12. ^ s:Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench
  13. ^ David Butler and Gareth Butler. British Political Facts 1900–1985. Sixth Edition. Macmillan Press. 1986. Page 520.
  14. ^ For reviews of this book, see "Debrett on Legislators and Lawyers" (1876) 11 Law Journal 160 (11 March); "Notices of New Books" (1868) 25 Law Magazine and Law Review 152 (March to August); "Reviews" (1900-1901) 26 Law Magazine and Review (Fifth Series) 256 [1]; (1906-1907) 32 Law Magazine and Review (Fifth Series) 384 [2]; "New Books Received" (1871) 19 Public Opinion 360 (25 March); "Notes on Books, Etc" (1871) 43 Notes and Queries 152 at 153 (18 February); "Useful Works of Reference" (1904) 24 Stead's Review 329 [3]; "Minor Notices" (1877) 43 Saturday Review 306 at 309 (10 March); "Contemporary Literature" (1868) 34 Foreign Quarterly and Westminster Review 236; (1868) 9 The Month 102
  15. ^ "Debrett's 500 2017 - Debrett's".
  16. ^ "Who are the most influential people in Britain today? Exclusive preview of Debrett's 500 list". The Daily Telegraph. 30 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Debrett's - The trusted source on British social skills, etiquette and style". Debrett's.
  18. ^ "About Debrett's". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 4 August 2008.

External links

Birmingham East (UK Parliament constituency)

Birmingham East was a parliamentary constituency in the city of Birmingham, England. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first-past-the-post voting system.

The constituency was created upon the abolition of the Birmingham constituency in 1885, and was itself abolished for the 1918 general election.

Black tie

Black tie is a semi-formal Western dress code for evening events, originating in British and American conventions for attire in the 19th century. In British English, the dress code is often referred to synecdochically by its principal element for men, the dinner suit or dinner jacket (sometime abbreviated to just a DJ). In American English, the equivalent term, tuxedo, is common. The dinner suit is a black, midnight blue or white two- or three-piece suit, distinguished by satin or grosgrain jacket lapels and similar stripes along the outseam of the trousers. It is worn with a white dress shirt with standing or turndown collar and link cuffs, a black bow tie, typically an evening waist coat or a cummerbund, and black patent leather dress shoes or court pumps. Accessories may include a semi-formal homburg, bowler, or boater hat. For women, an evening gown or other fashionable evening attire may be worn.

The dinner jacket evolved in late 19th century out of the smoking jacket – originally 19th century informal evening wear without tails designated for more comfortable tobacco smoking – following the first documented example in 1865 of the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII (1841–1910). Thus in many non-English languages, it is known as a "smoking". In American English, its synonym "tuxedo" was derived from the town of Tuxedo Park in New York State, where it was first introduced in 1886 following the example of Europeans.

Traditionally worn only for events after 6 p.m., black tie is less formal than white tie but more formal than informal or business dress. As semi-formal, black tie are worn for dinner parties (public, fraternities, private) and sometimes even to balls and weddings, although etiquette experts discourage wearing of black tie for weddings. Traditional semi-formal day wear equivalent is black lounge suit. Supplementary semi-formal alternatives may be accepted for black tie: military uniform (mess dress), religious clothing (such as cassock), folk costumes (such as highland dress), etc.

Charles Mosley (genealogist)

Charles Gordon Mosley FRSA (14 September 1948 – 5 November 2013) was a British genealogist who was among the foremost experts on British nobility. He was an author, broadcaster, editor, and publisher, best known for having been Editor-in-Chief of Burke's Peerage & Baronetage (106th edition)—its first update since 1970—and of the re-titled 107th edition, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (2003).

Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities (UK Parliament constituency)

Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities was a university constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1868 until 1918. It was merged with the Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities constituency to form the Combined Scottish Universities constituency.

Elgin Burghs (UK Parliament constituency)

Elgin Burghs was a district of burghs constituency of the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918. Until 1832, when Peterhead was added, the constituency comprised the parliamentary burghs of Elgin, Cullen, Banff, Inverurie and Kintore, lying in Elginshire (later known as Morayshire), Banffshire and Aberdeenshire.

Family of David Cameron

Relatives of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, include members of the British royal family and aristocracy as well as numerous others who pursued careers in the law, politics and finance.

Glasgow Camlachie (UK Parliament constituency)

Glasgow Camlachie was a burgh constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1885 until 1955.

It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) using the first-past-the-post voting system.

Marylebone West (UK Parliament constituency)

Marylebone West was a borough constituency located in the Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone, in London. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post voting system.

The constituency was created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, and was formerly part of the two-seat Marylebone constituency. It was abolished for the 1918 general election.

Mid Derbyshire (UK Parliament constituency)

Mid Derbyshire is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since its 2010 creation by Pauline Latham, a Conservative.

Morning dress

Morning dress, also known as formal day dress, is the formal Western dress code for day attire, consisting chiefly of, for men, a morning coat, waistcoat, and formal trousers, and an appropriate gown for women. Men may also wear a popular variant where all parts (morning coat, waistcoat and trousers) are the same colour and material, often grey and usually called "morning suit" or "morning grey" to distinguish it; considered properly appropriate only to festive functions such as summer weddings and horse races, which consequently makes it slightly less formal. The correct hat would be a formal top hat, or if on less spacious audience settings optionally a collapsible equivalent opera hat. The semi-formal counterpart of this code is the stroller.Morning dress is now rarely worn as anything other than formal wear, as a form of civic dress, e.g., by provincial mayors (as an alternative to court dress), but more generally only for weddings, some official civic, governmental or royal functions, 'social season' events, e.g., races such as Royal Ascot (where it is obligatory in the Royal Enclosure) and at Epsom in the Queen's Stand on Derby Day, formal lunches (especially those in the City of London institutions, notably of the livery companies and guilds) and as uniform at some of Britain's most traditional schools such as Harrow (on Sundays) and Eton. It may also be seen sometimes worn at services in St Paul's Cathedral, London and St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Debrett's states that morning dress should not be specified as the dress code for events starting after 6pm ; if a formal event will commence at or after 6pm, white tie or black tie should be specified instead.

Newington West (UK Parliament constituency)

Newington West was a parliamentary constituency in the Newington area of South London. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system.

Or (heraldry)

In heraldry, or (; French for "gold") is the tincture of gold and, together with argent (silver), belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals", or light colours. In engravings and line drawings, it is hatched using a field of evenly spaced dots. It is very frequently depicted as yellow, though gold leaf was used in many illuminated manuscripts and more extravagant rolls of arms.

The word "gold" is occasionally used in place of "or" in blazon, sometimes to prevent repetition of the word "or" in a blazon, or because this substitution was in fashion when the blazon was first written down, or when it is preferred by the officer of arms. The use of "gold" for "or" (and "silver" for "argent") was a short-lived fashion amongst certain heraldic writers in the mid-20th century who attempted to "demystify" and popularise the subject of heraldry.

"Or" is sometimes spelled with a capital letter (e.g. "Gules, a fess Or") so as not to confuse it with the conjunction "or". However, this incorrect heraldic usage is not met with in standard reference works such as Bernard Burke's General Armory, 1884 and Debrett's Peerage. Fox-Davies advocated leaving all tinctures uncapitalized. A correctly stated blazon should eliminate any possible confusion between the tincture or and the conjunction "or", certainly for the reader with a basic competence in heraldry.

Sometimes, the different tinctures are said to be connected with special meanings or virtues, and represent certain elements and precious stones. Even if this is an idea mostly disregarded by serious heraldists throughout the centuries, it may be of anecdotal interest to see what they are, since the information is often sought. Many sources give different meanings, but or is usually said to represent the following:

Of jewels, the topaz

Of heavenly bodies, the Sun

Of metals, gold

Of virtues, Faith or obedience and gentility

Post-nominal letters

Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles or designatory letters, are letters placed after a person's name to indicate that that individual holds a position, academic degree, accreditation, office, military decoration, or honour, or is a member of a religious institute or fraternity. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters, but in some contexts it may be customary to limit the number of sets to one or just a few. The order in which post-nominals are listed after a name is based on rules of precedence and what is appropriate for a given situation. Post-nominal letters are one of the main types of name suffix. In contrast, pre-nominal letters precede the name rather than following it.

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Rotherhithe was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Rotherhithe district of South London. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system.

The constituency was created for the 1885 general election, and abolished for the 1950 general election when it became part of the revived Bermondsey constituency.


Joseph Junior Adenuga (born 19 September 1982), better known by his stage name Skepta, is a British rapper, songwriter, record producer and music video director from Tottenham, North London. Skepta, alongside his brother Jme, joined Roll Deep for a short period of time before becoming founding members of Boy Better Know in 2006. Shortly after the formation, Skepta released a mixtape entitled "Joseph Junior Adenuga".

With Boy Better Know, Skepta clashed with fellow MC Devilman for the video release Lord of the Mics 2, in what is remembered as one of the biggest clashes in grime history. Skepta released his debut studio album Greatest Hits in 2007 and his second album, Microphone Champion in 2009, both independently; while his third studio album Doin' It Again was released in 2011 by AATW. Skepta's fourth studio album, Konnichiwa, was released on 6 May 2016 to critical acclaim, winning that year's Mercury Prize.

Skepta has stated ‘DIY’ music is the future and told Time Out magazine, "I’m not a rapper. I’m an activist." His influence on contemporary British popular culture as a key figure in the grime scene saw him appear on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK. Skepta's younger brother, and Boy Better Know labelmate, is the grime artist Jme. They have collaborated many times, most recently on his album Konnichiwa. Skepta is also the brother of Beats 1 DJ Julie Adenuga.

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Stirlingshire (UK Parliament constituency)

Stirlingshire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain and later of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1708 until 1918. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post voting system.

For the 1918 general election it was divided into Clackmannan and Eastern Stirlingshire and Stirling and Clackmannan Western.

Strand (UK Parliament constituency)

Strand was a parliamentary constituency in the Strand district of the City of Westminster. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

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