Viscount

A viscount (/ˈvaɪkaʊnt/ (listen) VY-kownt, for male[1]) or viscountess (/ˈvaɪkaʊntɪs/, for female[2]) is a title used in certain European countries for a noble of varying status. In many countries a viscount, and its historical equivalents, was a non-hereditary, administrative or judicial position, and did not develop into an hereditary title until much later.[3] In the case of French viscounts, it is customary to leave the title untranslated as vicomte [vi.kɔ̃t] and vicomtesse.

Etymology

The word viscount comes from Old French visconte (Modern French: vicomte), itself from Medieval Latin vicecomitem, accusative of vicecomes, from Late Latin vice- "deputy" + Latin comes (originally "companion"; later Roman imperial courtier or trusted appointee, ultimately count).[4]

History

During the Carolingian Empire, the kings appointed counts to administer provinces and other smaller regions, as governors and military commanders. Viscounts were appointed to assist the counts in their running of the province, and often took on judicial responsibility.[3] The kings strictly prevented the offices of their counts and viscounts from becoming hereditary, in order to consolidate their position and limit chance of rebellion.[3]

The title was in use in Normandy by at least the early 11th century.[5] Similar to the Carolingian use of the title, the Norman viscounts were local administrators, working on behalf of the Duke.[6] Their role was to administer justice and to collect taxes and revenues, often being castellan of the local castle. Under the Normans, the position developed into a hereditary one, an example of such being the viscounts in Bessin.[6] The viscount was eventually replaced by bailiffs, and provosts.[6]

As a rank in British peerage, it was first recorded in 1440, when John Beaumont was created Viscount Beaumont by King Henry VI.[7] The word viscount corresponds in the UK to the Anglo-Saxon shire reeve (root of the non-nobiliary, royal-appointed office of sheriff). Thus early viscounts were originally normally given their titles by the monarch, not hereditarily; but soon they too tended to establish hereditary principalities in the wider sense. They were a relatively late introduction to the British peerage, and on the evening of the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, the Prime Minister Lord Melbourne explained to her why (from her journals):

I spoke to Ld M. about the numbers of Peers present at the Coronation, & he said it was quite unprecedented. I observed that there were very few Viscounts, to which he replied "There are very few Viscounts," that they were an old sort of title & not really English; that they came from Vice-Comites; that Dukes & Barons were the only real English titles;—that Marquises were likewise not English, & that people were mere made Marquises, when it was not wished that they should be made Dukes.[8]

Early modern and contemporary usage

Belgium

In Belgium a few families are recognised as Viscounts:

United Kingdom

A viscount is the fourth rank in the British peerage system, standing directly below an earl and above a baron. There are approximately 270 viscountcies currently extant in the peerages of the British Isles, though most are secondary titles.[9]

In British practice, the title of a viscount may be either a place name, a surname, or a combination thereof: examples include the Viscount Falmouth, the Viscount Hardinge and the Viscount Colville of Culross, respectively. An exception exists for Viscounts in the peerage of Scotland, who were traditionally styled "The Viscount of [X]", such as the Viscount of Arbuthnott. In practice, however, very few maintain this style, instead using the more common version "The Viscount [X]" in general parlance, for example Viscount of Falkland who is referred to as Viscount Falkland.

A British viscount is addressed in speech as Lord [X], while his wife is Lady [X], and he is formally styled "The Right Honourable The Viscount [X]". The children of a viscount are known as The Honourable [Forename] [Surname].[10]

Ireland

The title of viscount (Irish: bíocunta) was introduced to the Peerage of Ireland in 1478 with the creation of the title of Viscount Gormanston, the senior viscountcy of Britain and Ireland, held today by Jenico Preston, 17th Viscount Gormanston. Other early Irish viscountcies were Viscount Baltinglass (1541), Viscount Clontarf (1541), Viscount Mountgarret (1550) and Viscount Decies (1569).

Use as a courtesy title

A specifically British custom is the use of viscount as a courtesy title for the heir of an earl or marquess. The peer's heir apparent will sometimes be referred to as a viscount, if the second most senior title held by the head of the family is a viscountcy. For example, the eldest son of the Earl Howe is Viscount Curzon, because this is the second most senior title held by the Earl.[11]

However, the son of a marquess or an earl can be referred to as a viscount when the title of viscount is not the second most senior if those above it share their name with the substantive title. For example, the second most senior title of the Marquess of Salisbury is the Earl of Salisbury, so his heir uses the lower title of Viscount Cranborne.

Sometimes the son of a peer can be referred to as a viscount even when he could use a more senior courtesy title which differs in name from the substantive title. Family tradition plays a role in this. For example, the eldest son of the Marquess of Londonderry is Viscount Castlereagh, even though the Marquess is also the Earl Vane.

Coronet

Coronet of a British Viscount
Coronet of a British viscount.

A viscount's coronet of rank bears 16 silver balls around the rim. Like all heraldic coronets, it is mostly worn at the coronation of a sovereign, but a viscount has the right to bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms, above the shield. In this guise, the coronet is shown face-on, featuring 9 silver balls.[12]

Jersey

The island of Jersey still retains an officer whose function is purely to administer orders of the island's judiciary, and whose position remains non-hereditary. The role of the Viscount of Jersey (French: Vicomte de Jersey) involves managing fines, bail monies, seizures, confiscations, evictions, service of process, arrests for non-appearance in court and other enforcement procedures, as well acting as coroner for sudden or unexpected deaths and managing jury selection.[13]

Portugal

In the former kingdom of Portugal a visconde ranks above a barão (baron) and below a conde (count). The first Portuguese viscountcy, that of D. Leonel de Lima, visconde de Vila Nova de Cerveira, dates from the reign of Afonso V. A flood of viscountcies, some 86 new titles, were awarded in Portugal between 1848 and 1880.

Spain

The Spanish title of vizconde is ranked between the title conde (count/earl) and the relatively rare title of barón.

In Spain, nobles are classified as either Grandee of Spain (Grandes de España), as titled nobles, or as untitled nobles. A grandee of any rank outranks a non-grandee, even if that non-grandee's title is of a higher degree, thus, a viscount-grandee enjoys higher precedence than a marquis who is not a grandee.

In the kingdom of Spain the title was awarded from the reign of Felipe IV (1621–65; Habsburg dynasty) until 1846.

Equivalent titles

Germanic counterparts

There are non-etymological equivalents to the title of viscount (i.e., 'vice-count') in several languages including German.

However, in such case titles of the etymological Burgrave family (not in countries with a viscount-form, such as Italian burgravio alongside visconte) bearers of the title could establish themselves at the same gap, thus at generally the same level. Consequently, a Freiherr (or Baron) ranks not immediately below a Graf, but below a Burggraf.

Thus in Dutch, Burggraaf is the rank above Baron, below Graaf (i.e., Count) in the kingdoms of the Netherlands and of Belgium (by Belgian law, its equivalents in the other official languages are Burggraf in German and vicomte in French). In Welsh the title is rendered as Isiarll.

Non-Western counterparts

Like other major Western noble titles, viscount is sometimes used to render certain titles in non-western languages with their own traditions. Even though they are considered 'equivalent' in relative rank, they are as a rule historically unrelated and thus hard to compare.

The Japanese cognate shishaku (shi) (Japanese: 子爵) was the fourth of the five peerage ranks established in the Meiji era. The Japanese system of nobility, Kazoku, which existed between 1884 and 1947 was based heavily on the British peerage. At the creation of the system, viscounts were the most numerous of all the ranks, with 324 being created compared to 11 non-imperial princes or dukes, 24 marquesses, 76 counts and 74 barons, for a total of 509 peers.[14]

Other equivalent titles existed, such as:

  • the Chinese tzu-chueh (tzu) or zijue (zi) (Chinese: 子爵), hereditary title of nobility first established in the Zhou dynasty
  • the Korean cognate jajak or Pansŏ
  • the Vietnamese cognate Tử
  • the Manchu jingkini hafan

See also

References

  1. ^ Viscount. Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  2. ^ Viscountess. Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Upshur, Jiu-Hwa; Terry, Janice; Holoka, Jim; Goff, Richard; Cassar, George H. (2011). Cengage Advantage Books: World History. I. California: Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc. p. 329. ISBN 9781111345167.
  4. ^ "Viscount (n.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  5. ^ Loud, G. A. (1999). Conquerors and churchmen in Norman Italy. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing Co. p. 4. ISBN 9780860788034.
  6. ^ a b c Petit-Dutaillis, C. (1936). The Feudal Monarchy in France and England. Oxford, UK: Routledge. p. 162. ISBN 9781136203503.
  7. ^ "Journals of the House of Lords". cii. 1870: 512. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  8. ^ "28 June 1838". Queen Victoria's Journals. 4. Buckingham Palace, Princess Beatrice's copies. 1 June – 1 October 1838. p. 84. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  9. ^ Denyer, Ian; Bavister, Grant (2014) [2004]. "The Roll of the Peerage" (PDF). College of Arms. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Viscount and Viscountess". Debretts. n.d. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Courtesy Titles". Debretts. n.d. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Ceremonial Robes". Debretts. n.d. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Functions of the Viscount's Department". States of Jersey. n.d. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  14. ^ Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan, p. 391.
Anthony Eden

Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, (12 June 1897 – 14 January 1977) was a British Conservative politician who served three periods as Foreign Secretary and then a relatively brief term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 to 1957.

Achieving rapid promotion as a young Member of Parliament, he became Foreign Secretary aged 38, before resigning in protest at Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy towards Mussolini's Italy. He again held that position for most of the Second World War, and a third time in the early 1950s. Having been deputy to Winston Churchill for almost 15 years, he succeeded him as the leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister in April 1955, and a month later won a general election.

Eden's worldwide reputation as an opponent of appeasement, a "man of peace", and a skilled diplomat was overshadowed in 1956 when the United States refused to support the Anglo-French military response to the Suez Crisis, which critics across party lines regarded as an historic setback for British foreign policy, signalling the end of British predominance in the Middle East. Most historians argue that he made a series of blunders, especially not realising the depth of American opposition to military action. Two months after ordering an end to the Suez operation, he resigned as prime minister on grounds of ill health and because he was widely suspected of having misled the House of Commons over the degree of collusion with France and Israel.Eden is generally ranked among the least successful British prime ministers of the 20th century, although two broadly sympathetic biographies (in 1986 and 2003) have gone some way to shifting the balance of opinion. Biographer D. R. Thorpe described the Suez Crisis as "a truly tragic end to his premiership, and one that came to assume a disproportionate importance in any assessment of his career."

Bernard Montgomery

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, (; 17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976), nicknamed "Monty" and "The Spartan General", was a senior British Army officer who fought in both the First World War and the Second World War.

He saw action in the First World War as a junior officer of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. At Méteren, near the Belgian border at Bailleul, he was shot through the right lung by a sniper, during the First Battle of Ypres. He returned to the Western Front as a general staff officer and took part in the Battle of Arras in April/May 1917. He also took part in the Battle of Passchendaele in late 1917 before finishing the war as chief of staff of the 47th (2nd London) Division.

In the inter-war years he commanded the 17th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and, later, the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment before becoming commander of 9th Infantry Brigade and then General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8th Infantry Division.

During the Second World War he commanded the British Eighth Army from August 1942 in the Western Desert until the final Allied victory in Tunisia in May 1943. This command included the Second Battle of El Alamein. He subsequently commanded the British Eighth Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Allied invasion of Italy. He was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord from the initial landings until after the Battle of Normandy. He then continued in command of the 21st Army Group for the rest of the campaign in North West Europe. For Operation Market Garden the 21st Army Group failed in their airborne attempt to bridge the Rhine at the Battle of Arnhem. German armoured forces then attacked American lines in the Battle of the Bulge forcing them to retreat; Montgomery was given command of the US First Army and the US Ninth Army which stopped the German advance. In the Spring Montgomery then masterminded the successful Allied Rhine crossing. On 4 May 1945 he took the German surrender at Lüneburg Heath in Northern Germany.

After the war he became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) in Germany and then Chief of the Imperial General Staff (1946–1948). From 1948 to 1951 he served as Chairman of the Commanders-in-Chief Committee of the Western Union. He then served as NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe until his retirement in 1958.

David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon

David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon (born 3 November 1961), styled as Viscount Linley until 2017 and known professionally as David Linley, is an English furniture maker and a former chairman of the auction house Christie's UK. The son of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, he is therefore a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II, and a grandson of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. As of May 2019, he is 21st in the line of succession to the British throne, where he is the first person who is not a direct descendant of the Queen. At the time of his birth in 1961, he was fifth.

Earl of Sandwich

Earl of Sandwich is a noble title in the Peerage of England, held since its creation by the House of Montagu. It is nominally associated with Sandwich, Kent. It was created in 1660 for the prominent naval commander Admiral Sir Edward Montagu. He was made Baron Montagu, of St Neots in the County of Huntingdon, and Viscount Hinchingbrooke, at the same time, also in the Peerage of England. The viscountcy is used as the courtesy title by the heir apparent to the earldom. A member of the prominent Montagu family, Lord Sandwich was the son of Sir Sidney Montagu, youngest brother of Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester (from whom the Dukes of Manchester descend), and Edward Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Boughton (from whom the Dukes of Montagu descended).

He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He briefly represented Dover in the House of Commons and served as Ambassador to Portugal and as Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire.

The second Earl's great-grandson was The 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was a prominent statesman and served as First Lord of the Admiralty and as Secretary of State for the Northern Department. Lord Sandwich is also remembered for sponsoring the voyages of discovery made by Captain James Cook, R.N., who named the Sandwich Islands in his honour, and as the namesake of the sandwich.

He was succeeded by his son, the fifth Earl. He sat as Member of Parliament for Brackley and Huntingdonshire and served as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household and as Master of the Buckhounds. His son, the sixth Earl, also represented Huntingdonshire in Parliament.

He was succeeded by his son, the seventh Earl. He held office in the first two Conservative administrations of the Earl of Derby as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms and Master of the Buckhounds and was also Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire. His eldest son, the eighth Earl, represented Huntingdon in the House of Commons as a Conservative and served as Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire.

He was succeeded by his nephew, the ninth Earl. He was the son of Rear-Admiral the Hon. Victor Alexander Montagu, second son of the seventh Earl. Lord Sandwich was Member of Parliament for Huntingdon and Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire.

His son, the tenth Earl, represented South Dorset in Parliament as a Conservative from 1941 to 1962, when he succeeded his father in the earldom and had to resign his seat in the House of Commons and enter the House of Lords. He disclaimed his peerages in 1964 but never returned to the House of Commons.

As of 2017, the titles are held by his eldest son, the eleventh Earl, who succeeded in 1995. Lord Sandwich is one of the ninety elected hereditary peers that remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999, and sits as a cross-bencher.

The family seat is today at Mapperton in Dorset. From the 17th century until the 1960s, the family also owned Hinchingbrooke House in Huntingdonshire, from which the title Viscount Hinchingbrooke was derived.

Some historical papers of the family and its Hinchingbrooke estate are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office in Huntingdon.

F. J. Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich

Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon, (1 November 1782 – 28 January 1859), styled The Honourable F. J. Robinson until 1827 and known as The Viscount Goderich GOHD-rich between 1827 and 1833, the name by which he is best known to history, was a British politician during the Regency era. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between August 1827 and January 1828.

A member of the rural landowning aristocracy, Robinson entered politics through family connections. In the House of Commons he rose through junior ministerial ranks, achieving cabinet office in 1818 as President of the Board of Trade. In 1823 he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, a post he held for four years. In 1827 he was raised to the peerage, and in the House of Lords was Leader of the House and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

When the Prime Minister, George Canning, died in 1827 Goderich succeeded him, but was unable to hold together Canning's fragile coalition of moderate Tories and Whigs. He resigned after 144 days in office, the shortest in history for any British prime minister who did not die in office.

After leaving the premiership Goderich served in the cabinets of two of his successors, Earl Grey and Sir Robert Peel.

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution.

Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most importantly, he argued science could be achieved by use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. Although his practical ideas about such a method, the Baconian method, did not have a long-lasting influence, the general idea of the importance and possibility of a sceptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method. This method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology. Bacon was a patron of libraries and developed a functional system for the cataloging of books by dividing them into three categories—history, poetry, and philosophy—which could further be divided into more specific subjects and subheadings. Bacon was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he rigorously followed the medieval curriculum, largely in Latin.

Bacon was the first recipient of the Queen's counsel designation, which was conferred in 1597 when Queen Elizabeth reserved Bacon as her legal advisor. After the accession of King James I in 1603, Bacon was knighted. He was later created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621. Because he had no heirs, both titles became extinct upon his death in 1626, at 65 years. Bacon died of pneumonia, with one account by John Aubrey stating that he had contracted the condition while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat. He is buried at St Michael's Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire.

Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford

Frederic John Napier Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford, (12 August 1868 – 1 April 1933) was a British statesman who served as Governor of Queensland from 1905 to 1909, Governor of New South Wales from 1909 to 1913, and Viceroy of India from 1916 to 1921, where he was responsible for the creation of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms. After serving a short time as First Lord of the Admiralty in the government of Ramsay MacDonald, he was appointed the Agent-General for New South Wales by the government of Jack Lang before his retirement.

Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth

Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, (30 May 1757 – 15 February 1844) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister from 1801 to 1804. He is best known for obtaining the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, an unfavourable peace with Napoleonic France which marked the end of the Second Coalition during the French Revolutionary Wars. When that treaty broke down he resumed the war, but he was without allies and conducted relatively weak defensive hostilities, ahead of what would become the War of the Third Coalition. He was forced from office in favour of William Pitt the Younger, who had preceded Addington as Prime Minister. Addington is also known for his reactionary crackdown on advocates of democratic reforms during a ten-year spell as Home Secretary from 1812 to 1822. He is the longest continuously serving holder of that office since it was created in 1782.

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, (20 October 1784 – 18 October 1865) was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century. Palmerston dominated British foreign policy during the period 1830 to 1865, when Britain was at the height of her imperial power. He held office almost continuously from 1807 until his death in 1865. He began his parliamentary career as a Tory, defected to the Whigs in 1830, and became the first Prime Minister of the newly formed Liberal Party in 1859.

Palmerston succeeded to his father's Irish peerage in 1802. He became a Tory MP in 1807 (his Irish peerage did not bar him from a seat in the House of Commons, because it did not entitle him to a seat in the House of Lords). From 1809 to 1828 he served as Secretary at War, in which post he was responsible for the organisation of the finances of the army. He first attained Cabinet rank in 1827, when George Canning became Prime Minister, but, like other Canningites, he resigned from office one year later.

He served as Foreign Secretary 1830–34, 1835–41, and 1846–51. In this office, Palmerston responded efficaciously to a series of conflicts in Europe. His belligerent actions as Foreign Secretary, some of which were highly controversial, have been considered to be prototypes of the practice of liberal interventionism.

Palmerston became Home Secretary in Aberdeen's coalition government, in 1852, subsequent to the Peelite advocacy of the appointment of Lord John Russell to the office of Foreign Secretary. As Home Secretary, Palmerston enacted various social reforms, although he opposed electoral reform. When public antipathy over the Government's policy in the Crimean War lost the Government popular favour, in 1855, Palmerston was the only Prime Minister who was able to sustain a majority in Parliament. He had two periods in office, 1855–1858 and 1859–1865, before his death at the age of 80 years, a few months after victory in a general election in which he had achieved an increased majority. He remains, to date, the last Prime Minister to die in office.

Palmerston masterfully controlled public opinion by stimulating British nationalism, and, despite the fact that Queen Victoria and most of the political leadership distrusted him, he received and sustained the favour of the press and the populace, from whom he received the affectionate sobriquet 'Pam'. Palmerston's alleged weaknesses included mishandling of personal relations, and continual disagreements with the Queen over the royal role in determining foreign policy.Historians consider Palmerston to be one of the greatest foreign secretaries, as a consequence of his handling of great crises, his commitment to the balance of power, which provided Britain with decisive agency in many conflicts, his analytic skills, and his commitment to British interests. His policies in relation to India, Italy, Belgium and Spain had extensive long-lasting beneficial consequences for Britain: although the consequences of his policies toward France, the Ottoman Empire, and the United States were more ephemeral.

Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. He was noted for his inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics, which together resulted in a number of decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was wounded several times in combat, losing the sight in one eye in Corsica at the age of 36, as well as most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife when 40 years of age. He was shot and killed at the age of 47 during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar near the Spanish port city of Cádiz in 1805.

Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling, a high-ranking naval officer himself. He rose rapidly through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command at the age of 20 in 1778. He developed a reputation in the service through his personal valour and firm grasp of tactics but suffered periods of illness and unemployment after the end of the American War of Independence. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service, where he was particularly active in the Mediterranean. He fought in several minor engagements off Toulon and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797, he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.

Shortly after the battle, Nelson took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the attack was defeated and he was badly wounded, losing his right arm, and was forced to return to England to recuperate. The following year he won a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile and remained in the Mediterranean to support the Kingdom of Naples against a French invasion. In 1801 he was dispatched to the Baltic and won another victory, this time over the Danes at the Battle of Copenhagen. He subsequently commanded the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon and, after their escape, chased them to the West Indies and back but failed to bring them to battle. After a brief return to England he took over the Cádiz blockade in 1805. On 21 October 1805, the Franco-Spanish fleet came out of port, and Nelson's fleet engaged them at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle was Britain's greatest naval victory but during the action Nelson, aboard HMS Victory, was fatally wounded by a French sharpshooter. His body was brought back to England where he was accorded a state funeral.

Nelson's death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain's most heroic figures. The significance of the victory and his death during the battle led to his signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty", being regularly quoted, paraphrased and referenced up to the modern day. Numerous monuments, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London, and the Nelson Monument in Edinburgh, have been created in his memory and his legacy remains highly influential.

James, Viscount Severn

James, Viscount Severn (James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor; born 17 December 2007), is the younger child and only son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is 12th in line of succession to the British throne.

List of earls in the peerages of Britain and Ireland

This is a list of the 193 present and extant earls in the Peerages of the England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Note that it does not include extant earldoms which have become merged (either through marriage or elevation) with marquessates or dukedoms and are today only seen as subsidiary titles. For a more complete list, which adds these "hidden" earldoms as well as extinct, dormant, abeyant, and forfeit ones, see List of earldoms.

Peerage of Great Britain

The Peerage of Great Britain comprises all extant peerages created in the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union 1707 but before the Acts of Union 1800. It replaced the Peerage of England and the Peerage of Scotland until it was itself replaced by the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1801.

The ranks of the Peerage of Great Britain are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. Until the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999, all Peers of Great Britain could sit in the House of Lords.

In the following table of peers of Great Britain, higher or equal titles in the other peerages are listed. Those peers who are known by a higher title in one of the other peerages are listed in italics.

Some holders of the Peerage of Great Britain was created for peers in the Peerage of Scotland and Peerage of Ireland as they did not have an automatic seat in the House of Lords until the Peerage Act 1963 which gave Scottish Peers an automatic right to sit in the Lords.

Peerage of Ireland

The Peerage of Ireland consists of those titles of nobility created by the English monarchs in their capacity as Lord or King of Ireland, or later by monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The creation of such titles came to an end in the 19th century. The ranks of the Irish peerage are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. As of 2016, there were 135 titles in the Peerage of Ireland extant: two dukedoms, ten marquessates, 43 earldoms, 28 viscountcies, and 52 baronies. The Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland continues to exercise jurisdiction over the Peerage of Ireland, including those peers whose titles derive from places located in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Article 40.2 of the Irish Constitution forbids the state conferring titles of nobility and a citizen may not accept titles of nobility or honour except with the prior approval of the Government. As stated above, this issue does not arise in respect of the Peerage of Ireland, as no creations of titles in it have been made since the Constitution came into force.

In the following table, each peer is listed only by his or her highest Irish title, showing higher or equal titles in the other peerages. Those peers who are known by a higher title in one of the other peerages are listed in italics.

Peerage of the United Kingdom

The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union in 1801, when it replaced the Peerage of Great Britain. New peers continued to be created in the Peerage of Ireland until 1898 (the last creation being the Barony of Curzon of Kedleston).

Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood

Admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood (12 December 1724 – 27 January 1816) was a Royal Navy officer. As a junior officer he saw action during the War of the Austrian Succession. While in temporary command of Antelope, he drove a French ship ashore in Audierne Bay, and captured two privateers in 1757 during the Seven Years' War. He held senior command as Commander-in-Chief, North American Station and then as Commander-in-Chief, Leeward Islands Station, leading the British fleet to victory at Battle of the Mona Passage in April 1782 during the American Revolutionary War. He went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, then First Naval Lord and, after briefly returning to the Portsmouth command, became Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Vickers Viscount

The Vickers Viscount was a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948 by Vickers-Armstrongs. A design requirement from the Brabazon Committee, it entered service in 1953 and was the first turboprop-powered airliner.

The Viscount was well received by the public for its cabin conditions, which included pressurisation, reductions in vibration and noise, and panoramic windows. It became one of the most successful and profitable of the first post-war transport aircraft; 445 Viscounts were built for a range of international customers, including in North America.

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, (15 March 1779 – 24 November 1848) was a British Whig statesman who served as Home Secretary (1830–1834) and Prime Minister (1834 and 1835–1841). He is best known for being prime minister in Queen Victoria's early years and coaching her in the ways of politics, acting almost as her private secretary. Historians have concluded that Melbourne does not rank highly as a Prime Minister, for there were no great foreign wars or domestic issues to handle, he lacked major achievements, he enunciated no grand principles, and he was involved in several political scandals in the early years of Victoria's reign.

Melbourne was Prime Minister on two occasions. The first occasion ended when he was dismissed by King William IV in 1834, the last British prime minister to be dismissed by a monarch. Six months later he was re-appointed and served for six years.

William Whitelaw, 1st Viscount Whitelaw

William Stephen Ian Whitelaw, 1st Viscount Whitelaw, (28 June 1918 – 1 July 1999), often known as Willie Whitelaw, was a British Conservative Party politician who served in a wide number of Cabinet positions, most notably as Home Secretary and de facto Deputy Prime Minister. He was Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1991.

Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

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