FANDOM


  • I know nothing about the various ranks of the British aristocracy,  but apparently if she marries Bertie, Edith will be in a higher social strata than the rest of the Crawleys.

    What will this entail?   Will they have to behave differently towards her?

    For example, will Mary be required to address her as "your ladyship"  or some such thing?

      Loading editor
    • Here are the ranks of the British aristocracy from highest to lowest with examples from the show:

      1) Duke/Duchess - Duke of Crowborough, from pilot episode and Barrow's lover

      2) Marquess/Marchioness - Shrimpie & Susan (Rose's parents)

      3) Earl/Countess - Robert and Cora

      4) Viscount/Viscountess - Lord Gillingham

      5) Baron/Baroness - Lord Merton, Lord Aysgarth (Martha's suitor from Season 4), and most likely Atticus's parents, Lord and Lady Sinderby.


      Bertie is now the Marquess of Hexham, so if Edith does get married to her she will be the Marchioness of Hexham. Since that's a step up from her father's title, Edith would thus, as he said in the last episode, outrank the entire family.

      Within the family itself I imagine she would still be referred to as Edith, as Bertie asked that they continue to call him Bertie. I know the staff immediately began referring to him as Lord Hexham and even Mary referred to him as Bertie Hexham to Violet. As for Edith, to new acquaintances no doubt she'd be referred to as Lady Hexham. Some might or might not still refer to her as Lady Edith as they had before (example being conversations between Mary and Anna).

        Loading editor
    • Other than the difference in title, I think in their somewhat modern world the difference in rank would  mean that seating order at a dinner may be impacted;  invitations would be more plentiful; and advice and influence would be sought more often.  The size or their fortune may have an ever larger impact!  I hope they have a lot of money!!!

        Loading editor
    • Not only will Edith outrank her entire family, she will have the castle where the first two Harry Potter films were filmed! Although not because she was a Marchioness, I just thought that was exciting.

        Loading editor
    • As she has now married Bertie, her official title is "The Most Honourable Lady Edith Pelham, nee Crawley, Marchioness of Hexham".

        Loading editor
    • Spin off

      If there ever will be a spin off of the series Downton Abbey ( in a few years), I am sure it will be around Bertie and Edith and Brancaster. In the meantime Brancaster has been so often used as a kind of second residence of the family that this will be a very natural choice. They only have to find a new "DC" like Maggie Smith....because whe will be really 110 by then.

        Loading editor
    • HarryPotterRules1 wrote:
      As she has now married Bertie, her official title is "The Most Honourable Lady Edith Pelham, nee Crawley, Marchioness of Hexham".

      I doubt this.

      Lady Edith Pelham would mean that she is an unmarried daughter of the Marquess of Hexham. As she is his wife, she will never use the surname Pelham, but only the surname Hexham.     

        Loading editor
    • That actually is her title; she uses "Lady" because it's hers by birth and she uses his surname as she is his wife -- the title she got by marriage too, so she uses that too!

      Their full titles are: "The Most Honourable Lord Herbert Pelham, 7th Marquess of Hexham and his wife The Most Honourable Lady Edith Pelham, nee Crawley, Marchioness of Hexham". Both would be known in conversation, to anyone but family, as "Lord and Lady Hexham"

        Loading editor
    • 83.86.96.157 wrote: Spin off

      If there ever will be a spin off of the series Downton Abbey ( in a few years), I am sure it will be around Bertie and Edith and Brancaster. In the meantime Brancaster has been so often used as a kind of second residence of the family that this will be a very natural choice. They only have to find a new "DC" like Maggie Smith....because whe will be really 110 by then.

      That's Mrs Pelham, surely?

        Loading editor
    • HarryPotterRules1 wrote:
      That actually is her title; she uses "Lady" because it's hers by birth and she uses his surname as she is his wife -- the title she got by marriage too, so she uses that too!

      Their full titles are: "The Most Honourable Lord Herbert Pelham, 7th Marquess of Hexham and his wife The Most Honourable Lady Edith Pelham, nee Crawley, Marchioness of Hexham". Both would be known in conversation, to anyone but family, as "Lord and Lady Hexham"

      What I meant is that their surname is no more Pelham but Hexham. He is not called Lord Herbert Pelham but Herbert Hexham if he doesn't use his title. 

        Loading editor
    • His surname IS Pelham still; their son will be "Pelham" until he succeeds his title. He's just Lord Hexham as a title; his surname is, and will be until he's dead and buried, be Pelham.

        Loading editor
    • HarryPotterRules1 is right. It's the same with Edith's parents. They are Lord and Lady GRANTHAM but their surname is Crawley. Edith was born Edith CRAWLEY not Edith Grantham.

        Loading editor
    • Yes, exactly. She's "Lady Edith Pelham, nee Crawley, Marchioness of Hexham" and will be until Bertie dies, when she becomes "Dowager". 

        Loading editor
    • Hexham is the title, just as Grantham is the title, and Flintshire is Shrimpie's title. The family name is Pelham, as is Crawley, as is MacLare. In terms of precedence, Bertie and Edith outrank everyone at Downton. Interestingly, Mrs. Pelham has no title or official status. So, she didn't really dare cut off Bertie and Edith, because they could by all rights evict her from Brancaster.

        Loading editor
    • Technically, as there is no Dowager Marchioness of Hexham alive, Mrs Pelham COULD petition the King to have herself made Dowager Marchioness, as if her husband had succeeded.

        Loading editor
    • HarryPotterRules1 wrote: Technically, as there is no Dowager Marchioness of Hexham alive, Mrs Pelham COULD petition the King to have herself made Dowager Marchioness, as if her husband had succeeded.

      The King would never grant Bertie's mother the title of Dowager. The rules are very strict. A dowager is the widow of a man who had either title or wealth and Bertie's father had neither.

      Bertie and Mathew were distant cousin with no title. Even when Mathew became heir presumptive, he was still called Mr Crawley and his mother was called Mrs Crawley. After Mathew died, Mary wasn't called a Dowager because Mathew hadn't inherited the title and you can't be a Dowager Countess if you've never been a Countess. Mary remains to be called Lady Mary because she is still the daughter of an Earl.

      When Robert dies, and George becomes the 8th Earl, George's wife will be recorded as the next Countess of Grantham.

        Loading editor
    • About mrs.Pelham bearing the title of Dowager. In the discussions I read that this title will never be granted. Though mrs. Pelham does behave alike. Didn't she live (with Bertie?) in the neighbourhood of Brancaster of did they move to the castle (as her husband seemed to be the agent before Bertie). Being married to Bertie's father she could not afford the grand life of Lady of the House I suppose, as Bertie is telling Edith he has nothing to offer in this respect. I do not suppose that his mother would have the means he has not, but may be she is of a higher birth? ... So I think the whole scene at Brancaster with all the "friends"is quite odd. Could all these people be gathered in a few days (as Lord Grantham is saying : we have to go there this weekend to announce the engagement). Or was there a dinner already planned for the new Marquess with all his relations and friends? People/friends to support the new Marquess should be people that were at the same society level of the former Marquess I suppose. They would then hardly be aware of the existence of Mrs. Pelham, the mother of the former agent. And now her son became the new Marquess it looks like she is the one who invited all these people (and behaves as such - dresses,jewellery etc.), even with her speech, addressing the dinner guests to welcome and thank them for their support, she pretends that her status is much more than it is in reality. I don't think they are "her" friends or relations, but those of Bertie starting to brush up the network of his cousin, he has to deal with as his successor. I wonder why Julian Fellowes put her in that position. Even if she is that strong woman Bertie predicted earlier, she would not be accepted by the new and old relations (as an agent) of Bertie. She does not belong to the Upper Class, and thanks to her son she is allowed to be in their company now. So, in my opinion the setting of that dinner and the position of mrs. Pelham is rather weird.

        Loading editor
    • You’re right, he probably lived with his mother after his father died. We know Bertie didn’t live in the castle – in the Season 5 Christmas special, Edith thought he was leaving before dinner but he was only looking for his tie.

      Television gives the illusion of compressing time. Peter died around July/August 1925, so by the time of the Christmas special, he had been to Tangiers and back, and was living miserably in London without Edith. While he was gone, his mother was probably planning the banquet at Brancaster Castle. In the feudal days, it was customary to have a gathering of the local knights/lords so that they could meet the new Lord and swear fidelity. Bertie was just killing two birds with one stone when he announced his engagement.

      I’m sure as soon as the old Marques died, everyone ran to their copy of Burke's Peerage to see who the new Marques would be. They would have seen that Bertie’s father was dead but is survived by a widow and son. If they didn’t know who Mrs. Pelham was before, they did then. Also, you know those mothers with eligible daughters would have seen that Bertie single (think of Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice).

      We don’t know what Mrs. Pelham’s status was before marrying…maybe she is a Lady by birth. Ultimately, it’s the position the guest must respect, and in this situation, she is the mother of the sitting Marques.

        Loading editor
    • As someone above noted, although the Marquess's and Marchioness's familiy name remains Pelham, other members of the aristocracy might refer to hiim as "Hexham" and her as "Lady Hexham," just as they might refer to Lord Grantham as "Grantham," and Cora as "Lady Grantham," since the title is metonymic for the entire estate (and its history).

      In terms of Mrs. Pelham, though the immediate family is middle class, the close links to the Marquesses of Hexham and periodic visits suggest that there could have been closer ties than we see. Also, she could have come from an upper middle class background. Think of Henry Talbot, very upper-class in manner and mien, but 38 people away from the title, and thus not a member of the aristocracy.

      He marries the mother of an earl and gains no title, but he would be quite comfortable in that milieu. He is, however, without realy money. I almost found it hard to believe that an heiress like Mary, with a son who is an aristocrat, would marry down like this. My question is, how common would this sort of move be?

        Loading editor
    • How common it was for noble women to marry down I cannot say, but at least on the show we have seen it before. Sybil married Tom, and had Michael Gregson not died Edith undoubtedly would've married him.

      As for Bertie and his mother, it certainly seemed to me they were familiar with Brancaster, and Mrs Pelham like Bertie must have known the previous Lord Hexham well, especially since it is implied he was gay and they both knew him to be so.

        Loading editor
    • I think she or Bertie can petition for her to have the precedence of a dowager marchioness.  

        Loading editor
    • Highly unlikely though, especially since Bertie's a marquess. Lord Sinderby was able to acquire the title of Baron, but Marquess is much higher up. Mary probably wouldn't be able to petition for the precedence of Dowager Countess whenever George becomes Lord Grantham.

        Loading editor
    • For the little info about Bertie family, we can assume that he belongs to the landed gentry, and her mother knows how to move there, and she also knew enough  previous Lord Hexham and his trips to Tangiers . Maybe the Pelhams were not  many in numbers, and maybe for that reason Bertie´s father was close to the Lord Hexham (Peter´s father), and for extension Bertie was also close to last Lord Hexham. Also Bertie being a army officer and later a land agent is consistent with what was expected from a men of his type, a gentleman related to the landed gentry was expected being in the army of managing land; business was not a proper ocupation for a english gentleman.; ovbiously being that type of men it also means little money. For example Carlisle was the complete opposite to was considered a gentleman in those days, and not only on manners, also in his way of living (winning to all cost in everything), remember that those boys were educated to be loyal with strong sense of camarederie (in the school: camarederie to their school houses and to the school, this was made through sports and things like that; so the ovbious move was being in the army and their must be loyal and take care of their men and loyal to their regiments).  

      I think that when Bertie left the army it was not only pitty that motivated the last lord Hexham to gave him the job of estate manager, i think that was also to keep Bertie close like spare heir. Also the job of estate manager was and is very important, is a possition of trust and ability, and if we have in count that Bertie´s cousin didnt expend too much there, with major reason gave the job to someone close and loyal to him. 

        Loading editor
    • Well, what we know is that there is definitely at least two Pelhams. Peter, before he died, and Bertie. There was Bertie's father until 1923 and, maybe, a shared cousin in Adela - Peter's fiancée. Bertie mentions her as Peter's cousin, but not his own, implying she's a maternal relative.

        Loading editor
    • Since (as far as I can tell), Berti has no subsidiary titles, if he and Edith have a son, would the son be Lord Pelham and if he has a son while Bertie is alive, he would be Master Pelham?

        Loading editor
    • No, Bertie's son will be Master First Name Pelham.  That's because only direct heirs get courtesy titles.  

        Loading editor
    • Wouldn't Bertie's son be a direct heir? As the son of the current Marquess. And any younger sons would be called Lord First Name, like any daughters would be Lady First Name.

        Loading editor
    • Yes, he would have a courtesy title if and when Bertie inherits, but not before.

        Loading editor
    • Edith and Bertie's son will be born with the courtesy title because they get married after Bertie inherits.

        Loading editor
    • The eldest son of a Marquess would use his father's secondary title as a courtesy title. There are no Marquesses without secondary titles, so Bertie and Edith's eldest son would be called "Lord Secondtitle" (whatever that second title was, such as Earl of This, or Viscount That.) Like the sons of dukes, all of the sons of Marquesses are called "Lord", combined with their first name and their surname, so other sons would be "Lord John Pelham", or "Lord William Pelham", etc. All of Bertie and Edith's daughters would be "Lady [First name] Pelham", using the same rule as that for the daughters of Dukes or Earls. Unfortunately, even if Bertie adopts Marigold, she will not get to use the title "Lady", as it is just for the actual daughters of a higher-ranking peer and not an adopted daughter.

        Loading editor
    • Yes, until 2004, Marigold has no right to a title, even if Bertie adopts her.

      Until 2004 adopted children of peers had no right to any courtesy title. Pursuant to a Royal Warrant dated 30 April 2004, adopted children are now automatically entitled to the same styles and courtesy titles as their siblings. However, unlike biological children, they cannot inherit peerages from an adopting parent (and so, as they cannot be heirs apparent, adopted sons may only use the styles of younger sons).

      Thus, in 2004, assuming Marigold is alive, the moment the law passes she'd automatically become "Lady Marigold Pelham" as she was the adopted daughter of a now presumably deceased Marquess.

        Loading editor
    • 83.86.96.157 wrote: About mrs.Pelham bearing the title of Dowager. In the discussions I read that this title will never be granted. Though mrs. Pelham does behave alike. Didn't she live (with Bertie?) in the neighbourhood of Brancaster of did they move to the castle (as her husband seemed to be the agent before Bertie).... So I think the whole scene at Brancaster with all the "friends"is quite odd. People/friends to support the new Marquess should be people that were at the same society level of the former Marquess I suppose. They would then hardly be aware of the existence of Mrs. Pelham, the mother of the former agent. I don't think they are "her" friends or relations, but those of Bertie starting to brush up the network of his cousin, he has to deal with as his successor. She does not belong to the Upper Class, and thanks to her son she is allowed to be in their company now. So, in my opinion the setting of that dinner and the position of mrs. Pelham is rather weird.

      Good point! Another thing I found odd is that Mrs. Pelham was wearing a tiara at the dinner table. I was always under the impression that only married women with a title were supposed to wear a tiara.

      I also found it rather a stretch at her acceptance of Edith and her illegitimate child, since she seemed obsessed with Bertie's 'morality'. In 1925, there is no way an Earl's daughter would have ever been allowed to keep a child out of wedlock---there's just no way.

        Loading editor
    • There is a way. If the Earl's family; or the Marquess's family she marries into, is sufficiently wealthy. Wealth and rank would excuse a multitude of sins. And Bertie is a millionaire. Mrs Pelham spent her life as a Middle class lady, and as such had to live by Middle Class morals which were actually far stricter than the morals of the aristocracy. People may shun the family of a Land Agent, but few would avoid the company of a millionaire Marquess. My guess is that Mrs Pelham; despite still being in a middle class mind set, comes to realise that. That's why she accepts Edith.

        Loading editor
    • RCBadger wrote:
      Yes, he would have a courtesy title if and when Bertie inherits, but not before.

      Bertie and Mary's son will have the title Lord First Name Pelham as the son of a Marquess just as Lord Grantham's daughters each are called Lady First Name.  It is customary for the eldest son of a peer of the realm to be called by a subsidiary title of his father of one exists.  It may or may not.

        Loading editor
    • 109.149.189.102 wrote: There is a way. If the Earl's family; or the Marquess's family she marries into, is sufficiently wealthy. Wealth and rank would excuse a multitude of sins. And Bertie is a millionaire. Mrs Pelham spent her life as a Middle class lady, and as such had to live by Middle Class morals which were actually far stricter than the morals of the aristocracy. People may shun the family of a Land Agent, but few would avoid the company of a millionaire Marquess. My guess is that Mrs Pelham; despite still being in a middle class mind set, comes to realise that. That's why she accepts Edith.

      Indeed, Edith did what she could to keep Marigold. And it worked out in the end, even if there were problems along the way. So I don't think it was impossible for an earl's daughter to keep an illegimate child. Even a prestigious family could take in an illegitimate relative as a "ward", and pretend as if nothing "shameful" had happened. So even though this child would hardly get the same status as an legitimate child, he/she would grow up with his/her family in a rich household. So it was maybe difficult, but not really impossible.

      It might be hard for Bertie though to justify why he let Edith bring Marigold into the marriage. By by that time, he had become a marquess. So yeah, I hope that people will respect him enough to ignore it and leave them alone.

        Loading editor
    • Furienna
      Furienna removed this reply because:
      Double post
      03:01, August 29, 2016
      This reply has been removed
    • I think that her title is Her Ladyship, The Marchioness of Hexham, Lady Edith Pelham and Marigold is now Lady Marigold Pelham, I believe.

        Loading editor
    • No, because "Her Ladyship" is not part of her title or the title of any female peer or wife or daughter of a peer.  Her title is "The Marchioness of Hexham."  I know marquesses are "The Most Honourable" but I don't know if their wives also get that particular description.

      Edith would sign herself as Edith Hexham.  She would be referred to as Lady Hexham.  Marigold who I would assume Bertie will adopt will be Miss Marigold Pelham, because back then adopted children did not get titles from their adoptive parents.

      FTR, she is Lady Edith Pelham, but I don't believe she'd ever be referred to that way.

        Loading editor
    • I don't think so... Barons, Viscount, Earls and Marquesses are all Lords, so their style is His Lordship [Title].

      Take Cora, for example. As she is married to a Lord, wouldn't she be called Her Ladyship?

        Loading editor
    • That is how their servants would refer to them when speaking to others.  It's also one of the ways they would address them.  The other would be "M'Lord" or "M'Lady."  Obviously, others may choose to use it, but it's not necessary.  

      I've never seen Lord or Ladyship used as part of anyone's official title.  

        Loading editor
    • Edith's full title would be The Most Honourable, Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham. The servants would refer to her as "Her Ladyship" when talking ABOUT her and "Your Ladyship" when talking TO her.

      In conversation, Edith would be "Lady Hexham" and Bertie would be "Lord Hexham", except to family who may refer to them by name when talking to them.

        Loading editor
    • Don't forget Bertie and she would have a slew of lesser titles, one of which would be a courtesy title for their oldest son, should they have one.

        Loading editor
    • Yes, those too.

        Loading editor
    • If they would have a son, he would be born as an earl. And if that son has a son while Bertie is alive, he will be born as a viscount.

        Loading editor
    • Indeed, courtesy titles?

        Loading editor
    • Bertie and Edith's eldest son would have the courtesy title of Earl but he wouldn't be an actual Earl.  Also, their eldest son's eldest son wouldn't necessarily have the courtesy title of Viscount.  He might also have the courtesy title of Baron.  Both the eldest sons of Earl of St. Andrew's and Earl of Ulster, heirs to TRH The Dukes of Kent and Gloucester respectively, have the courtesy title of Baron. So does the eldest son of  The Countess Mountbatten of Burma.  He's an interesting case because he is an actual Baron too because he inherited his father's title which was Baron Brabourne.  Before then, he was known by his courtesy title Baron Romsey.  More than likely, when he succeeds to the Earldom, Baron Brabourne will become the courtesy title for his eldest son.

        Loading editor
    • But then, what is the difference between an "courtesy earl" and an "actual earl"? I'm only a beginner in the subject of ranks within the British nobility, so I don't know all the details yet.

      And yeah, I guess that the grandson of a marquess (or a son of an earl) could be a baron instead of a viscount. Yet again, I'm only a beginner in this subject.

        Loading editor
    • The difference between a "real" title and a "courtesy" title is that a courtesy title has no legal weight.  The person has it due to custom and/or courtesy.  I don't know if this is still true, but it used to be that the holder of a courtesy title could sit in the House of Commons.  A real peer could only sit in the House of Lords.  

        Loading editor
    • I see... Well, I guess that you will have to learn something new every day.

        Loading editor
    • Furienna wrote:

      109.149.189.102 wrote: There is a way. If the Earl's family; or the Marquess's family she marries into, is sufficiently wealthy. Wealth and rank would excuse a multitude of sins. And Bertie is a millionaire. Mrs Pelham spent her life as a Middle class lady, and as such had to live by Middle Class morals which were actually far stricter than the morals of the aristocracy. People may shun the family of a Land Agent, but few would avoid the company of a millionaire Marquess. My guess is that Mrs Pelham; despite still being in a middle class mind set, comes to realise that. That's why she accepts Edith.

      Indeed, Edith did what she could to keep Marigold. And it worked out in the end, even if there were problems along the way. So I don't think it was impossible for an earl's daughter to keep an illegimate child. Even a prestigious family could take in an illegitimate relative as a "ward", and pretend as if nothing "shameful" had happened. So even though this child would hardly get the same status as an legitimate child, he/she would grow up with his/her family in a rich household. So it was maybe difficult, but not really impossible.

      It might be hard for Bertie though to justify why he let Edith bring Marigold into the marriage. By by that time, he had become a marquess. So yeah, I hope that people will respect him enough to ignore it and leave them alone.

      Sort of reminds me of a line Violet said to Robert right after he gave his blessing for Sybil to marry Tom at the end of season 2 - aristocracy not surviving by intransigence.

        Loading editor
    • 68.118.147.142 wrote:

      We don’t know what Mrs. Pelham’s status was before marrying…maybe she is a Lady by birth. Ultimately, it’s the position the guest must respect, and in this situation, she is the mother of the sitting Marques.

      She wouldn't have been a 'lady by birth', because no one ever called her by any aristocratic title; she was only known as 'Mrs. Pelham'. Had she been the daughter of a nobleman, she would have retained the title of 'Lady' even if she had married a Commoner. Much as Lady Mary retained her title even after marrying Henry.

      Even though she had no official title, Mrs. Pelham's social status would have gone up somewhat as the mother of a Marquess, but certainly not the equivalent had she bore the title 'Marchioness' herself. I too found the 'dining room scene' unrealistic as Mrs. Pelham would not have been the social intimates of most of the people in that room. It's possible that in the time between when Bertie inherited the title and when he got back together with Edith, that Mrs. Pelham hosted several dinners or parties at the castle and got to know some of them better. But all in all, I found her character far too obtrusive given the fact that she was in no position to not accept Edith as Bertie's choice for a wife. In reality, they could have easily banished her from the castle had she persisted.

        Loading editor
    • That all depends; much like Mary, Mrs Pelham could petition the King to have herself declared Marchioness, as if her husband succeeded...

        Loading editor
    • In the first encounter betwen Edith and Bertie, the last one told Edith that the family went regulary to Brancaster because of their family relation with the Hexham´s. So, we can fairly assume that Bertie Pelham was part of the landed gentry, a distan family, but in the end a member; with the little information that we have about the character is logic: 1. His profession: Bertie said that before the war he was in the army, in 1924-1925 only professional officers were in the british army. Volunteers officers like Matthew and Gregson were discharged when the war ended. Plus, after the war and in a effort to reduce cost the army was being reduced, so Bertie Pelham was a capable officer who maintained his post. Maybe he was a major or captain, because of the war, many young officers were up in the rank very young. Being an army officer was not a little thing, Churchill himself, tried for 3 times to get a place in Sandhusrt (the military college). Also, being an army officer it was a respectable ocupattion for a man of his type, even in the 20´s the old landed gentry expected that their men had possitions in the army and ocupattions like managing land; making money was something that was considered unsuitable for a gentleman. Robert himself was a professional soldier before being an earl. 2. Being made Agent of Brancaster; the possition was very important, it was like the ceo of some big company today. The agent only was below the current lord, and those families many times gave that position to some distant member of the family. The agent would have his own house, very different from the cottages of the tenants farmers, it would be a house like the Crawley House (the place in wich Isobel lived). So, it wasnt a minor thing being agent of that place. 3. His blood relation: for me the odd thing is the Crawleys, in the precise moment that the family would have know that Edith is having a relation with Bertie they would have go to their Debrett book and see who is. They would have noticed that is the apparent heir, so there is a chance that maybe he wasnt going to be the next marchioness but there is a posibility that one of their sons would be one if Bertie´s cousin didnt have a son. Far more incredible is the reaction of the family when Mary sabotaged the relation, a family like the Crawleys would have done anything to marry him and Edith, because in the end marriages like that were intended to made powerful aliances betwen that families. Even Mary shoot in her foot, because George would be not only the next earl but also the nephew of the marquess of hexham, a powerful contact for anything. Also when Mary said that she didnt want to still Edith´s thunder with her pregnancy, seriously? Edith marrying one of the powerful men in England vs being pregnant with a second hand car saleslman? 3. By this characteristics we can assume that Bertie was part of landed gentry, his family was in contact touch with the current Hexhams, he and his family had the trust of last lord Hexham in order to made him an agent of the family seat. The thing is that Lord Sinderby and Atticues were the wrong there (Atticus was a nice chap), but was foolish in their part almost snob Bertie before the party, because by snobbing him they were almost insulting the current Lord Hexham. For that reason i can see clearly why Bertie´s mother behaved in such way, i dont think that she was a little old lady living in a humble cottage before Bertie inheriting. And i think that Hexhams were intended to represent the other aristocrats that still exists in England, those who had so much land and money that allowed to them cope better with the new times for the mere size of their estates (like the Dukes of Devonshire, Wenstmienters, Marques Salisbury, etc), in all moments Robert and Cora were amazed by the size and oppulance of the place and they were a earl and a countess, Mary was extremely jelaousy of Edith´s new possition, etc.

        Loading editor
    • HarryPotterRules1 wrote: That all depends; much like Mary, Mrs Pelham could petition the King to have herself declared Marchioness, as if her husband succeeded...

      There is no way this would have ever been approved by the King as her husband was never a Marques to begin with. If Prince Charles dies before his mother, Camilla would never hold the title of "Queen Consort" because her husband never actually became King.

        Loading editor
    • Very true, Camilla cannot. However, there IS precedence for Mrs Pelham obtaining the title of Dowager. It's happened before in history. Mary could do it too when her father is dead -- she can petition the king (or Queen if Robert dies after 1953!) for the title of Dowager Countess of Grantham, as if Matthew had succeeded her father.

        Loading editor
    • Most of the cases where someone petitions for a change in precedence involve children of heirs who predecease their parent.  For instance, if George had a sister, when he succeeds to the title, he could petition for her to have the rank and precedence of an Earl's daughter even though she really isn't.

      According to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Warrant_of_Precedence, there are very few cases of widows in Mary's situation succeeding in having their precedence changed, and none of them were married to men above the rank of baron.  

        Loading editor
    • Nonetheless, there IS precedence for it.

        Loading editor
    • Actually, I do wonder if anyone in Mary's specific circumstances - a widow of an heir to an Earl or someone of higher rank - has ever petitioned for a Royal Warrant of Precedence.   It could just be no one has and that's why we don't see any listed.

        Loading editor
    • Or that, yes.

        Loading editor
    • Can i clarify, Edith's legal title will be The Most Honourable The Marchioness of Hexham or (The) Lady Hexham for short. Alternatively: Edith Pelham, 7th Marchioness of Hexham. She certainly will not be Lady Edith Pelham in any way.

        Loading editor
    • She will, actually. Her full title would be The Most Honourable The Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham (and whatever other titles her husband has!)

        Loading editor
    • Edith's formal title is "The Most Honourable the Marchioness of Hexham". 

      Informally, and 99% of the time, she is addressed as Lady Hexham. 

      Among friends and family, she would be informally referred to as "Edith Hexham." 

      The other posters are correct, she will not be Lady Edith Pelham. The only 'Lady Edith Pelham' would be a daughter named Edith who, as the daughter of a marquess, has the courtesy title of 'Lady Edith' just as Edith did as the daughter of the Earl of Grantham. 

      The rule is that when you marry a peer, you take the title and precedence associated with your husband's title. It doesn't matter if you had your own courtesy title. If Edith had married Sir Anthony Strallan, she would have become Lady Strallan (not Lady Edith Strallan). If Edith had married an earl, she would have become Lady XXX (husband's title). If Matthew had lived and inherited the Grantham earldom, then Mary would have gone from being Lady Mary Crawley to Countess of Grantham (or Lady Grantham informally). She would not have become 'Lady Mary Crawley, Countess of Grantham' or Lady Mary Grantham. 

      Women with courtesy titles who married men with no titles retained their courtesy title. So if Edith had married Michael Gregson, she would have become Lady Edith Gregson.  

      By the way, you are also incorrect regarding Mrs Pelham being able to petition to acquire the status of dowager. The 'dowager' is only used for women for whom there is a another holder of their title. Violet became dowager because Robert was married to Cora, who became the new Countess of Grantham. Had Robert been single and unmarried, then Violet wouldn't be a dowager because she is still the sole countess of Grantham. The whole point of still having the term dowager was to distinguish the widow of a peer from the wife of the next holder of the peerage (this was in the days before divorces allowed the prospect of multiple living ex-wives of holders of a title).

      The only people who can petition for a courtesy title are the younger siblings of the holder of a title who inherited from a relative rather than his father. For example, if Bertie Hexham had a younger sister (hypothetically named Jane), she could petition to be known as Lady Jane Pelham, for had her father lived, she would have that courtesy title. But the privilege is never extended to the widow. If her husband died prior to inheriting the title, tough luck. 

      A perfect example is Lady Ottoline Morrell (you can find her on wiki) who was the younger half sister of William Cavendish Bentinck, who became 6th Duke of Portland on his cousin's death. 

        Loading editor
    • You can also petition to have the precedence that comes with a title, even if you don't have the title.  For instance, Mrs. Pelham could petition to have the precedence of a widow of a marquess.

        Loading editor
    • To make it clear, I study this.

      Edith's full title is, now that she's married, "The Most Honourable The Lady edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham (and whatever other titles her husband has.)

      Bertie's mother CAN petition for the title of Dowager. It's happened before with the mothers of Barons when a distant cousin has succeedrd to the title.

      And, just to correct you, Edith's title of Lady is hers, no matter what. If she had married Anthony Strallan she would have become Lady Edith Stallan.

      And, as for your so called "knowledge" on titles, Cora is "Lady Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham", that's why people lose her first name. Mary would have kept her title and first name -- like she did with Henry -- even if Matthew had succeeded. NOTHING, not even the accession of her husband to a title, gets rid of the "Lady" part of her name. Look at Sybil -- she stayed as "Lady Sybil" when she married Tom and he was a commoner!

      I got this from Debretts. That's why Edith is "Lady's Edith Pelham"; her husband's surname is Pelham and she's Lady Edith by birth so she becomes Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham, followed by whatever other titles Bertie has.

      None of hat was to you, Badger. Don't think I'm biting your head off!

        Loading editor
    • I'm not sure I follow you Harry, for I have also studied this subject for various research purposes.

      Edith's title is the Marchioness of Hexham. Formally, as in court and ball announcements, court affairs, legal documents and so forth, she would be known as "The Most Honourable the Marchioness of Hexham". The full panopoly of appendange titles would not apply. The only circumstances when the full panoploy of associated titles would be used and found are in third rate regency romantic fiction. 

      I'm afraid you are incorrect and you are misleading people when you refer to Debretts, for Debretts themselves would have told you that women take the rank of their husband and their husbands' titles. This is the accurate rule from wiki's page:

      The daughter of a duke, marquess, or earl who marries a commoner becomes "Lady [Given name] [Husband's surname]". The daughter of a viscount or baron who marries a commoner is styled "The Honourable [Given name] [Husband's surname]" (the given name is dropped and Mrs is substituted if the husband's right to the style derives from office or appointment rather than from ancestral peerage).

      Any woman who marries a peer uses the feminine version of his peerage title, even if her own precedence is higher than his, as in the case of a duke's daughter marrying a baron, because a peerage is a substantive title, the usage of which is preferred to any courtesy style, unless she marries into the Royal Family. If a woman marries the younger son of a duke or marquess, she becomes "The Lady [Husband's given name] [Husband's surname]." If she marries the younger son of an earl, viscount or baron, she becomes "The Hon. Mrs [Husband's given name] [Husband's surname]."

      As you pointed out, Sybil retained her title when she married Tom, because her husband was a commoner. She became Lady Sybil Branson. Same with Mary when she married Matthew, and later Henry. Her husbands did not have titles. She remained Lady Mary Crawley with Matthew because the last name was the same. That does not contradict anything I said earlier. But Edith, in marrying a marquess, takes her husband's rank and is the Marchioness of Hexham/Lady Hexham. She is no longer "Lady Edith".

      Cora is never Lady Cora Crawley because she is not the daughter of an earl/marquess/duke. She never had that courtesy title to begin with. Her title is Countess of Grantham, and informally, Lady Grantham. The term "Lady Cora" would only be used if she was the daughter of one of those three ranks. 

      As for your claim: "Bertie's mother CAN petition for the title of Dowager. It's happened before with the mothers of Barons when a distant cousin has succeedrd to the title." Can you please back it up? Surely you can tell me the name of the the holder of the title and I can easily verify it. FYI "dowager" is not a title. A dowager is a widow who holds a title derived from her husband. As Mrs Pelham outlived her husband who died before he could inherit a title, she has no title to gain. 

      FYI this clarifies the rules regarding the use of dowagers as part of a title and you'll notice it's exactly what I said in my previous post. The site uses information from Debretts, by the way.

      http://laura.chinet.com/html/titles09.html

        Loading editor
    • Well, Mrs Pelham can petition for the style of a widow of a Marquess. Obviously, her husband never became one, so she can't use the full title.

      No. No. No. Lady is Edith's by right. Even if she marries. No matter what, she NEVER loses that. Her surname, now she's married is Pelham, and her husband's title is Marquess of Hexham, so she becomes The Most Honourable Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham, (countess, baroness, Viscountess, whatever else Bertie has. There could be loads for all we know!)

      For example, Rose. She's married Atticus. When Atticus becomes Baron Sinderby (as we assume that's his father's title!) Rose does NOT lose her title. She's titled by birth and will be The Most Honourable Lady Rose Aldridge, Baroness Sinderby

      The most Honourable is hers because she is the daughter of a Marquess. Lady is hers for life even when Atticus succeeds. She then gains Baroness as that is Atticus's title.

      The same occurs for Edith. Lady is hers BY RIGHT and it NEVER leaves her. Ever. She'll be Lady Edith from the moment she's born to the moment she dies, she just adds her husband's title to the end; in this case, Marchioness of Hexham.

        Loading editor
    • And Cora DOES become Lady Cora. The moment she married a lord (which Robert is) she becomes lady. Cora's full title is "The Right Honourable Lady Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, Viscountess Downton."

      That is correct as she married a lord (he was Viscount at the time!) and inherited his title by marriage. Per the terms of the law, Robert uses Viscount Downton as he has no son to use it.

        Loading editor
    • No, she cannot be Lady Cora because she was never the daughter of either a duke, marquess or earl.  

        Loading editor
    • She can and is. She's referred to as "Lady Cora" throughout the series. She became a Lady on marriage to a Lord.

        Loading editor
    • No, she wasn't.  

        Loading editor
    • I think you'll find she WAS, actually...

        Loading editor
    • No Harry you're simply wrong and despite your remonstrations it does not change the fact that her title would never be Lady Edith Pelhman etc..   These are held by courtesy and are NOT legal substantive titles.   More concerning is you think that Cora would be Lady Cora Crawley.  That honorific ONLY applies to daughters of a Duke, Marquess or Earl.  You cannot obtain Lady [lady's firstname] [lady's lastname] from marriage even from a Knight.   She would NEVER be Lady Edith Strallan had she married Sir Anthony.  She would be Lady Strallan only.  Ignorance and arrogance abound!

        Loading editor
    • Listen to me you ignorant little *ahem*.

      Rose will keep her title of Lady even when Atticus becomes Baron, because it's HER'S BY RIGHT OF BIRTH as the daughter of a Marquess. Just like Edith will keep Lady. It is HER'S BY RIGHT OF BIRTH as the daughter of an Earl. She will have Lady from the moment she goes "goo goo, I am a baby" to "now I am dead!"

      She was born with it, has it by right, and will always have it. Nothing, unless it turns out she is illegitimate, can take that from her.

      And Cora does. As wife of a lord, she becomes a lady. Lady Robert Crawley, Viscountess Downton on marriage, to be precise -- and I know that is correct and that you are wrong as all you have to do is look at Kate Middleton. She's a commoner... on marriage she became PRINCESS William of Wales.

      The same applies here for Cora. She becomes Lady Robert Crawley, Viscountess Downton. And then becomes Cora, Countess of Grantham (because Violet's title was Violet, Countess of Grantham and she's now Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham so the same applies for Cora.)

      Pelham is Bertie's surname -- so Edith takes that on marriage, but Lady is hers by right so she's Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham (and whatever else Bertie is... he presumably has at least one lower title for their child to take when he's born as his courtesy title.)

      So, in future, kindly know when you're wrong. I won't have to ask you to bow down and beg for forgiveness then will I?

        Loading editor
    • You're wrong.  Cora is not Lady Cora.  She is Lady Grantham.  Edith is not Lady Edith Pelham, she is Lady Hexham.  She would have been Lady Edith Pelham if Bertie hadn't succeeded his cousin just as Mary is Lady Mary Talbot and Rose is Lady Rose Aldridge.  Of course, when Atticus succeeds his father, she will be Lady Sinderby.

        Loading editor
    • I'm not wrong. Edith is a Lady. Edith is Lady Edith Pelham. Her husband's TITLE is Hexham, but his SURNAME is Pelham. He is The Most Honourable Lord Herbert Pelham, Marquess of Hexham; his wife, a LADY BY BIRTH, is The Most Honourable Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham.

      Yes, Rose will be, but she'll keep Lady in front of her name too as it is hers by right of birth. She'll be The Most Honourable Lady Rose Aldridge, Baroness (or Viscountess; its possible that's Sinderby's title!) Sinderby.

      Cora, by marriage, is Lady Cora. Doctor Clarkson calls her it repeatedly throughout the series when talking to her and she doesn't correct him. Cora is The Right Honourable Lady Cora Crawley (nee Levinson), Countess of Grantham, Viscountess Downton.

      I think you'll find I'm not arguing whether this you anymore. I'm right, you're wrong, and I've reported you to Wikia for insubordination.

      End of conversation.

        Loading editor
    • Cora is not Lady Cora.  She is Lady Grantham. She can't be Lady Cora because she isn't the daughter of a Duke, Marquess or Earl. And Dr. Clarkson has never called her Lady Cora.

        Loading editor
    • I'm not wrong.

      Actually you are very wrong and despite you "studying this" and using Debrett's name in that endeavour, you're still wrong


      Edith is a Lady.

      Yep.  In courtesy from  her father's Earldom.



      Edith is Lady Edith Pelham.

      No she is not.  Please provide evidence for this now that she has married a substantive Marquess of the realm.


      Her husband's TITLE is Hexham, but his SURNAME is Pelham. He is The Most Honourable Lord Herbert Pelham, Marquess of Hexham

      He has never hard the title "Lord" and only younger sons of Dukes or Marquesses have the title Lord. He was heir presumptive only and therefore did not use one of the courtesy titles - if there are any.  His full title is Albert, The Marquess of Hexhem or Lord Hexham for short.


      his wife, a LADY BY BIRTH, is The Most Honourable Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham.

      Not any more.  Her title as Marchionesses supersedes her courtesy title from her father's Earldom.  These are social titles not legal, substantive ones.


      Yes, Rose will be, but she'll keep Lady in front of her name too as it is hers by right of birth. She'll be The Most Honourable Lady Rose Aldridge, Baroness (or Viscountess; its possible that's Sinderby's title!) Sinderby.

      Firstly it is unlikely he is a Viscount as he would have been formally introduced as such.  He is likely a Baron as his title is very young and Viscountcies and above were only for certain folk e.g. ex-Speakers of the House of Comomns or former Prime Ministers.  Secondly she will only be Lady Rose Aldridge until her husband succeeds his father then she will be Rose, The Baroness Sinderby or Lady Sinderby for short.


      Cora, by marriage, is Lady Cora. Doctor Clarkson calls her it repeatedly throughout the series when talking to her and she doesn't correct him. Cora is The Right Honourable Lady Cora Crawley (nee Levinson), Countess of Grantham, Viscountess Downton.

      Can you provide which episode he says Lady Cora.  Alternatively, if he is, he is using this to avoid confusion between the Ladies Grantham.  She is not however Lady Cora Crawley in any manner of means and is quite wrong to suggest otherwise.  She is not the daughter of a Duke, Marquess or Earl.


      I think you'll find I'm not arguing whether this you anymore. I'm right, you're wrong, and I've reported you to Wikia for insubordination.


      You clearly don't know the definition of arguing.  You are wrong.  No-one agrees with you - even yourself as you've contradicted yourself.  Debretts certainly would not agree.


      End of conversation.


      No it is not.

        Loading editor
    • Listen to me you ignorant little *ahem*.

      I'm not the ignorant one here.

      Rose will keep her title of Lady even when Atticus becomes Baron, because it's HER'S BY RIGHT OF BIRTH as the daughter of a Marquess. Just like Edith will keep Lady. It is HER'S BY RIGHT OF BIRTH as the daughter of an Earl. She will have Lady from the moment she goes "goo goo, I am a baby" to "now I am dead!".  She was born with it, has it by right, and will always have it. Nothing, unless it turns out she is illegitimate, can take that from her.

      Nope.  Social courtesy titles don't mix.  Rose will keep Lady Rose Aldridge until Atticus succeeds his father when she will be Rose, The Baroness Sinderby.

      And Cora does. As wife of a lord, she becomes a lady. Lady Robert Crawley, Viscountess Downton on marriage, to be precise -- and I know that is correct and that you are wrong as all you have to do is look at Kate Middleton. She's a commoner... on marriage she became PRINCESS William of Wales.

      Nope nope nope!  Robert is not the younger son of a Duke or Marquess so doesn't hold by courtesy Lord Robert Crawley so his wife certainly does not.  I quite agree she is Princess William of Wales however she is also HRH Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge or Your Royal Highness for short.  She could also technically be called Your Grace as a substantive Duchess but HRH supersedes that.  Quite incorrect however to call her Lady Catherine or any combination.  P.S. Lord is a generic term for Barons, Viscounts, Earls and Marquesses.  It is only a title in itself to younger sons of Marquesses or Dukes.

      The same applies here for Cora. She becomes Lady Robert Crawley, Viscountess Downton. And then becomes Cora, Countess of Grantham (because Violet's title was Violet, Countess of Grantham and she's now Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham so the same applies for Cora.)

      Nearly right  See above.  And she actually becomes Cora, The Countess of Grantham or Lady Grantham for short,

      Pelham is Bertie's surname -- so Edith takes that on marriage, but Lady is hers by right so she's Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham (and whatever else Bertie is... he presumably has at least one lower title for their child to take when he's born as his courtesy title.)

      Nope.  Lady is dropped as she is now Edith, The Marchioness of Hexham.

      So, in future, kindly know when you're wrong. I won't have to ask you to bow down and beg for forgiveness then will I?

      I'm not wrong and likewise.  

        Loading editor
    • Uh, you do know that wasn't to you Commodre, right? Also that thing about Katherine becoming HRH, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge is wrong. She doesn't become that. She only keeps her name if she's born a Princess. She wasn't, so she takes William's title of Princess William of Wales. The Royal Family even released a notice on this, confirming her title.

        Loading editor
    • 129.97.11.9 wrote:

      83.86.96.157 wrote: About mrs.Pelham bearing the title of Dowager. In the discussions I read that this title will never be granted. Though mrs. Pelham does behave alike. Didn't she live (with Bertie?) in the neighbourhood of Brancaster of did they move to the castle (as her husband seemed to be the agent before Bertie).... So I think the whole scene at Brancaster with all the "friends"is quite odd. People/friends to support the new Marquess should be people that were at the same society level of the former Marquess I suppose. They would then hardly be aware of the existence of Mrs. Pelham, the mother of the former agent. I don't think they are "her" friends or relations, but those of Bertie starting to brush up the network of his cousin, he has to deal with as his successor. She does not belong to the Upper Class, and thanks to her son she is allowed to be in their company now. So, in my opinion the setting of that dinner and the position of mrs. Pelham is rather weird.

      Good point! Another thing I found odd is that Mrs. Pelham was wearing a tiara at the dinner table. I was always under the impression that only married women with a title were supposed to wear a tiara.

      I also found it rather a stretch at her acceptance of Edith and her illegitimate child, since she seemed obsessed with Bertie's 'morality'. In 1925, there is no way an Earl's daughter would have ever been allowed to keep a child out of wedlock---there's just no way.

      Only married women where suppose to wear tiara's does not matter about a title.


        Loading editor
    • RCBadger wrote:
      The difference between a "real" title and a "courtesy" title is that a courtesy title has no legal weight.  The person has it due to custom and/or courtesy.  I don't know if this is still true, but it used to be that the holder of a courtesy title could sit in the House of Commons.  A real peer could only sit in the House of Lords.  

      One has to be elected to sit inthe House of Commons, and a peer CAN be elected to the House of Commons, but has to renounce his seat in the House of Lord during his mandate in the HoC.

        Loading editor
    • The post-1999 rule allows substantive hereditary peers to be elected to the Commons if they have never served in the Lords or lost their seats in 1999.Life peers (originated in 1958) have never been allowed to serve in the Commons and courtesy peers have always been allowed to sit in the Commons.Disclaimer of hereditary peerages (possible from 1963) or resignation from the Lords (possible from 2014) would make someone eligible for the Commons.

      A peeress by marriage is in no sense "Lady [First name]" and a "Lady [First name]" by birth who marries a peer or inherits a peerage in her own right does not ever use the "Lady [First name]" title as a rule,though she could revert to it on a divorce.(I will stipulate that Lady Diana Cooper,a duke's daughter whose husband Duff Cooper spent his last years as the 1st Viscount Norwich,preferred to remain known as Lady Diana Cooper rather than Viscountess Norwich or after his death as Dowager Viscountess or Diana Viscountess Norwich).

        Loading editor
    • A FANDOM user
        Loading editor
Give Kudos to this message
You've given this message Kudos!
See who gave Kudos to this message

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.