World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Courtesy title

Article Id: WHEBN0017454727
Reproduction Date:

Title: Courtesy title  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Baron, Hereditary title, LGBT rights in the United Kingdom, House of Bourbon, Lord Arthur Hervey
Collection: Honorifics, Titles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Courtesy title

In the context of nobility, a courtesy title is a title that is not a substantive title but rather is used through custom or courtesy.[1]

In some contexts, courtesy title is used to mean the more general concept of a title or honorific such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Miss, Sir, and Madam.[2]

Contents

  • Africa 1
  • France 2
    • Ancien Régime 2.1
      • Courtesy title as principal title 2.1.1
      • Courtesy title used by sons and daughters 2.1.2
  • United Kingdom 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Africa

In much of Africa, many of the surviving noble titles are social courtesies that are recognized by customary law and little else. Even in states like Ghana and Nigeria, where the chiefdoms of the various tribes are either constitutionally or legally defined entities, only the titles of the dynastic monarchs like the members of the Ghanaian House of Chiefs and the Nigerian traditional rulers are substantive, while the pre-nominals Nana and Oloye that a great many of their traditional notables bear exist as communally ascribed honorifics with little legal significance.

France

In France, for example, many titles are not substantive titles but titres de courtoisie, adopted unilaterally. When done by a genuine member of the noblesse d'épée the custom was tolerated in French society. A common practice is title declension, when cadet males of noble families, especially landed aristocracy, may assume a lower courtesy title than that legally borne by the head of their family, even though lacking a titled seigneury themselves.[3] For example the eldest son of the Duke of Paris (substantive title) may be called Marquis de Paris (courtesy title) and younger sons Count N. of Paris, where N. stands for the first name. In the hereditary Napoleonic and Restoration peerage, declension was a legal right of younger sons, the derivative title being heritable by male primogeniture.[3]

Ancien Régime

Courtesy title as principal title

During the ancien régime the only substantive titles were feudal, land-based and required a royal grant or royal recognition. In order to use the title of count, one had to own a seigneurie elevated to county and to comply with the remainder of the grant. These legal prescriptions, however, came to be consistently enforced only with respect to the title of duke (duc). Most titles were self-assumed courtesy titles, even those used at the royal court and in legal documents.

Courtesy title used by sons and daughters

The heir apparent of a titled nobleman used one of the lesser titles of his father as a courtesy title. In the 17th century, the heirs of the most powerful dukes were sometimes allowed to assume the title of prince. In the 18th, a trend was for the heir to use the title of duke. It was achieved in one of three ways: The head of family may have two dukedoms and his heir could use the junior one; the head of family could resign his French peerage to his heir, who assumed a new title of duke while the father retained his ducal title; the king could confer a brevet de duc, that is formally accord the non-hereditary style and precedence of a duke to the heir of a ducal title.

The younger sons of a noble titleholder used one of the family's lesser titles, but rarely one of duke or prince. Even in untitled families of the nobility, every son used a different territorial designation, the so-called nom de terre. The clergymen before the episcopal ordination used the title of abbé, followed by the name of the principal title of their father. Members of the Order of Saint John used the title chevalier in the same fashion.

The daughters used the title of mademoiselle, followed by the name of a manor owned by their father.

For example, Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier known as La Grande Mademoiselle, was the eldest daughter of Gaston d'Orléans (Monsieur) and his first wife Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier. Anne Marie Louise was officially known as Mademoiselle from the time of her birth.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a detailed system of courtesy titles and styles by which the eldest son, male-line grandson or great-grandson and heir of a peer may use a subsidiary title of his ancestor even though it is the ancestor who holds the title substantively. By extension, the children not only of all peers but of those who bear derivative courtesy titles as male-line descendants of a substantive peer bear specific titles (Lord/Lady) or styles (The Honorable) by courtesy. Under United Kingdom law, users of courtesy titles have nonetheless been held to be commoners, eligible for election to the House of Commons rather than the House of Lords.

See also

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.