Viscount - Viscounts in The United Kingdom and The Commonwealth

Viscounts in The United Kingdom and The Commonwealth

Peerages and baronetages of the British Isles
Extant All
Dukes Dukedoms
Marquesses Marquessates
Earls Earldoms
Viscounts Viscountcies
Barons Baronies
Baronets Baronetcies

A viscount is said to hold a "viscountship" or "viscounty", or (more as the area of his jurisdiction) a "viscountcy". The female equivalent of a viscount is a viscountess. There are approximately 270 viscountships currently extant in the peerages of the British Isles.

  • In British practice, the title of a viscount may be either a place name, or a surname, or sometimes, a combination thereof. In any event, the style of a viscount is "The Viscount ", or "The Viscount of ". He is addressed as "My Lord". Examples include The Viscount Falmouth (place name); The Viscount Hardinge (surname); The Viscount Gage of Castle Island (surname of place name); and The Viscount Combermere of Bhurtpore (placename of placename). An exception exists for Viscounts in the peerage of Scotland, who were traditionally styled "The Viscount of ", as in: The Viscount of Arbuthnott (surname)—very few maintain this style, instead using the more common version "The Viscount ".

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

  • 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.
A more recent example of the above is with the Earl of Wessex's son, James, who is styled Viscount Severn.
  • 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. The eldest son of the Marquess does not use the title Earl of Salisbury, but rather the next most senior title, Viscount Cranborne. This is because peers sign their name with the name of their title only (e.g., "Salisbury") thus to prevent confusion the heir would not use the title Earl of Salisbury.
  • 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.

Read more about this topic:  Viscount

Other articles related to "viscount":

Viscounts in The United Kingdom and The Commonwealth - Coronet
... A viscount's coronet of rank bears 16 silver balls around the rim ... 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 ...

Famous quotes containing the words commonwealth, kingdom and/or united:

    Honorable Senators: My sincerest thanks I offer you. Conserve the firm foundations of our institutions. Do your work with the spirit of a soldier in the public service. Be loyal to the Commonwealth and to yourselves and be brief; above all be brief.
    Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933)

    The private life of one man shall be a more illustrious monarchy,—more formidable to its enemy, more sweet and serene in its influence to its friend, than any kingdom in history. For a man, rightly viewed, comprehendeth the particular natures of all men.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Fortunately, the time has long passed when people liked to regard the United States as some kind of melting pot, taking men and women from every part of the world and converting them into standardized, homogenized Americans. We are, I think, much more mature and wise today. Just as we welcome a world of diversity, so we glory in an America of diversity—an America all the richer for the many different and distinctive strands of which it is woven.
    Hubert H. Humphrey (1911–1978)