See also:style or title of
See also:common to the
See also:Kingdom, the
See also:British colonies and the United States of
See also:America . The terms honorabilis and honorabilitas were in use in the
See also:middle ages rather as a
See also:form of politeness than as a stereotyped style; and though Gibbon assimilates the
See also:Roman title of clarissimus to " honourable," as applied to the lowest of the three grades of
See also:rank in the imperial hierarchy, the
See also:analogy was
See also:good even in his
See also:day only in so far as both styles were applicable to those who belonged to the less exalted ranks of the titled classes, for the title " honourable " was not definitely confined to certain classes until later . As a formal address it is found frequently in the Paston Letters (15th century), but used loosely and interchange-able with other styles; thus
See also:Beaumont, is addressed alternately as " my worshipful and reverent
See also:Lord " (ii . 88, ed . 1904) and as " my right honorabull Lord " (ii . 118), while John Paston, a plain
See also:esquire, is " my right honurabyll maister." More than two centuries later
See also:Selden, in his Titles of Honor (1672), does not include " honourable " among the courtesy titles given to the
See also:children of peers . The style was, in fact, used extremely loosely till well on into the 18th century . Thus we find in the registers of
See also:Westminster Abbey records of the
See also:burial (in 1710) of " The Hon .
See also:Churchill, Esq.," who was only a son of
See also:Sir Winston Churchill, and of " The Hon . Sir
See also:Godolphin," who had only been created a
See also:baronet; in 1717 was buried " The Hon . Colonel
See also:Cornwall," who was only an esquire and the son of one; in 1743 a
See also:admiral was buried as " The Hon . Sir John Jennings, Kt."; in 1746 " The Hon .
Major-General Lowther," whose
See also:father was only a
See also:merchant; and finally, in 1747, " The Hon .
See also:Guest," who is said to have begun
See also:life as an hostler . From this
See also:time onwards the style of " honourable " tended to become more narrowly applied; but the whole
See also:matter is full of obscurity and contradictions . The baronets, for instance, allege that they were usually styled " the honourable " until the end of the 18th century, and in 1835 they petitioned for the style as a prefix to their names . The Heralds'
See also:College officially reported on the petition (31st of
See also:October 1835) that the evidence did not prove the right of baronets to the style, and that its use " has been no more warranted by authority than when the same style has been applied to
See also:Officers in the Army and others." They added that " the style of the Honourable is given to the
See also:Judges and to the Barons of the
See also:Exchequer with others because by the Decree of 10
See also:James I., for settling the place and precedence of the Baronets, the Judges and Barons of the Exchequer were declared to have place and precedence before the younger sons of Viscounts and Barons." This seems to make the style a consequence of the precedence; yet from the examples above given it is clear that it was applied, e.g. in the case of field officers, where no question of precedence arose . It is not, indeed, until 1874 that we have any evidence of an authoritative
See also:limitation of the title . In this
See also:year the wives of lords of
See also:appeal, life peers, were granted style and precedence as baronesses; but it was provided that their children were not " to assume or use the prefix of Honourable, or to be entitled to the style, rank or precedence of the children of a Baron." In 1898, however, this was revoked, and it was ordained " that such children shall have and enjoy on all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of hereditary Barons together with the rank and precedence, &c," By these acts of the
See also:Crown the prefix of " honourable " would seem to have been restricted and stereo-typed as a definite title of honour; yet in legal documents the sons of peers are still styled merely " esquire," with the addition of " commonly called , &c." This latter fact points to the time when the prefix " honourable " was a mark of deference paid by others rather than a style assumed by right, and
See also:relics of this doubtless survive in the United Kingdom in the conventions by which an " honourable " does not use the title on his visiting card and is not announced as such . As to the actual use and social significance of the style, the practice in the United Kingdom differs considerably from that in the colonies or in the United States . In the United Kingdom marquesses are " most honourable "; earls, viscounts and barons " right honourable," a style also
See also:borne by all privy councillors, including the lord mayor of
See also:London and lord
See also:provost of
See also:Edinburgh during
See also:office . The title of " honourable " is in the United Kingdom, except by
See also:special licence of the Crown (e.g. in the case of retired colonial or
See also:Indian officials), mainly confined to the sons and daughters of peers, and is the common style of the younger sons of earls and of the children of viscounts, barons and legal life peers . The eldest sons of dukes, marquesses and earls bear " by courtesy " their father's second title, the younger sons of dukes and marquesses having the courtesy title Lord prefixed to their Christian name; while the daughters of dukes, marquesses and earls are styled
See also:Lady . The title of " honourable " is also given to all
See also:present or past maids of honour, and to the judges of the high
See also:court being lords justices or lords of appeal (who are "right honourable ") .
See also:county court
See also:judge is, however, " his honour." The epithet is also applied to the
See also:House of
See also:Commons as a
See also:body and to individual members during debate (" the honourable member for X.") . Certain other corporate bodies have, by tradition or
See also:grant, the right to bear the style; e.g. the Honourable Irish Society, the Inns of Court (Honourable Society of the Inner
See also:Temple, &c.) and the Honourable
See also:Company; the East India Company also had the prefix " honourable." The style may not be assumed by corporate bodies at will, as was proved in the case of the Society of Baronets, whose
See also:original style of " Honourable " Society was dropped by command . In the British colonies the title " honourable " is given to members of the executive and legislative bodies, to judges, &c., during their
See also:term of service . It is sometimes retained by royal licence after a certain number of years' service . Li the United States of America the title is very widespread, being commonly given to any one who holds or has held any office of importance in state or nation, more particularly to members of Congress or of the state legislatures. judges, justices, and certain other judicial and executive officials . Popular amenity even sometimes extends the title to holders of quite humble
See also:government appointments, and consoles with it the defeated candidates for a
See also:post . See also the article PRECEDENCE .
HONOUR (Lat. honos or lwnor, honoris; in English th...
JOHANN NIKOLAUS VON HONTHEIM (1701-1790)
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