In the days of old, becoming a Lord granted you access to one of the most exclusive and fascinating social groups of all time – the aristocracy.
So, it’s not surprising that people are still curious about the ways you can become a Lord in modern times, as well as the specific benefits and privileges of such an elevated social status.
Here are some contemporary routes to becoming a Lord, along with details about what that would entitle you to enjoy.
Inheriting the Title of Lord
Perhaps the easiest option in becoming a Lord is to inherit the title. For this, you need to be born into the right family, as well as hold the right position in the birth order.
Obviously, this is also the least accessible option for those not blessed with noble ancestors, though it may be possible to marry into such a family and acquire the title of Lord by default.
The privileges included in a hereditary noble title vary, depending on the social standing and provenance of the family. For example, you might inherit or acquire through marriage the Lordship of a small hamlet with very few perks and privileges. These might include token rights over land, such as access rights or overseeing tenancies or farming practices.
Alternatively, you might be in line for a courtesy Lordship that is traditionally granted to the offspring of a much higher ranking aristocrat such as a Count or Duke, in which case you might also be entitled to a superior rank at social occasions, or invitations to the most exclusive society events.
Purchasing a Property That Includes a Lord Title
While this is an increasingly rare option in the modern world, in the past, it was common practice for noble families to sell their properties along with the titles that were attached (included) with it.
Families within the aristocracy were renowned for their wealth and grand estates, but this did not make them immune to the changes in fortune that all families experience. Particularly during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when monarchies and governing parties were much less stable and subject to frequent changes, noble families could find themselves out of favour with the reigning powers which could severely impact their influence, privileges, income rights, and their wealth.
As a result, the fortunes of aristocrats were not always secured for generations and there were times that a family would be forced to sell their grand estates or their claims to noble titles, or both.
In such cases, the purchaser of the property would become the legitimate new bearer of the title included with the property. They would usually also acquire the rights and entitlements that were inherent with the property and title. These would vary greatly from one family or estate to another, but quite often they would include certain hunting and fishing rights on the estate. During medieval times, noble titles were also encumbrance with certain income streams, usually as a gift from the king or queen, such as the taxes on a particular import.
In modern times, however, these privileges tend to be more of a historic gesture than a tangible claim on assets. For example, if you were to purchase a property and become the new Lord of the estate, you may be entitled to certain VIP privileges within the local area, such as opening the country fete or being granted a seat on the village council.
Becoming a modern-day Lord of the Manor by purchasing the manor itself is likely to include a range of benefits within the local area that would appeal to those who enjoy the influence of an esteemed social standing. In many cases, the title itself will also permit you to use the noble title of Lord on your official documents, providing you have the legal paperwork relating to the transfer of the title included with your property purchase.
Purchasing a Lord Nobility Title
One of the simplest ways to become a Lord and enjoy some of the privileges that the ancient Lords of history knew well is to simply purchase a legitimate noble title.
While authentic Lordships are increasingly rare, and those for sale even harder to find, it is still possible to acquire the noble title of Lord as a commercial transaction.
It’s a little known aspect of the great aristocracy of old that purchasing noble titles was a common practice during the evolution of the modern nobility.
And it was not only penniless aristocrats who were forced to sell their titles along with their family estates. Even the monarchs of old – the original sources of all noble titles – would, on occasion, make a certain number of titles available for purchase. Often these enterprising schemes would be to fund expensive military campaigns.
One such example is that of King James I of England, who created a collection of Baronetcies in the early 17th century. These were offered to wealthy individuals who could afford to pay for access into the aristocratic ranks.
So, the purchasing of noble titles is an age-old practice, condoned and even initiated by those at the highest levels of society. And this option is still a possible route to joining the ranks of history’s Lord and Ladies, for those who value the esteem and stature that such an eminent ancient title can bestow.
Again, the precise details of what you are entitled to claim with the purchase of a Lordship will vary, depending on the provenance and history of the individual title in question.
It’s likely, though, that many of the true benefits of becoming a Lord will be the enhanced social standing and esteem that such a title still evokes at all levels of society.
For example, you may find that your newly-acquired Lordship entitles you to judge the winners and distribute the prizes at the village fete. Yet, the true benefits of becoming a Lord are the enhanced levels of esteem and respect you begin to enjoy as you move through the world bearing a title that others are very often impressed by and curious about.
These include preferential treatment when booking hotels, travel or restaurants, higher regard from financial institutions, and invitations to a new world of society events and exclusive gatherings.
So, if you are curious about the advantages of acquiring a Lordship, it’s possible to discover them for yourself, as you join one of the most exclusive clubs in history – the noble Lords and Ladies of the aristocracy.