Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Is it legal? Does it matter? Discuss it here.
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steven harris
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby steven harris » 13 Sep 2012, 18:21

Under the “Peerage Act of 1963” a newly inherited hereditary peerage can be disclaimed. It seems only logical that if an Earl can disclaim his title (thus remaining a commoner), then why couldn’t a simple coat of arms also be disclaimed.

One aspect of the “Peerage Act of 1963” that struck me as odd is that the disclaimed peerage remains without a holder until the death of the peer who had made the disclaimer, when it descends to his heir in the usual manner. I don’t understand why the peerage doesn’t descend immediately?

For example: when Prime-Minister Alec Douglas-Home disclaimed the Earldom of Home in 1963, I don’t see why his son, David Douglas-Home, had to wait until the Prime-Minister’s death in 1995 to inherit the titles. Why not allow him to become the 15th Earl of Home immediately?
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Chris Green
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Chris Green » 13 Sep 2012, 18:46

Why not allow him to become the 15th Earl of Home immediately?


Perhaps the thinking was that the Sir Alec was still head of the family. If the earldom passed to the son who would then be head of the family? The situation is different to that of a new creation where the father is still living, since the honour then is specifically for the son.
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Arthur Radburn » 13 Sep 2012, 19:08

steven harris wrote:Under the “Peerage Act of 1963” a newly inherited hereditary peerage can be disclaimed. It seems only logical that if an Earl can disclaim his title (thus remaining a commoner), then why couldn’t a simple coat of arms also be disclaimed.

The element of compulsion, perhaps?

No one in the UK is compelled to use a coat of arms. If someone inherits one. he can choose to use it or not, as he pleases. If he chooses not to use it, he doesn't need to make any formal disclaimer. If he wants to replace the arms with a new coat, he can do so (perhaps not in Scotland).

However, if he inherits a peerage, he has to take it - and whatever obligations or liabilities may go with it - unless he disclaims it under the Act.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that a peer who disclaims his title is still allowed to use the inherited supporters that go with the title.
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 13 Sep 2012, 19:23

Arthur Radburn wrote:
However, if he inherits a peerage, he has to take it - and whatever obligations or liabilities may go with it - unless he disclaims it under the Act.


Since The House of Lords Act 1999 there is absolutely no point in disclaiming a Peerage. If a person who inherits a Peerage does not want to be known by the title he simply needn't use it. If he doesn't want to use the arms of the Peerage he needn't use them. He can no longer sit in the House of Lords but can, if he is successful enough to be elected, sit in the Commons. Since the whole purpose of disclaiming was to allow a former Peer to sit in the Lower House and he can now do so without disclaiming, it makes the act of disclaimer totally redundant.
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Ryan Shuflin
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 14 Sep 2012, 12:14

steven harris wrote:For example: when Prime-Minister Alec Douglas-Home disclaimed the Earldom of Home in 1963, I don’t see why his son, David Douglas-Home, had to wait until the Prime-Minister’s death in 1995 to inherit the titles. Why not allow him to become the 15th Earl of Home immediately?

There are at least two reasons I can think. The less important is that in the case you mention Alec Douglas-Home disclaimed his peerage in 1963 and lived till 1995. Which means if my math is correct, David could have sat in the House of Commons for ~30 years without disclaiming his peerage. The more important consideration would that a peer would not necessarily have a son when he or she disclaims, would then the peerage pass to the next heir, and disinherit the next son? Also, entails may be an issue.

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JMcMillan
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby JMcMillan » 14 Sep 2012, 14:33

Ryan Shuflin wrote:
steven harris wrote:The more important consideration would that a peer would not necessarily have a son when he or she disclaims, would then the peerage pass to the next heir, and disinherit the next son? Also, entails may be an issue.


I agree that the real issue was the prospect that the title would pass to someone (a brother, for example) who could later be superseded by someone else (e.g., a son).

I don't see how entails of real property would be affected by the disclaimer. It's always been possible for the land and the peerage to have different remainders, or at least since peerages became personal rather than territorial several centuries ago. Of course fee tail as such was abolished in England in 1925 anyway, although there are still some quasi-entails that have survived in a form similar to a trust.
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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 14 Sep 2012, 18:54

A peer can only disclaim a peerage that firstly he holds and secondly only for himself and no others and thirdly only for his own lifetime.

If we take an ennobled family and call them Grandfather (1st of the creation), Father (2nd of the creation) and Son (3rd of the creation).

The grandfather dies and in the next breath the father inherits the title.

In the next breath, the father (who is now the 2nd in the creation), disclaims the title.

The title is now in abeyance, but the creation continues.

The father finally dies and the son inherits and becomes the 3rd of the creation, as he would have done in the normal course of events.

The only effect on the son is that he cannot use any courtesy titles from his father. They are after all used as a courtesy and not a right.
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Jonathan Webster
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 15 Sep 2012, 18:12

Its all very well saying that the idea of an armiger being entitled to more than one set of arms is contrary to the mediaeval notion that arms should represent the person who bears them; but it should also be noted that the whole reason for the advent of quartering in the first place was to adequately represent the fact that a man was entitled to two or more sets of arms.

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Chris Green
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Chris Green » 15 Sep 2012, 18:20

... the whole reason for the advent of quartering in the first place was to adequately represent the fact that a man was entitled to two or more sets of arms.


Indeed. But both were inherited not granted to him personally, and he could not use them both individually as the fancy took hom.
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Re: Two arms in right of two different jurisdictions?

Postby Jonathan Webster » 15 Sep 2012, 21:17

Granted; but then it isn't forced to be the original grantee who's using both arms; or at least; has a right to both of them.

Regarding the question of whether bearing two or more different arms in right of different jurisdictions; that would have only really been a problem in places that had a strong; centralised monarchy, for example in England, where a monarch might view someone bearing arms under another sovereign to be a sign of disloyalty, but this was not the case everywhere: for example, the medieval Dukes of Burgundy held lands both from the King of France and from the Holy Roman Emperor, and held arms for all of these territories; which view quartered in the usual manner deprives them being held in right of two different jurisdictions.


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