Ryan Shuflin wrote:I would not find it practical if, for example, the next Duke of X was unable to inherit arms of his father because he had an older sister.
All the sons already inherit the arms, not just the oldest (except in Scotland). How would allowing their sisters to inherit the arms as well derogate from any rights of the eldest son?
I agree, this is only an issue so far as cadency is used/required.
Jeremy Fox wrote:To be equitable every child of an armiger should be entitled to inherit the parental arms, differenced according to order of birth. Inherited titles, likewise, should pass to the eldest child. Even if one wishes to argue from mediaeval principles, the basis of patrilinearity was that only a male could be expected to bear arms and defend territory. Women have now openly and officially proved their right to bear arms on the field of battle, in the front line. There is no excuse to deny their right to inherit arms or titles equally with men.
If inheritance of arms were restricted to children of one gender, simply in order to reduce the proliferation of arms, then inheritance of arms should be through the female line. The male line is a matter of courtesy only, discourteous though it be to say so.
I believe patrilineal succession is tied to patrilocality. That is that a newlywed couple lives with the groom's parents either in the same house or in the same village. As far as battlefields are concerned, if that was relevant, than I suggest arms be restricted to veterans that have seen combat.
In reality, women have used coat of arms for a long time now. The question here, is not "Can a women have arms" but rather can "can a women transmit arms"
As far as titles, I am not against the exclusion of women from inheriting them, but in many cases, it is assumed just because someone's father has a title, his children have a right to it. It depends on the title, but in the case of many, the grant excludes women. In the same sense all children of a life peer are excluded. If King James II granted the title of Baron and gave it to John Doe and his heir males, the John Does heirs female are in the same situation as I am, in that no one granted them a title. I have no problem if Her Majesty granted new titles to the daughters of title holders of extinct titles.
Also, I find it inconsistent to complain about the smallest discrimination by sex and have no problem with discrimination by birth order. The inheritance of titles and the fortunes that often accompany them are not fair, they are arbitrary. We should not delude ourselves to think that they are otherwise. I am no socialist, and the rule of the law and equality before the law are much more dearer principles to me than fake equality.
The basis for the current practice is not the middle ages, but continuous practice from then till now. I find it good that women can be granted arms, and that having been granted arms they are treated as heraldic heiresses and that they can pass on their arms to their children.
What I am arguing against is that if John Doe marries Jane Smith, their children will in 9 out of 10 cases be Does and not Smith. That John Doe jr. only has a right to the Doe arms and not the Smith arms, does him no injury.
Now lets say that Jane Smith is the oldest child with a younger brother, Jack. According to the system you suggest, as I understand it; Jane Smith bears the Smith arms with a label, till her father dies. John Doe jr, quarters his father's arms (with label?) with the Smith arms (also with label). Eventually he will quarter the Doe and Smith arms undifferenced. Jack Smith will still have the Smith arms with a crescent. Or I have I misunderstood? The result would be very confusing.
I have no clue what you mean what talking about the male line only being courtesy.