Correct Forms of Address

 

I provide the following summary charts for your convenience, with three important caveats:

1.  Please do not use this page in a vacuum.  Most of the usages listed here are explained in greater detail elsewhere in these pages, which is why I have resisted including charts at all until now.  These charts are for convenience and reference. 

2. Most of the information on this page comes directly from the 1932 edition of Black's Correct Form.   Books like this which purport to demonstrate "correct forms of address" are aimed at a specific audience:  commoners, i.e., those of us who were not raised "in the system" and haven't married into it.  Usage among families and social equals could vary considerably from what is presented here, for all I know.   Furthermore, I'm not even certain that period letters and memoirs help, because there could be different forms for (even informal) writing and in speech, and forms of course further vary in correspondence depending upon the recipient.  Until a peer's daughter joins the Heyer Mailing List and tells me what's what, I welcome corrections on anything on this page from anyone in a position to know better, especially from first-hand experience.

3. These charts assume for illustrative purposes that eldest sons of peers bear a courtesy title only one degree lower than their father's, but that is not always the case. 

Specific Usages

1.  First Names 

First names were almost never used in speech, except in extremely limited circumstances, before this century.  I have studied memoirs and letters of the late 18th/early 19th centuries and have formed a tentative hypothesis that use of first names was resticted almost exclusively to children growing up together, or in some cases boys at school together.  They would continue to use their childhood forms of address throughout their lives.  Parents might also ignore titles when addressing their children, but very often if there was a title available, say an eldest son's courtesy title, even a mother would use it, albeit alone, e.g., Hartington.  In Lady Harriet Cavendish's letters to her family, she always refers to her brother, the Marquis of Hartington, as "Hart" or "Hartington," as did their mother.   She calls her cousin, Lady Caroline Ponsonby, "Caro" or "Caroline," as she likewise called her half-sister, Caroline de St. Jules.   She also calls many of the Lambs by their first names.  They were all raised together.  (Both Carolines married Lambs, and so after their marriages Lady Harriet would distinguish between them as "Caro-William" and "Caro-George," respectively.)  But Lady Harriet never refers to anyone outside this close circle of people she knew from infancy by their Christian names;  she always uses their correct titles.  (However, these references are in written correspondence, and may or may not reflect the terms used in actual speech.)

Among men, rather than first names, intimacy was usually shown by using the title alone, e.g., Sherringham, Wrotham (or some diminutive of it, like "Sherry" or "Hart"), or by using the last name alone, e.g., Fairfax.  Occasionally first names were used among very close friends who, as mentioned above, attended boarding school together from a young age, especially if the boy didn't have the peerage while he was in school, but inherited it later (which is why Lord Wrotham's friends call him "George," while they call Lord Sherringham "Sherry":  Sherry had already inherited his peerage when he met them all in school, while George inherited his after they had all grown up). 

Even spouses often maintained more formal modes of address than Christian names, even in private.  Most often a lady would call her husband by his title alone, as his intimate friends or his family would, e.g., Chatham.  Obviously it would depend upon the couple, and many factors might contribute, such as age disparity or actual intimacy, but a wife would almost always refer to her husband this way, even to her closest friends and relations, and in company they would call each other "my lord" and "my lady," or perhaps some diminutive like "my dear" or "my love."  It is hard to identify sources to back up this hypothesis, since primary sources from earlier centuries generally do not include transcripts of conversations, but I really believe that a much more formal level of discourse was maintained than what is portrayed in romance novels.

2.  "Social" vs. "Formal" Correspondence

I am not certain exactly what the difference is between "social" and "formal" correspondence.  Presumably "formal" correspondence is any address made to a peer in his capacity as a member of the government or of the House of Lords, or as a landlord or capitalist.  Presumably "social" correspondence includes invitations to social events and letters between friends.  But what if a friend or fellow peer writes on a political subject?  Which rule prevails?  What about when writing socially to a family connection one has not met (for example, Miss Taverner writing to Lord Worth, or Mr. Collins writing to Mr. Bennet)?   Is there ever a social event that is considered so "formal" that it requires addressing the invitations in a "formal" manner, and announcing arrivals "formally"-- Royal Drawing Rooms and coronations come to mind.  What about invitations to an evening at Prinny's Brighton Pavilion or at Carlton House?  Were other social events, such as balls and assemblies, considered in terms of address more formal than routs or Venetian breakfasts or morning calls?   In other words, is there a difference in the way a servant would announce a morning caller vs. how the same servant would announce the same person at a ball?  And when, before this century, did a peeress ever receive "formal" correspondence?

3.  Use of "The Honourable"

"The Honourable" is a title which applies to younger sons of earls and all children of viscounts and barons (and the wives of those sons).   However, it is used only on envelopes, and is never spoken, even by a servant, or used in the salutation of a letter.  It is not even included on calling cards.  (A person is announced by servants according to the name on his calling card.)  Thus it is impossible to know, merely upon introduction, that a person ranks as an Honourable.   Black says that "[w]hen it is desired to indicate it, however, a reference to the holder's parentage would be permissible."

4.  Use of "The"

"The" is a designation only used for peers and their families.  It is not used, for example, by baronets, knights, or commoners (except when referring to the widow of a baronet).  The wife of a baronet or knight would be Lady Burke, and never The Lady Burke, while the wife of a peer would be The Lady Melgum, and a peer's daughter who is entitlted to use the "Lady" designation would be The Lady Serena Carlow.  However, when the usage is not formal, "The" may be dropped.  (I am not absolutely certain whether this "The" usage is appropriate for the eldest sons (heirs) and their wives and children, but I think it is, since courtesy titles are supposed to be used exactly as if they held the title by right.)

5.  Use of "Miss," "Mr." and "Mrs." With and Without Christian Names 

When "Miss" is used alone with a surname, it refers to the eldest unmarried daughter.  Other daughters must be distinguished by using their Christian names.  For example, Miss Bennet, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Miss Mary Bennet, Miss Catherine Bennet, Miss Lydia Bennet.  Or, collectively, the Misses Bennet.   In conversation, where none of her sisters are present, a younger sister may be addressed as Miss Bennet.  If Jane and Lizzie are standing together, however, they are addressed as Miss Bennet and Miss Elizabeth.

When "Mr." is used alone with a surname, it refers to the eldest son (of a Viscount, baron, or commoner).  His younger brothers are distinguished from him in speech by using their Christian names, similarly to the use of "Miss."   Their wives adopt precisely the same usage, only with "Mrs." instead of "Mr."  Mr. Plowden is the eldest son, and Mrs. Plowden is his wife;   Mr. Thomas Plowden is a younger son, and Mrs. Thomas Plowden is his wife. 

6. Use of "Miss," "Mr." and "Mrs." With "The Honourable"

In writing, "Mr." and "Miss" are never used in conjunction with "The Honourable."  The address on the envelope to the eldest Mr. Plowden would be "To The Honble. James Plowden."  An envelope to his wife would be "To The Honble. Mrs. Plowden."  Her husband's Christian name is left out, to denote that he is the eldest;  and unlike "Mr." and "Miss," using "Mrs." in conjunction with "The Honourable" is correct.  But this couple would be announced as "Mr. Plowden" and "Mrs. Plowden" (separately), or "Mr. and Mrs. Plowden" (together).

However, in Persuasion, Austen introduces Sir Walter's exalted cousins, the Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple and her daughter, thus: 

"The Bath paper one morning announced the arrival of the Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple, and her daughter, the Honourable Miss Carteret. . . "

and, a little later:

"they had the cards of Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple, and the Hon. Miss Carteret, to be arranged wherever they might be most visible;  and 'Our cousins in Laura-place,' -- 'Our cousins, Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret,' were talked of to everybody."

(Vol. II, Chapter iv)

So it is not clear when this rule about never using "Miss" with "The Hon." evolved.  Or perhaps the rule only applies to addressing envelopes, and not to newsprint.  But Black clearly states that the rule applies to calling cards.

7.  Titles in Speech

In speech, with a few rare exceptions for extremely formal occasions, all ranks below duke are called "Lord" and "Lady" in speech, and never their titles.  For example, "Lord and Lady Withington" rather than "The Earl and Countess of Withington."  The titles would never be used in intimate speech, even when referring to them.

 


Dukes

The rule is that a social inferior addresses him as "Your Grace" and a social equal as "Duke."  I have not been able to discover where precisely the line is drawn to distinguish social inferiors from equals.  Obviously it is not drawn at the dukes themselves.  My tentative hypothesis is that a "social equal" is anyone who is a peer or a member of a peer's family.  A lower line might be drawn at baronets, knights, or gentlemen, but I think that the connotation of the word "peer" lends itself to drawing the line at barons.  So Miss Anne Elliot would address a duke as "Your Grace," while her cousin, Miss Carteret, would call him "Duke."

Also, the salutation of formal correspondence to a duke is "My Lord Duke."  But he is never called "my lord." 

This is example is the Duke of Glastonbury, who holds the secondary title Marquess of Tenwhestle, and whose family surname of Drake.

Person announced formally or addressed on formal corres- pondence as salutation on formal corres- pondence announced informally or addressed on social corres- pondence as salutation on social correspondence addressed in speech as referred to in speech as signature on social corres- pondence
Duke His Grace the Duke of Glastonbury, K. G.

 

"My Lord Duke," His Grace The Duke of Glastonbury, K. G.

 

"Dear Duke of Glastonbury," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Duke,") "Your Grace" (by inferiors) or "Duke" (by social equals) the first time in conversation, followed by "Sir" (or "Glastonbury," if addressed by a very close friend or relative). "His Grace" (by inferiors), or "The Duke" (by social equals) Glastonbury
Duke's wife Her Grace The Duchess of Glastonbury "Madam," Her Grace The Duchess of Glastonbury "Dear Duchess of Glastonbury," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Duchess,") "Your Grace" (by inferiors) or "Duchess" (by social equals) the first time in conversation, followed by "Madam" or "Ma'am." "Her Grace" (by inferiors), or "The Duchess" (by social equals) Georgiana Glastonbury
Duke's mother Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Glastonbury or Her Grace Sarah, The Duchess of Glastonbury "Madam," Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Glastonbury or Her Grace Sarah, The Duchess of Glastonbury "Dear Duchess of Glastonbury," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Duchess,") "Your Grace" (by inferiors) or "Duchess" (by social equals) the first time in conversation, followed by "Madam" or "Ma'am." Her Grace (by inferiors), or The Duchess, or The Dowager Duchess, or The Duchess Sarah (by social equals) Sarah Glastonbury
Duke's eldest son The Most Honble. The Marquess of Tenwhestle "My Lord Marquess," or "My Lord," The Marquess of Tenwhestle "Dear Lord Tenwhestle," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Tenwhestle,") "Lord Tenwhestle" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lord" (or, more familiarly, "Tenwhestle"). (The) Lord Tenwhestle  (or, more familiarly, "Tenwhestle"). Tenwhestle
Wife of Duke's eldest son The Most Honble. The Marchioness of Tenwhestle "Madam," The Marchioness of Tenwhestle "Dear Lady Tenwhestle," "Lady Tenwhestle" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Tenwhestle  (or, more familiarly, "Jane Tenwhestle"). Jane Tenwhestle
Duke's daughter The Lady Clementina Drake "My Lady," or "Madam," The Lady Clementina Drake "Dear Lady Clementina Drake," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lady Clementina,") Lady Clementina (or Clementina, if addressed by a very close friend or relative) (The) Lady Clementina (Drake) Clementina Drake
Duke's younger son The Lord Peregrine Drake "My Lord," The Lord Peregrine Drake "Dear Lord Peregrine Drake," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lord Peregrine," or "Dear Drake,") Lord Peregrine (or Peregrine or Drake, if addressed by a very close friend or relative) (The) Lord Peregrine (Drake) Peregrine Drake, or Drake
Wife of Duke's younger son The Lady Peregrine Drake "My Lady," or "Madam," The Lady Peregrine Drake "Dear Lady Peregrine Drake," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lady Peregrine,") Lady Peregrine (a very close friend or relative might address her by her Christian name) (The) Lady Peregrine (Drake) Charlotte Drake

Married Daughters of Dukes

When a daughter of a duke marries a peer or the heir to a duke or marquess, she takes the title of her husband (even though her precedence is above his).  But when she marries a commoner, a baronet, or the heir to an earl, viscount, or baron, she may, if she chooses, retain her "Lady <Firstname>" title.  If she is married to an heir to a peerage, she may only keep this form until her husband inherits his peerage, at which time she loses her own precedence and acquires that of her husband, even if it means she will move down several slots on the Table of Precedence.  Note that even if she marries the younger son of a duke, she retains her own precedence, because daughters of dukes rank one degree higher than younger sons of dukes, and one degree lower than eldest sons of dukes (a ranking which is preserved in the lesser ranks of the peerage as well). 

Marriage with: His formal title Her title (announced formally or addressed in formal correspondence) Her title (announced informally or addressed in social correspondence) Her title (addressed or referred to in speech)
Eldest son of duke The Most Honble. The Marquess of Ware The Most Honble. The Marchioness of Ware The Marchioness of Ware Lady Ware
Eldest son of marquess The Right Honble. The Earl of Perrin The Right Honble. The Countess of Perrin The Countess of Perrin Lady Perrin
Younger son of duke The Lord George Markham The Lady Clementina Markham The Lady Clementina Markham Lady Clementina (Markham)
Younger son of marquess The Lord John Pitt The Lady Clementina Pitt The Lady Clementina Pitt Lady Clementina (Pitt)
Eldest son of earl The Right Honble. The Viscount Yardley The Right Honble. The Viscountess Yardley or The Lady Clementina Yardley The Viscountess Yardley or The Lady Clementina Yardley Lady Yardley or Lady Clementina (Yardley)
Younger son of earl The Honble. Christopher Fancot The Lady Clementina Fancot The Lady Clementina Fancot Lady Clementina (Fancot)
Son of viscount The Honble. Charles Rivenhall The Lady Clementina Rivenhall The Lady Clementina Rivenhall Lady Clementina (Rivenhall)
Son of baron The Honble. Thomas Blakeney The Lady Clementina Blakeney The Lady Clementina Blakeney Lady Clementina (Blakeney)
Knight or baronet Sir Waldo Hawkridge The Lady Clementina Hawkridge The Lady Clementina Hawkridge Lady Clementina (Hawkridge)
Commoner Mr. John Caldwell The Lady Clementina Caldwell The Lady Clementina Caldwell Lady Clementina (Caldwell)

Marquesses

The Marquess of Mallen holds a subsidiary title, the Earl of Dunlop, and the family name is Weston.

Person announced formally or addressed on formal corres- pondence as salutation on formal corres- pondence announced informally or addressed on social corres- pondence as salutation on social correspondence addressed in speech as referred to in speech as signature on social corres- pondence
Marquess The Most Honble. The Marquess of Mallen "My Lord Marquess," or "My Lord," The Marquess of Mallen "Dear Lord Mallen," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Mallen,") "Lord Mallen" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lord" (or, more familiarly, "Mallen"). (The) Lord Mallen  (or, more familiarly, "Mallen"). Mallen
Marquess's wife The Most Honble. The Marchioness of Mallen "Madam," The Marchioness of Mallen "Dear Lady Mallen," "Lady Mallen" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Mallen  (or, more familiarly, "Elizabeth Mallen"). Elizabeth Mallen
Marquess's mother The Most Honble. The Dowager Marchioness of Mallen, or The Most Honble. Frances, The Marchioness of Mallen "Madam," The Dowager Marchioness of Mallen; or Frances, The Marchioness of Mallen; or (archaic) Marchioness Dowager Mallen "Dear Lady Mallen," "Lady Mallen" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." The Dowager Lady Mallen; or Frances, Lady Mallen; or (archaic) Marchioness Dowager Mallen (or, more familiarly, "Frances Mallen"). Frances Mallen
Marquess's eldest son The Right Honble. The Earl of Dunlop "My Lord," The Earl of Dunlop "Dear Lord Dunlop," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Dunlop,") "Lord Dunlop" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lord" (or, more familiarly, "Dunlop"). (The) Lord Dunlop  (or, more familiarly, "Dunlop"). Dunlop
Wife of Marquess's eldest son The Right Honble. The Countess of Dunlop "Madam," The Right Honble. The Countess of Dunlop "Dear Lady Dunlop," "Lady Dunlop" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Dunlop  (or, more familiarly, "Lucy Dunlop"). Lucy Dunlop
Marquess's daughter The Lady Harriet Weston "My Lady," or "Madam," The Lady Harriet Weston "Dear Lady Harriet Weston," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lady Harriet,") Lady Harriet (or Harriet, if addressed by a very close friend or relative) (The) Lady Harriet (Weston) Harriet Weston
Marquess's younger son The Lord Trevor Weston "My Lord," The Lord Trevor Weston "Dear Lord Trevor Weston," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lord Trevor," or "Dear Weston,") Lord Trevor (or Trevor or Weston, if addressed by a very close friend or relative) (The) Lord Trevor (Weston) Trevor Weston, or Weston
Wife of Marquess's younger son The Lady Trevor Weston "My Lady," or "Madam," The Lady Trevor Weston "Dear Lady Trevor Weston," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lady Trevor,") Lady Trevor (a very close friend or relative might address her by her Christian name) (The) Lady Trevor (Weston) Charlotte Weston

Married Daughters of Marquesses

When a daughter of a marquess marries a peer or the heir to a duke or marquess, she takes the title of her husband (even though her precedence is above his).  But when she marries a commoner, a baronet, or the heir to an earl, viscount or baron, she may, if she chooses, retain her "Lady <Firstname>" title.  If she is married to an heir to a peerage, she may only keep this form until her husband inherits his peerage, at which time she loses her own precedence and acquires that of her husband, even if it means she will move down several slots on the Table of Precedence.  Note that even if she marries the younger son of a marquess, she retains her own precedence, because daughters of marquesses rank one degree higher than younger sons of marquesses, and one degree lower than eldest sons of marquesses (a ranking which is preserved in the lesser ranks of the peerage as well).

Marriage with: His formal title Her title (announced formally or addressed in formal correspondence) Her title (announced informally or addressed in social correspondence) Her title (addressed or referred to in speech)
Eldest son of duke The Most Honble. The Marquess of Ware The Most Honble. The Marchioness of Ware The Marchioness of Ware Lady Ware
Eldest son of marquess The Right Honble. The Earl of Perrin The Right Honble. The Countess of Perrin The Countess of Perrin Lady Perrin
Younger son of duke The Lord George Markham The Lady Harriet Markham or Lady George Markham The Lady Harriet Markham or Lady George Markham Lady Harriet (Markham) or Lady George (Markham)
Younger son of marquess The Lord John Pitt The Lady Harriet Pitt The Lady Harriet Pitt Lady Harriet (Pitt)
Eldest son of earl The Right Honble. The Viscount Yardley The Right Honble. The Viscountess Yardley The Viscountess Yardley Lady Yardley
Younger son of earl The Honble. Christopher Fancot The Lady Harriet Fancot The Lady Harriet Fancot Lady Harriet (Fancot)
Son of viscount The Honble. Charles Rivenhall The Lady Harriet Rivenhall The Lady Harriet Rivenhall Lady Harriet (Rivenhall)
Son of baron The Honble. Thomas Blakeney The Lady Harriet Blakeney The Lady Harriet Blakeney Lady Harriet (Blakeney)
Knight or baronet Sir Waldo Hawkridge The Lady Harriet Hawkridge The Lady Harriet Hawkridge Lady Harriet (Hawkridge)
Commoner Mr. John Caldwell The Lady Harriet Caldwell The Lady Harriet Caldwell Lady Harriet (Caldwell)

Earls

Here we have the Earl of Withington, who is also Viscount Munthorpe, and a family name of Grisham.

Person announced formally or addressed on formal corres- pondence as salutation on formal corres- pondence announced informally or addressed on social corres- pondence as salutation on social correspondence addressed in speech as referred to in speech as signature on social corres- pondence
Earl The Right Honble. The Earl of Withington "My Lord," The Earl of Withington "Dear Lord Withington," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Withington,") "Lord Withington" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lord" (or, more familiarly, "Withington"). (The) Lord Withington  (or, more familiarly, "Withington"). Withington
Earl's wife The Right Honble. The Countess of Withington "Madam," The Right Honble. The Countess of Withington "Dear Lady Withington," "Lady Withington" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Withington  (or, more familiarly, "Ancilla Withington"). Ancilla Withington
Earl's mother The Most Honble. The Dowager Countess of Withington, or The Most Honble. Helen, The Countess of Withington "Madam," The Dowager Countess of Withington; or Helen, The Countess of Withington; or (archaic) Countess Dowager Withington "Dear Lady Withington," "Lady Withington" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." The Dowager Lady Withington; or Helen, Lady Withington; or (archaic) Countess Dowager Withington (or, more familiarly, "Helen Withington"). Helen Withington
Earl's eldest son The Right Honble. The Viscount Munthorpe "My Lord," The Viscount Munthorpe "Dear Lord Munthorpe," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Munthorpe,") "Lord Munthorpe" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lord" (or, more familiarly, "Munthorpe"). (The) Lord Munthorpe  (or, more familiarly, "Munthorpe"). Munthorpe
Wife of Earl's eldest son The Right Honble. The Viscountess Munthorpe "Madam," The Right Honble. The Viscountess  Munthorpe "Dear Lady Munthorpe," "Lady Munthorpe" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Munthorpe  (or, more familiarly, "Nancy Munthorpe"). Nancy Munthorpe
Earl's daughter The Lady Margaret Grisham "My Lady," or "Madam," The Lady Margaret Grisham "Dear Lady Margaret Grisham," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lady Margaret,") Lady Margaret (or Margaret, if addressed by a very close friend or relative) (The) Lady Margaret (Grisham) Margaret Grisham
Earl's younger son The Honble. Bertram Grisham (announced as "Mr. Bertram Grisham") "Sir," or "Dear Sir," The Honble. Bertram Grisham (announced as "Mr. Bertram Grisham") "Dear Mr. Grisham," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Grisham,") Mr. Bertram Grisham, or Mr. Grisham (or, more familiarly, Grisham) Mr. Bertram Grisham, or Mr. Grisham Bertram Grisham, or Grisham
Wife of Earl's younger son The Honble. Mrs. Bertram Grisham (announced as "Mrs. Bertram Grisham") "Madam," The Honble. Mrs. Bertram Grisham (announced as "Mrs. Bertram Grisham") "Dear Mrs. Grisham," Mrs. Bertram Grisham, or Mrs. Grisham (a very close friend or relative might address her by her Christian name) Mrs. Bertram Grisham, or Mrs. Grisham Judith Grisham

Married Daughters of Earls

When a daughter of an earl marries a peer or the heir to a duke or marquess, she takes the title of her husband (even though her precedence is above his).  But when she marries a commoner, a baronet, or the heir to a viscount or baron, she may, if she chooses, retain her "Lady <Firstname>" title.  If she is married to an heir to a peerage, she may only keep this form until her husband inherits his peerage, at which time she loses her own precedence and acquires that of her husband, even if it means she will move down several slots on the Table of Precedence.  Note that even if she marries the younger son of an earl, she retains her own precedence, because daughters of earls rank one degree higher than younger sons of earls, and one degree lower than eldest sons of marquesses (a ranking which is preserved in the lesser ranks of the peerage as well).

Marriage with: His formal title Her title (announced formally or addressed in formal correspondence) Her title (announced informally or addressed in social correspondence) Her title (addressed or referred to in speech)
Eldest son of duke The Most Honble. The Marquess of Ware The Most Honble. The Marchioness of Ware The Marchioness of Ware Lady Ware
Eldest son of marquess The Right Honble. The Earl of Perrin The Right Honble. The Countess of Perrin The Countess of Perrin Lady Perrin
Younger son of duke The Lord George Markham The Lady George Markham The Lady George Markham Lady George (Markham)
Younger son of marquess The Lord John Pitt The Lady John Pitt The Lady John Pitt Lady John (Pitt)
Eldest son of earl The Right Honble. The Viscount Yardley The Right Honble. The Viscountess Yardley The Viscountess Yardley Lady Yardley
Younger son of earl The Honble. Christopher Fancot The Lady Margaret Fancot The Lady Margaret Fancot Lady Margaret (Fancot)
Son of viscount The Honble. Charles Rivenhall The Honble. Mrs. Charles Rivenhall or The Lady Margaret Rivenhall The Honble. Mrs. Charles Rivenhall or The Lady Margaret Rivenhall The Honble. Mrs. Charles Rivenhall or The Lady Margaret (Rivenhall)
Son of baron The Honble. Thomas Blakeney The Lady Margaret Blakeney The Lady Margaret Blakeney Lady Margaret (Blakeney)
Knight or baronet Sir Waldo Hawkridge The Lady Margaret Hawkridge The Lady Margaret Hawkridge Lady Margaret (Hawkridge)
Commoner Mr. John Caldwell The Lady Margaret Caldwell The Lady Margaret Caldwell Lady Margaret (Caldwell)

Viscounts

Viscount Newton and Baron Sunderley, surname Pratt.

 

Person announced formally or addressed on formal corres- pondence as salutation on formal corres- pondence announced informally or addressed on social corres- pondence as salutation on social correspondence addressed in speech as referred to in speech as signature on social corres- pondence
Viscount The Right Honble. The Viscount Newton "My Lord," The Viscount Newton "Dear Lord Newton," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Newton,") "Lord Newton" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lord" (or, more familiarly, "Newton"). (The) Lord Newton  (or, more familiarly, "Newton"). Newton
Viscount's wife The Right Honble. The Viscountess Newton "Madam," The Right Honble. The Viscountess of Newton "Dear Lady Newton," "Lady Newton" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Newton  (or, more familiarly, "Sophia Newton"). Sophia Newton
Viscount's mother The Right Honble. The Dowager Viscountess Newton, or The  Right Honble. Isabella, The Viscountess Newton "Madam," The Dowager Viscountess Newton; or Isabella, The Viscountess Newton; or (archaic) Viscountess Dowager Newton "Dear Lady Newton," "Lady Newton" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." The Dowager Lady Newton; or Isabella, Lady Newton; or (archaic) Viscountess Dowager Newton (or, more familiarly, "Isabella Newton"). Isabella Newton
Viscount's eldest son The Honble. George Pratt (announced as "Mr. Pratt") "Sir," or  "Dear Sir," The Honble. George Pratt (announced as "Mr. Pratt") "Dear Mr. Pratt," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Pratt,") Mr. Pratt (or, more familiarly, "Pratt"). Mr. Pratt (or, more familiarly, "Pratt"). George Pratt, or Pratt
Scottish Viscount's eldest son The Master of Newton "Sir," or  "Dear Sir," The Master of Newton "Dear Mr. Pratt," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Pratt,") Mr. Pratt (or, more familiarly, "Pratt"). Mr. Pratt (or, more familiarly, "Pratt"). George Pratt, or Pratt
Wife of Viscount's eldest son The Honble. Mrs. George Pratt (announced as "Mrs. Pratt") "Madam," The Honble. Mrs. George Pratt (announced as "Mrs. Pratt") "Dear Mrs. Pratt," Mrs. Pratt Mrs. Pratt Eileen Pratt
Viscount's younger son The Honble. Cecil Pratt (announced as "Mr. Cecil Pratt") "Sir," or  "Dear Sir," The Honble. Cecil Pratt (announced as "Mr. Cecil Pratt") "Dear Mr. Pratt," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Pratt,") Mr. Cecil Pratt, or Mr. Pratt (or, more familiarly, "Pratt"). Mr. Cecil Pratt, or Mr. Pratt (or, more familiarly, "Pratt"). Cecil Pratt, or Pratt
Wife of Viscount's younger son The Honble. Mrs. Cecil Pratt (announced as "Mrs. Cecil Pratt") "Madam," The Honble. Mrs. Cecil Pratt (announced as "Mrs. Cecil Pratt") "Dear Mrs. Pratt," Mrs. Cecil Pratt, or Mrs. Pratt (a very close friend or relative might address her by her Christian name) Mrs. Cecil Pratt, or Mrs. Pratt Grace Pratt
Viscount's daughter The Honble. Caroline Pratt (announced as "Miss Pratt") "Madam," The Honble. Caroline Pratt (announced as "Miss Pratt") "Dear Miss Pratt," Miss Pratt Miss Pratt Caroline Pratt

Married Daughters of Viscounts

If she marries a rank equal or above her own, she takes the rank of her husband.  If she marries below her own, she keeps her rank.

Marriage with: His formal title Her title (announced formally or addressed in formal correspondence) Her title (announced informally or addressed in social correspondence) Her title (addressed or referred to in speech)
Knight or baronet Sir Waldo Hawkridge The Honble. Lady Hawkridge (announced as "Lady Hawkridge") The Honble. Lady Hawkridge (announced as "Lady Hawkridge") Lady Hawkridge
Commoner Mr. John Caldwell The Honble. Mrs. Caldwell (announced as "Mrs. Caldwell") The Honble. Mrs.  Caldwell (announced as "Mrs. Caldwell") Mrs. Caldwell

Barons

Our example is Baron Featherstone, surname Stanley.

Person announced formally or addressed on formal corres- pondence as salutation on formal corres- pondence announced informally or addressed on social corres- pondence as salutation on social correspondence addressed in speech as referred to in speech as signature on social corres- pondence
Baron The Right Honble. Lord Featherstone "My Lord," The Lord Featherstone "Dear Lord Featherstone," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Featherstone,") "Lord Featherstone" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lord" (or, more familiarly, "Featherstone"). (The) Lord Featherstone  (or, more familiarly, "Featherstone"). Featherstone
Baron's wife The Right Honble.  Lady Featherstone "Madam," The Lady Featherstone "Dear Lady Featherstone," "Lady Featherstone" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Featherstone  (or, more familiarly, "Sophia Featherstone"). Sophia Featherstone
Baroness in her own right The Right Honble.  Lady Featherstone or The Right Honble. the Baroness Featherstone "Madam," The Lady Featherstone or The Baroness Featherstone "Dear Lady Featherstone," or "Dear Baroness Featherstone," "Lady Featherstone" or "Baroness Featherstone" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." (The) Lady Featherstone  (or, more familiarly, "Catherine Featherstone"). Catherine Featherstone
Baron's mother The Right Honble. The Dowager Lady Featherstone, or The Right Honble. Louisa, The Lady Featherstone "Madam," The Dowager Lady Featherstone; or Louisa, The Lady Featherstone "Dear Lady Featherstone," "Lady Featherstone" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." The Dowager Lady Featherstone; or Louisa, Lady Featherstone (or, more familiarly, "Louisa Featherstone"). Louisa Featherstone
Baron's eldest son The Honble. Aubrey Stanley (announced as "Mr. Stanley") "Sir," or  "Dear Sir," The Honble. Aubrey Stanley (announced as "Mr. Stanley") "Dear Mr. Stanley," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Stanley,") Mr. Stanley (or, more familiarly, "Stanley"). Mr. Stanley (or, more familiarly, "Stanley"). Aubrey Stanley, or Stanley
Scottish Baron's eldest son The Master of Featherstone "Sir," or  "Dear Sir," The Master of Featherstone "Dear Mr. Stanley," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Stanley,") Mr. Stanley (or, more familiarly, "Stanley"). Mr. Stanley (or, more familiarly, "Stanley"). Aubrey Stanley, or Stanley
Wife of Baron's eldest son The Honble. Mrs. Stanley (announced as "Mrs.  Stanley") "Madam," The Honble. Mrs. Stanley (announced as "Mrs. Stanley") "Dear Mrs. Stanley," Mrs. Stanley Mrs. Stanley Emma Stanley
Baron's younger son The Honble. Frederick Stanley (announced as "Mr. FrederickStanley") "Sir," or  "Dear Sir," The Honble. James Stanley (announced as "Mr. Stanley") "Dear Mr. Stanley," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Stanley,") Mr. Frederick Stanley, or Mr. Stanley (or, more familiarly, "Stanley"). Mr. Frederick Stanley, or Mr. Stanley (or, more familiarly, "Stanley"). Frederick Stanley, or Stanley
Wife of Baron's younger son The Honble. Mrs. Frederick Stanley (announced as "Mrs. Frederick Stanley") "Madam," The Honble. Mrs. Frederick Stanley (announced as "Mrs. Frederick Stanley") "Dear Mrs. Stanley," Mrs. Frederick Stanley, or Mrs. Stanley Mrs. Frederick Stanley, or Mrs. Stanley Elinor Stanley
Baron's daughter The Honble. Hester Stanley (announced as "Miss Stanley") "Madam," The Honble. Hester Stanley (announced as "Miss Stanley") "Dear Miss Stanley," Miss Stanley Miss Stanley Hester Stanley

Married Daughters of Barons

If she marries a rank equal or above her own, she takes the rank of her husband.  If she marries below her own, she keeps her rank.

Marriage with: His formal title Her title (announced formally or addressed in formal correspondence) Her title (announced informally or addressed in social correspondence) Her title (addressed or referred to in speech)
Knight or baronet Sir Waldo Hawkridge The Honble. Lady Hawkridge (announced as "Lady Hawkridge") The Honble. Lady Hawkridge (announced as "Lady Hawkridge") Lady Hawkridge
Commoner Mr. John Caldwell The Honble. Mrs. Caldwell (announced as "Mrs. Caldwell") The Honble. Mrs.  Caldwell (announced as "Mrs. Caldwell") Mrs. Caldwell

Baronets

Person announced formally or addressed on formal corres- pondence as salutation on formal corres- pondence announced informally or addressed on social corres- pondence as salutation on social correspondence addressed in speech as referred to in speech as signature on social corres- pondence
Baronet Sir William Lucas, Bt. (announced as "Sir William Lucas"). "Sir," Sir William Lucas, Bt. (announced as "Sir William Lucas"). "Dear Sir William Lucas," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Sir William,") Sir William Sir William Lucas (or, more familiarly, "Sir William"). Sir William
Baronet's wife Lady Lucas "Madam," Lady Lucas "Dear Lady Lucas," "Lady Lucas" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." Lady Lucas (or, more familiarly, "Mary Lucas"). Mary Lucas
Baronet's mother The Dowager Lady Lucas, or Lydia, Lady Lucas "Madam," The Dowager Lady Lucas, or Lydia, Lady Lucas "Dear Lady Lucas," "Lady Lucas" the first time in conversation, followed by "my lady." The Dowager Lady Lucas, or Lydia, Lady Lucas(or, more familiarly, "Lydia Lucas"). Lydia Lucas
Baronet's eldest son Mr. Lucas "Sir," Mr. Lucas "Dear Mr. Lucas," (or, more familiarly, "Dear Lucas,") Mr. Lucas (or, more familiarly, "Lucas" or John). Mr. Lucas (or, more familiarly, "Lucas" or John). John Lucas
Wife of Baronet's son Mrs. Lucas "Madam," Mrs. Lucas "Dear Mrs. Lucas," Mrs. Lucas Mrs. Lucas Blanche Lucas
Baronet's daughter Miss Lucas "Madam," Miss Lucas "Dear Miss Lucas," Miss Lucas Miss Lucas Charlotte Lucas

Married Daughters of Baronets

Since she has no distinctions of her own, she takes the rank of her husband. 

If a younger son of an earl, viscount, or baron is given a baronetcy, then he is allowed to keep his "Honorable" designation in addition to his new "Sir" dignity for the addressing of envelopes, e.g., The Honble. Sir William Lucas, Bt., and The Honble. Lady Lucas.  But since the title "Honorable" is never used in speech or even on calling cards, the forms of announcing and addressing in speech remain the same as for an ordinary baronet.

Repair to Titles of Nobility In Britan


Table of Contents

Titles of Nobility In Britan
Peerage Basics
Hereditary Peerages, including Royal Titles
Life Peerages
Courtesy Titles
Rights and Privileges of Peers
Precedence
A Peeress "in her own right"
Dowager Peeresses
Entails, Marriage Settlements, and Dower
Correct Forms of Address
The 1st Duke of Marlborough
Links to other Sites
Bibliography
Notes


Table of Contents

Titles of Nobility In Britan
Peerage Basics
Hereditary Peerages, including Royal Titles
Life Peerages
Courtesy Titles
Rights and Privileges of Peers
Precedence
A Peeress "in her own right"
Dowager Peeresses
Entails, Marriage Settlements, and Dower
Correct Forms of Address
The 1st Duke of Marlborough
Links to other Sites
Bibliography
Notes