ORDER OF PRECEDENCY.
The order of precedency to be observed in England was settled by an act of parliament passed in the thirty-first year of the reign of Henry VIII. The order has been varied at different periods to accord with the alterations in the families of the reigning monarchs, and the creation of new offices. The following table shows the order of precedency at the present time, viz. the eighth year of the reign of Queen Victoria.
The following dignitaries precede all Dukes, except those of the blood royal:—
- Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England.
- Lord High Chancellor or Keeper.
- Archbishop of York, primate of England.
- Lord High Treasurer.
- Lord President of the Privy Council.
- Lord Privy Seal.
The following dignitaries precede all of their own degree:—
- The Earl Marshal.
- Lord Steward of her Majesty's household.
- Lord Chamberlain.
- Secretaries of State.
- Dukes according to the date of their patent.
- Marquises according to the date of their patent.
- Dukes' eldest Sons.
- Earls according to their patents.
- Marquises' eldest Sons.
- Dukes' younger Sons.
- Viscounts according to their patents.
- Earls' eldest Sons.
- Marquises' younger Sons.
- Bishops of London, Durham, and Winchester; all other Bishops according to their seniority of consecration.
- Barons according to their patents.
- Speaker of the House of Commons.
- Viscounts' eldest Sons.
- Earls' younger Sons.
- Barons' eldest Sons.
- Knights of the Garter, commoners.
- Privy Councillors, commoners.
- Chancellor of the Exchequer.
- Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
- Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
- Master of the Rolls.
- The Vice-Chancellor of England.
- Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
- Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer.
- Judges and Barons of the degree of the Coif, according to seniority
- Viscounts' younger Sons.
- Barons' younger Sons.
- Knights of the Bath.
- Knights Commanders of the Bath.
- Field and Flag Officers.
- Knights Bachelors.
- Masters in Chancery.
- Doctors graduate.
- Serjeants at Law.
- Esquires of the King's Body.
- Esquires of the Knights of the Bath.
- Esquires by creation.
- Esquires by office.
- Clergymen, Barristers at Law, Officers in the Royal Navy and Army who are Gentlemen by Profession, and Gentlemen entitled to bear arms.
The Lords Spiritual of Ireland rank next after the Lords Spiritual of Great Britain; the priority of signing any treaty or public instrument by the members of the government is always taken by rank of place, not by title.
The style prefixed to the titles of the peerage of Great Britain and Ireland are as follows :—
Princes of the Blood, His Royal Highness.
Archbishops, His Grace.
Dukes, The Most Noble His Grace.
Marquesses, the Most Honorable.
Earls, Viscounts, and Barons, The Right Honorable.
Bishops, The Right Reverend.
Go to chapter: