On 1 June 2004 a Royal Warrant required the creation and maintenance of a new Roll of the Peerage by the then Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. The responsibility for this now rests with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. The need for this arose out of the changes to the composition of the House of Lords as a result of the House of Lords Act 1999. Up to that time, all Peers who proved succession, with the exception of Irish creations, received a Writ of Summons to Parliament. These successions were recorded in a register of The Lords Spiritual and Temporal, maintained by the Clerk of the Parliaments. Since the implementation of the House of Lords Act a list of members of the House of Lords including the 92 excepted hereditary peers, and a register of hereditary peers who wish to stand in any by-election, have been maintained by the Clerk of the Parliaments; peers not falling into any of these categories cannot be entered into it. The present Roll was therefore instituted to record the names of all those holding peerages, whether or not also enrolled in the register of the Clerk of the Parliaments.
Under the terms of the Royal Warrant of 1 June 2004 any person who succeeds to a Peerage must prove his or her succession and be placed on the Roll, otherwise that person may not be legally recognised as a Peer in official documents.
Follow the links below for further information on what the Roll of the Peerage records and on the requirements for proving succession to a peerage, and to view the latest edition of the Roll itself.
Clicking on the first and last links will open documents in secure pdf form. In order to read these you must have a pdf reading program such as Adobe Reader to view them, a free program that you may have on your computer already.