What is recorded in the Roll of the Peerage
The Roll of the Peerage is an officially compiled and maintained list, intended to contain the names of all living peers. Peers are enrolled in it in the following circumstances:
- Hereditary Peers who have proved succession in accordance with the terms of the 2004 Royal Warrant.
- Hereditary Peers who up to 1999 received a Writ of Summons.
- Hereditary Peers who from 1999 have proved their succession in order to be eligible either for election to a vacant seat amongst the remaining 92 hereditary peers in a House of Lords 'by-election', or to vote in such a by-election.
- Life Peers.
The Roll comprises all those Peers who have proved succession to an English, Scottish, Irish, Great Britain or United Kingdom Peerage. In some cases the Peer's name appears against his junior title; it may then be cross-referenced elsewhere in the Roll if the Peer is customarily styled in a different or senior title. This arises for example where succession has been proved in a junior title for the purposes of sitting in the House of Lords.
Each entry on the Roll is headed with the style of the dignity (the nomen dignitatis), e.g. 'Abercorn'; with the body of the entry showing:
- whether the dignity is hereditary or for life.
- the class or rank of dignity, i.e. duke/duchess, marquess/marchioness, earl/countess, viscount/viscountess or baron/baroness, (lord/lady in the case of some Scottish titles).
- the Peerage within which dignity was created, i.e. the Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain or the United Kingdom.
- the full style of the current holder of the dignity, including forenames, and indicating where applicable any senior title by which he or she is customarily known.
- the surname of the present holder of the dignity.
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