Talk:Peerage Act 1963

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Old comments[edit]

The article on Alec Douglas-Home claims that "On his death, he was succeeded as Earl of Home by his son, David."

Does this mean that when Tony Benn dies, that Hilary Benn will end up the Third Viscount Stansgate?

I believe so, however, because of the House of Lords Act 1999, the title would not allow him to take up a seat in the House of Lords. He would have to be appointed a life peer. Mintguy 15:19, 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I believe Stephen Benn is older than Hilary and thus the heir to the viscountcy. --rbrwr
Although Tony was a second son he inherited as his older brother died without issue, killed in action in 1944. Stephen Benn has a son, so Tony's second son Hilary is now third in line garryq 13:48, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I thought I read somewhere that the Act had time limits - that peers must renounce within six months (or something) of either the Act being passed (not sure on this bit) or inheriting their titles - the idea being that subsequently established members of the House of Lords couldn't just pop down to the Commons when they felt like it. (I guess it was seen as okay for an existing established hereditary peer to do so at the time because up to then they had had no choice in the matter.) Anyone know any more on this?

A peerage must be disclaimed within 12 months of inheriting it, or within 12 months of the act beeing passed. There was a very much shorter period if the person inheriting was an MP and wanted to retain his seat. If the MP went beyond that short limit he was disqualified, but as long as he disclaimed within the 12 months he could stand again. garryq 13:29, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I wonder how that works for people who inherit their title when they are infants? Morwen 19:50, May 16, 2004 (UTC)
"or, if he is then under twenty-one years of age, twelve months beginning with the day on which he attains that age;" [1] --rbrwrˆ 19:59, 16 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

list of disclaimed peerages (are there any others?)

Yes. My ancient Whitaker's Almanac (1985 edition) lists: Earl of Durham, Earl of Home, Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Hailsham, Viscount Stansgate, Lord Altrincham, Lord Archibald, Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Fraser of Allander, Lord Merthyr, Lord Monkswell, Lord Reith, Lord Sanderson of Ayot, Lord Silkin, Lord Southampton. Doubtless one of our peerage experts will be along with a full list at any moment. --rbrwrˆ (ps. Fraser of Allander, the only red link in that list, was created for Hugh "House of" Fraser and is now extinct.)

Malcolm St Clair[edit]

Mr St Clair then accepted the office of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, thereby disqualifying himself from the House

List of Stewards of the Manor of Northstead claims he took that office instead. Which is correct? Psmith 22:16, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wives and family[edit]

Version before recent changes:

A peer who disclaims the peerage and his wife lose all titles, rights and privileges associated with the peerage.

Iainscott's version:

A peer (and thier family) who disclaims the peerage lose all titles, rights and privileges associated with the peerage.

My version:

A peer who disclaims the peerage loses all titles, rights and privileges associated with the peerage; if he is a married man, so does his wife.

The first version is grammatically odd, as Iain spotted. However "family" is not what it says in the Act ([2]). It specifically says wife. The fact that a disclaimed peer also disclaims his subsidiary titles presumably means that his eldest son cannot use it as a courtesy title. However, I do wonder whether this means that all titles are lost by the family; for example does his mother, if circumstances otherwise permit, retain her title as dowager? Iain's version implies that she would lose the title, and I'm not convinced that the act says that. --rbrwr± 13:08, 8 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Only the peer concerned and his wife lose their titles. Every other member of the family (including an eldest son using a courtesy peerage) keeps theirs. Proteus (Talk) 13:12, 8 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you. --rbrwr± 13:17, 8 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah! I had assumed that the title, and all titles derived from it, just sort of disappeared until the chap who disclaimed it died... thinking about it, the way the act has it does make more logical sense! Iain 09:25, 9 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No more hereditary peerages[edit]

I notice that there's an average of ten hereditary peerages created per year up until about 1964, and after that almost none - and usually then mainly for members of the royal family. Is there any reason why this is so, as the article doesn't address this? What i'm getting at is this: is there some sort of policy (official or unofficial) to let hereditary titles eventually dwindle or die out through attrition? For instance, why aren't former PMs made hereditary earls any more? [[ (talk) 09:39, 15 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is discussed in hereditary peer, where it more sensibly belongs than this article. I have added a wikilink to this page now as it seemed odd that it wasn't linked from this article. JRawle (Talk) 10:04, 15 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alan Lindsay Sanderson (formerly Lord Sanderson of Ayot) v. Alan Sanderson (the recording engineer)[edit]

In the list of Disclaimed Peerages, the link to Alan Sanderson points to a recording engineer who was born in 1970, but the man in question, Alan Lindsay Sanderson, formerly Lord Sanderson of Ayot, is a psychiatrist born in 1931. I have removed the link to the sound engineer Alan Sanderson. (talk) 11:30, 15 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The former 2nd Lord Sanderson of Ayot died 16 Dec 2022 (talk) 06:34, 3 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First Peerage to be renounced[edit]

It's not clear that the Stansgate Peerage was the first to be renounced, Tony Benn's diary suggests that when he was on his way into the House of Lords to sign the paperwork to renounce his peerage coming in the other direction another was on his way out having already done so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:09, 22 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When was ban on Peers in House enacted?[edit]

I'm curious about this as I note a number of peers, Lord this and Earl that, who served as prime ministers during the 18th and 19th Centuries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is still permitted for a peer to be a minister, since a minister may be appointed from either House; indeed, the current cabinet includes both Jonathan Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford and Sayeeda Warsi, Baroness Warsi, who sit in the House of Lords. It is also technically possible for a peer to be PM, but this has happened only once since the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury resigned in 1902. The last Prime Minister to sit in the Lords was the 14th Earl of Home, who was appointed Prime Minister on 19 October 1963 and disclaimed his peerage four days later, on 23 October 1963. It was not strictly necessary for him to do so; see Alec Douglas-Home#Successor to Macmillan - but since 1923 it had not been considered acceptable for the PM to sit in the Lords, see George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston#Passed Over for Prime Minister, 1923. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:50, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To be pedantic a minister could legally come from neither house. It is a convention not a matter of law that they do.Garlicplanting (talk) 12:31, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The situation is further confused by the fact that certain Irish and (until 1963) Scottish peers could sit in the House of Commons, as could courtesy peers. So Lord North (heir apparent of the Earl of Guilford) and Lord Palmerston (an Irish viscount) both sat in the House of Commons (and served as PM as such) despite being Lords. Proteus (Talk) 10:16, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which makes this sentence puzzling: the Act extended to all Irish peers both the right to vote in parliamentary elections and the right to stand for election to the House of Commons.Tamfang (talk) 07:33, 5 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Female hereditary peers[edit]

I believe the current list of hereditary peeress's who took their seat after the 1963 act is incorrect, some of those included never took their seats in the House of Lords. This was not uncommon, numerous hereditary peers chose to never sit (in 1999 at their abolition roughly 80 of the 800ish hereditary peers hadn't taken their seats). I've adjusted the list accordingly with a source from the House of Lords Library available from the website. ToastButterToast (talk) 03:58, 24 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]