[Bell Historians] Succession

John Camp john at c...
Sun Jul 27 22:48:17 BST 2003

At 23:03 on 24 July 2003, jimhedgcock wrote:
> I wonder if subscribers could clarify something that has puzzled me 
> for some time?
> On page 710 of this week's RW there is a quarter peal at Woburn. I 
> think that strictly speaking the footnote is incorrect. I think that 
> it should read 'Henry Robin Ian Russell 14th. Duke of Bedford.' At 
> the time that the quarter was rung, the successor to the title, the 
> Marquis of Tavistock had become the 15th Duke of Bedford, and is THE 
> Duke of Bedford.

A belated response. Although a hereditary peerage passes immediately
to the heir on the death of the holder of the title, it is customary
to continue to refer to the late peer as the Duke (or whatever) until
the funeral and to his heir by his courtesy title. If there had been a
formal report of the Duke of Bedford's funeral in the newspapers, you
would have seen that his heir was still referred to as the Marquis. At
a memorial service, which is obviously later, the heir will be
referred to as the Duke. I think the quarter-peal report followed
normal practice, as it was rung for the funeral.

John Camp

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