Cracroft's Peerage
The Complete Guide to the British Peerage & Baronetage

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Marquesses of Ireland

 

A marquess's coronet

 

Current Irish Marquessates

Extinct Irish Marquessates

 

The title of Marquess is said to derive from from the Italian word marchese, the ruler of a march or border territory.  Certainly the local lords who guarded the Welsh and Scottish marches were collectively known as "lords marcher", but whether this had any connection with the origin of the second highest rank of the peerage remains doubtful.  There have been twenty-one marquessates in the Peerage of Ireland, of which eight still survive.  The first was the Marquessate of Antrim, created in 1645, and the last, the Marquessate of Clanricarde, created in 1825.

 

A Marquess is styled the "Most Honourable" and he is officially addressed by the Crown as "Our Right Trusty and Entirely Beloved Cousin".  This mode of address started in the reign of King Henry IV, who through his immediate family was related or allied to every Earl in the kingdom.  When a Marquess or any other peer is a member of the Privy Council the word "Counsellor" is placed before his name, for instance:  "George......To Our Right Trusty and Entirely Beloved Cousin and Counsellor, Charles Stewart Henry, Marquess of Londonderry.....Greeting!".

 

He bears also, upon some occasions, the title of "Most Noble and Puissant Prince".

 

In common with all peers, Marquesses are entitled to both coronation and parliamentary robes.  The Coronation Robe, which, as the name suggests, is worn only at the Coronation of the Sovereign, is of crimson velvet, edged with white fur and having three rows and a half of ermine on the white fur cape.  Marchionesses are entitled to wear coronation robes similar to those of a Marquis, these being edged with a four inch border of white fur with a train a yard and three quarters on the ground.  The Parliamentary Robe of Estate of a Marquis, which is worn for the State Opening of Parliament or by those taking part in the ceremony of Introduction of a new peer, is of fine scarlet cloth lined with taffeta.  It is trimmed with three and a half guards (or bands) of ermine and gold lace, and is tied at the left shoulder with a white ribbon.

 

Coronet - A circle of gold, surmounted by four gold strawberry leaves and four silver balls alternately, the latter a little raised on points above the rim; a cap of crimson velvet, turned up ermine, thereon a golden tassel.

 

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