The following is a conversation that I had
with John about the Peerage. It is copied from email but reads kind of
like an interview. Enjoy!
Let me try to answer as concisely as I can.
> There is something about the placement of "Lord" in the title - I
> that a Baron would be - John Lord Alderdice, Baron of Knock - and if you
> Viscount or above it would be Lord John Alderdice, Viscount of Knock.
> that correct?
The title is The Lord Alderdice (no christian name)
or John, Lord Alderdice.
I could have had Knock (the territorial designation) in my title
(The Lord Alderdice of Knock), and if there had been any other Lord
Alderdice, past or present, I would have had to, in order to avoid
confusion. I could even have chosen to be simply Lord Knock, but, since
there was no need I chose not to. So, there is a territorial
(Knock) but it is not part of the title that is used, though it is noted on
the letters patent. By the way all Scottish titles must have
territorial designation as part of the title. Mine is not a Scottish
With regard to the degrees of the peerage - a Baron is the most
common title. It is the lowest degree and is the only degree for life
peers, and the only degree now given. The term Baron however is
except in legal documents etc.
The next degree up is Viscount. These are all hereditary, and were
I a Viscount, I would be The Viscount Alderdice, or John, Viscount
Alderdice, however mostly the title Lord would still be the one used, ie The
The situation would be the same for Earls and Marquess, the next two
levels up, but for the most senior, Duke, the title Duke is always used
(not simply Lord). Therefore I would be His Grace, the Duke Alderdice.
All of these as I have said are hereditary titles, and no longer given as
new titles except for Royalty (eg. Prince Edward recently became The Earl
> Next, In the Allardice genealogy, it shows that Sir John Allardice and his
> son Sir George Allardice both had the title of "Sir". One
> manuscripts refers to them as Barons of Allardice - which I understand to
> be a Feudal Baron but not a Lord of Parliament.
I think that you are right that they were, feudal barons, but not
lords of parliament.
> Other manuscripts refer to
> them as Knights and yet another says that Sir John Allardice was made a
> baronet around 1660. This is all very confusing to me! Do you
> rank Sir John and Sir George actually held?
I do not know for sure. It is possible that both were knights, and
that each was so dubbed for their services. It is also possible that
father was given a 'baronetcy', that is to say a kind of hereditary
knighthood, so that the father had the distinction and was honoured, but it
was passed on to the son, and his son and so on. The last time
happened was with Mrs. Thatcher. While she was Prime Minister her husband
Denis was given a baronetcy, (Sir Denis Thatcher Bt) so when he dies his son
Mark will become Sir Mark Thatcher Bt.
> Also, I would be very grateful if you would consent to letting me put the
> information about your title on our website - I think alot of our cousins
> would be very interested. I would also be interested in posting any
> message concerning your work in Northern Ireland and/or Parliament on the
I am quite happy for you to post something about this. Give me a
week or two to put something together and send it to you about the title and
also about my coat of arms.
Hope that this is of help.
> I hope I haven't asked too much - but like I said - I love this stuff!!!
> Thank you very much!
> Jim Allerdice