Lordy Lord…

Sir Michael Lord, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, is among the list of new peers to be announced.  An obvious question that keeps coming up in conversation in the Lords is: what title will he take? 

Will we have to refer to the noble Lord, Lord Lord?


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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25 Responses to Lordy Lord…

  1. djb13 says:

    What a shame he isn’t Edward Lord. Then he’d be Lord E. Lord (‘Lordy lord’). I also heard of a Mr. Edward Mann (‘Mystery man’).

  2. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    Although the Hebrew for Lords both human and celestial is “Adonai” and the “el” suffix actually translates as “God or god” there is a widely accepted traditional mistranslation of his Christian name long used when the meaning and not the sounds are carried over from the original language “The-Lord-is-My-Justice”. Perhaps to really make an historic mark he could be referred to as “the noble Lord, The-Lord-is-My-Justice Lord Lord”. With that designation it would seem he should never get mail at the House of Commons.

  3. Len says:

    I can only hope that Sir Michael Lord takes the initiative and becomes the noble Lord, Lord Lord! Or would the Garter King of Arms say it was not dignified enough for the peerage?

    • Lord Norton says:

      I think Garter may seek to dissuade him. However, if Sir Michael lived in a village called Lord, I could see we could have all sorts of fun!

      • Frank W. Summers III says:


      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,
        I must admit I went looking all through Suffolk and other places for somewhere that might add even a Barrens. “Lord the Distinguished Baron of Barrens” has a certain something to it in a headline. All was in vain. So if he cannot be Lord Lord perhaps he could be Baron Blo Norton or Lord Blo Norton. This seems a crossroads roughly in his region and would eliminate any of the confusions we have been discussing. In addition it may well be a nice place — I have never heard anything against it.

      • Lord Norton says:

        franksummers3ba: The last thing I need is another peer with Norton in the title. It was bad enough when the hereditary peer Lord Norton was in the House. We were always getting one another’s mail.

  4. Michael says:

    Sir Michael appears to be thinking along the lines of taking a territorial title for his peerage, as one might expect with his surname: http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/daily-mail-london-england-the/mi_8002/is_2010_Nov_22/newly-ennobled-sir-michael-lord/ai_n56331104/

    • Lord Norton says:

      Indeed, I suspect that is likely, though the story appears a little ambiguous as to whether he will simply use a territorial title (or retain his name and add a territorial designation (Lord Lord of).

  5. Jonathan says:

    There is also a problem with Sir Michael Bishop. He can’t be Lord Bishop or even Lord Bishop of Somewhere. So he and Sir Michael Lord will both have to choose different titles than their surname, meaning at least two interesting titles in this batch, as there were in the last.

    As discussed recently in the Google Peerage News group (I can’t take credit for it myself!) there is a precedent for such titles being disallowed. For example Sir Frederick Marquis had to become Lord Woolton and Sir Henry Duke was Lord Merrivale. However, there have been several Lords King of Somewhere, and once there was even a Lord Pope!

    The other one to watch is whether there will be a new Lord Kitchener…

    • Lord Norton says:

      Jonathan: I did think about Sir Michael Bishop, although I am not a sure that Lord Bishop would cause too much confusion in the House as we refer to a Bishop as ‘the right reverend prelate’ (and virtually no one remembers how to address an archbishop). It might cause some confusion outside when he is introduced as Lord Bishop.

      As you say, we have had a number of Lord Kings. If Sir John Major accepts a peerage, we will have a Lord Major.

      Are there many people with the surname Almighty?

      • Jonathan says:

        It might not cause confusion in the House, but it would elsewhere. Suppose Sir Michael chose the territorial dsignation “of Manchester”, then he’s be the Lord Bishop of Manchester!

  6. Chris K says:

    Ever since Sir Michael announced he was retiring I’ve been waiting for this!

    I’ll be disappointed if, as Jonathan suggests is likely, it is disallowed.

    This titles stuff is fascinating and a rich part of our heritage. I hope it’s not consigned to the history books.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Chris K: I am sure the College of Arms will be working hard to ensure that it isn’t.

      • Croft says:

        I understood while you can negotiate on the locations that is because Garter allows peers to express their wishes before he decides. But if Garter says no that’s it. ‘Lord Lord’ I cannot believe has a snowballs chance even with a territorial d as it would cause confusion

        “Are there many people with the surname Almighty?”

        A good few ministers and civil servants seem to think so but the records in Somerset House seem to suggest otherwise 😀

        “However, there have been several Lords King of Somewhere, and once there was even a Lord Pope!”

        I suggest that there could be no confusion with a peer and the Sovereign and the ‘Pope’ was historically called the Bishop of Rome in England as they were not acknowledging the rank/title of ‘Pope’.

      • Frank W. Summers III says:

        But perhaps he was daily mistaken for the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria who is also entitled to be called Pope and several other non-Roman honorifics of papacy. Must have been difficult always turning down requests to consecrate the scores of Ethiopian Rite Cantors chasing him around London. Or perhaps not…

  7. Dean B says:

    I feel we have hardly scratched the surface of possibilities here.

    Has, for example, a Mr Chamberlain ever been enobled?

    Or a Mr Meyer?

  8. Anon says:

    Perhaps Sir Christopher Meyer has a future in the upper house?

    • franksummers3ba says:

      If so, may I suggest he be the Baron of London. They need another don’t you think?

      • Lord Norton says:

        franksummers3ba: London would be deemed too grand for a baron. Reputedly, Churchill was offered the Dukedom of London.

      • franksummers3ba says:

        Lord Norton,

        I realize the custom though would not have known for sure the details above Earl. However, if I should ever have had the opportunity to entertain him then “His Grace, Duke Myer of London” or more correctly “His Grace Christopher (Myer), Duke of London” would contribute very little to the entertainment. On the other hand, “Lord Myer of London” has great potential in a party of varied accents. I was just being unusually hopeful I believe. If it could be arranged to host him at a meal with no written program and a keynote speaker disccuing finance in the European Union then I at least might hope for an entertaining evening.

  9. Carl.H says:

    I heard the Lib-Dems were putting in another peer, well to tell the truth someone overheard Nick Clegg saying something about “Lord Elpus”.


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