My Lord and Bishop

As regular readers will know, there was considerable interest in the titles that were to be taken by Sir Michael Lord, a former Deputy Speaker of the Commons, and Sir Michael Bishop, former head of British Midland, when they were ennobled.  We had the prospect of Lord Lord and the Lord Bishop.   In the event, Sir Michael Lord was introduced as Lord Framlingham.  Yesterday, the other mystery was solved.  Sir Michael Bishop was introduced as Lord Glendonbrook. 

Let’s hope no one is elevated to the peerage whose surname is Almighty.  Or God.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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8 Responses to My Lord and Bishop

  1. Jonathan says:

    I suspect readers of the London Gazette knew the solution to that riddle some time ago!

    Actually, there have been a large number of “interesting” titles in the latest batches of peers, not just those prohibited from using their surnames.

    Would those two examples you give be permitted? After all, they are not titles used in the House!

    • Lord Norton says:

      Jonathan: I have reason to believe that the readership of the London Gazette is not extensive! There would be no formal prohibition on the names, though I suspect Garter King of Arms may take a different view. The former Garter had a reputation for devising rules on the spot in order to deal with such situations.

      • A.P. Schrader says:

        Would that be the same Garter that told former Labour Foreign Secretary George Brown that he could only take the title “Lord George Brown” if he simultaneously changed his surname to ‘George-Brown’. The former MP for Belper duly became George George-Brown, Baron George-Brown!

        Jonathan is right to point out the interesting number of territorial titles amongst the new batch of MPs. They seem to be coming back into fashion. Ian Paisley became Lord Bannside, John Gummer became Lord Deben, Robert Balchin became Lord Lingfield, Alistair Cooke became Lord Lexden, Richard Spring became Lord Risby and David Maclean became Lord Blencathra.

  2. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,

    Where has all the fun gone in life? You may or may not know that some serious scholars speculate that scholars, magi and the Pharoah’s sat around for ever so long coming up with puns to create the phonemic elements of the hieroglyphic language. Yet here we are reduced (in my case to a semi-private blog) comment on Framlinghams and Glendonbrooks. Sometime it is enought make one want to seek out a small hamlet in Denmark and end it all.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Frank W. Summers III: The Heralds in the College of Arms also have a reputation for incorporating features on coats of arms that are puns on the name of the holder.

      • Frank W. Summers III says:

        Lord Norton,

        Or should I say Fill-Hip Baron North-On, I believe the reputation is well deserved.

  3. Secret Simon says:

    Was it just me who noticed that this article was immediatly preceded by an article on Lord Knight (of Weymouth) & Bns. Knight (of Collingtree)? I suspect a subconcious connection.
    On another point, would the puns incorporated onto a coat of arms be a rebus? The best-known example that I can think of are the coat of arms of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, whose paternal arms displayed bows & lions (her birth surname was Bowes-Lyon).

    • franksummers3ba says:

      Secret Simon,
      I think rebus is technicaly correct but some of the secret practitioners of heraldry call this a hieroglyph. I know nothing personal about the inner workings of the UK’s College of Arms. Most heraldic devices have few if any hieroglyphs, there presence is a sign of quality. Most of those from the College of Arms in Britain are expected to have them by those who read such things whom I know…

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