The Much Honoured
The Much Honoured (abbreviated to The Much Hon.) is an honorific that is bestowed on members of Scotland's feudal nobility, which comes within the jurisdiction of the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh.
In addition, there are seven feudal earldoms (Arran, Breadalbane, Crawfurd-Lindsay, Errol, Nithsdale, Rothes, Wigtown), one feudal marquessate (Huntly) and one feudal dukedom (Hamilton), all held in baroneum, where there is entitlement. Of these, four of the earldoms are extant, two are unclaimed, one is in dispute and the dukedom and marquessate are held by senior members of the Scottish peerage.
By tradition, certain territorial lairds were permitted to style themselves "The Much Honoured", but this practice is now considered archaic.
The highest-ranking feudal baron in Scotland is the Baron of Renfrew, His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay, and by tradition those titles are held by the current heir apparent to the British throne.
The Marquess of Huntly, The Earl of Eglinton and Winton, and Conservative politician The Much Hon. Ian Liddell-Grainger, a great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria and a second cousin once removed of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, are other notable holders of feudal titles.
There are three classes of entitlement:
- Scots feudal barons. For example, The Much Hon. David Leslie, Baron of Leslie, or The Much Hon. The Baron of Leslie
- Scots feudal earls. For example, The Much Hon. James Leslie, Earl of Rothes or The Much Hon. The Earl of Rothes
- Lairds. Use by lairds is now considered archaic.
Online purchase of a lairdship title - with or without a tiny patch of Scottish land - does not entitle the purchaser either to claim lairdship, or indeed to use this style of address.
The eldest son of a Scots baron is entitled to be addressed by courtesy as the Younger (abbreviated to the Yr); the eldest daughter of a Scots baron, if heir apparent, is entitled to use the courtesy title The Maid of [name of barony] (e.g. David Leslie the Younger and The Maid of Leslie).
The honorific "The Much Honoured" should not be confused with those attaching to Peers of the Realm:
- Barons, Viscounts and Earls are The Right Honourable
- Marquesses are The Most Honourable
- Dukes are The Most Noble or His Grace
- Highland Titles, a company registered in the Channel Islands, is a prime purveyor of such 'titles', https://www.highlandtitles.com