General Question

brownlemur's avatar

Why is Alfred, Lord Tennyson called as such, and not Lord Alfred Tennyson? This has always confused me.

Asked by brownlemur (4081points) September 25th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You need to take several years off yr PhD program in order to understand the nomenclature of the British peerage, and even then, it is like learning the rules of cricket, only less fun.

Stick w. lemurs.


“A peer is referred to by his peerage even if it is the same as his surname, thus the Baron Owen is “Lord Owen” not “Lord David Owen”, though such incorrect forms are commonly used.”

brownlemur's avatar

Can you explain the comma usage in his name though? Maybe I’m just not getting it.

andrew's avatar

How I read gailcalled’s reponse is that the proper way to address your poet is “Lord Tennyson”. However, if we need to include his first name for – I can only surmise – identification purposes, we can’t use “Lord Tennyson Alfred” or “Lord Alfred Tennyson”: the former is patently wrong and the latter breaks the peerage etiquette. Thus, “Alfred, Lord Tennyson” would work, in a simlar way that “Cruise, Tom” will work or “Charles, Prince of Wales”.

gailcalled's avatar

All I know about the British peerage, I learned from Masterpiece Theatre. Lady Marjorie was called that because her father had a title; her husband, as a tag-along, was know initially as Mr. Richard, being only Lady Marjorie’s husband and not yet banged on the shoulder by the King.

After Lady M went down w. the Titanic, acc’ding to Wickipedia, Richard Bellamy ” was elevated to the House of Lords as Viscount Bellamy of Haversham in the New Year’s Honours List of 1917.”

For more confusion, check out Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. He was informally known as Lord Louis or Lord Louis Mountbatten and had both a viscountcy and an earldom. His brother George, was the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven..


And there is George Gordon, known as Lord Byron, among other things.

That should clear everything up, I hope.

gailcalled's avatar

Erratum: I meant “clanged,” and not “banged.” No bad jokes, plz.

JesiR's avatar

The way I always thought about it was that there was a name that went along with whatever title the monarch decided to give…the “Tennyson” part…and then he just decided to keep the Alfred part…? Maybe? So, it’s like his name is Alfred, but he’s been given the title of “Lord Tennyson”. Maybe. Not sure.

That would also explain the whole George Gordon—> Lord Byron thing.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther