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The Peerage - Marquesses

A marquessate is the second most important tide in the peerage. A marquess's coronet alternates strawberry leaves with silver balls. The premier Marquess of England is the Marquess of Winchester and the present holder of this title lives in what was Rhodesia. In Scotland the preferred spelling for pre-Union creations is MARQUIS which reflects Scotland's affinity with France. The Marquis of Hundy is Chief of Clan Gordon and Premier Marquis of Scotland.

The Cecils hold two marquessates, those of Salisbury and Exeter and the last marquessate to be created was that of Willingdon in 1936 conferred upon a former Viceroy of India. A Marquess is 'The Most Hon.' and his children are addressed in a similar way to the children of dukes, the eldest son bearing one of his father's subsidiary titles by courtesy.

The title derives from 'marched meaning a boundary; a word which survives in The Marches - that once tempestuous borderland between England and Wales. A man in high command defending a frontier of this nature was known as a Lord March. This eventually became Lord Marquess, but the derivation is clearer in the name given to the wife of a marquess - marchioness.

An early recipient was Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford who was created Marquess of Dublin for life by Richard II.

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