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So You Think You Want to Be a Nobleman?

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Peers and Peeresses Assemble in Anteroom before the Coronation of King George V

Contrary to common belief, it wasn’t easy or painless to be elevated to the peerage. In fact, there were many hidden costs associated with the King and Prime Minister bestowing a title on a man of means or reputation. A journalist in The Lady’s Realm details these costs!

The Procedure

  1. The King notifies the Secretary of State for the Home Department of his intention to raise Mr. Smith to the peerage
  2. The Home Secretary shares the King’s command with the Clerk of the Crown, who prepares the warrant for the new peerage with His Majesty’s signature
  3. The warrant is signed by His Majesty and the Home Secretary, and is then sent to the Lord Chancellor, who also signs the document
  4. The Letters Patent of the Peerage is prepared by the Stationery Office

The Costs

  • The Letters Patent: £5 (~£550 in 2017)
  • Barony: £360 17s (~£39,000)
  • Viscountcy: £467 4s 6d (~£50,000)
  • Earldom: £574 12s (~£62,000)
  • Marquessate: £691 12s (~£75,000)
  • Dukedom: £809 12s (~£88,000)
  • Special limitation in special remainder (if new peer has no sons and wants title to be passed through female line): varies by each remainder and the title–Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts paid over £1750 for his earldom to allow his title to be passed through his daughters)
  • Robe, designed for each step of the peerage, necessary when introduced to the House of Lords: £40-50
  • Coronet, designed for each step of the peerage: up to £450
  • Three-cornered beaver hat, worn during introduction to House of Lords: £10-15

(current values compared to 1910 calculated using Stephen Morley’s calculator)

3 Games That Helped The Suffragettes Win the Vote

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According to Elizabeth Crawford in The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) translated the “mechanics of the women’s suffrage campaign into board and card games,” 1 and soon, toy manufacturers began producing toys and games with women’s suffrage themes. Dr. Kenneth Florey, a collector of women’s suffrage memorabilia, shared some of his collection online–items ranged from traditional playing cards to puzzles to board games getting suffragettes out of prison. The games and toys produced by the WSPU were popular fundraisers, and continued the success of their campaign through tapping into Edwardian pop culture. The following are some of the most popular suffragette games of the Edwardian period.

Suffragetto

Suffragetto, board game © Suffragitsu

The object of this game was to get the suffragettes (Player 1) from Albert Hall to the House of Commons without being arrested by the police (Player 2)!

Pank-a-Squith

Represents the attempts of Suffragists to reach the House of Commons showing the difficulties, prejudices and injustices which the suffragists had to meet.

Named for Emmeline Pankhurst and Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, the game “depicts the suffragettes’ struggle with Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and the Liberal government. By rolling the dice, players attempt to move a suffragette figure from her home to the Houses of Parliament, her course being hindered by a number of obstructions along the way.” 2

Panko

“Panko, or, Votes for women : the great card game ; suffragists v. anti-suffragists. Circa 1910,” Ann Lewis Women’s Suffrage Collection, accessed May 30, 2017

According to the rules, “the game is not dissimilar to rummy, it is a race to collect 6 cards of the same suit (there are four suffragette and four anti-suffragette images.) The cards are dealt and soon you become totally submerged in collecting all 6 ‘Pank, Pank, Pank’ cards, winning your team a point if you collect them first.” 3

Fancy playing a suffragette game, The National Archives sells a facsimile version of Pank-a-Squith in it bookshop (or online, for international orders), and you can print your own copy of Suffragetto, courtesy of Georgia Tech, or play an online version!

Further Reading

Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study by Kenneth Florey

Citations

  1. Elizabeth Crawford, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928 (London: Routledge, 2003), p235
  2. National Archives http://bookshop.nationalarchives.gov.uk/5055453439155/Pank-a-Squith-Suffragette-Board-Game/
  3. Christy Thomson. “Shall We Play Panko and Vote for Women?” GU Feminist History https://guhistfem.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/shall-we-play-panko-and-vote-for-women/
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Relive Downton Abbey’s Most Memorable Weddings

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Airing June 2017 on PBS

(check your local listings for airdate and times)
This special rekindles the romance and drama surrounding the weddings of Downton Abbey. For all six seasons, the relationships of the couples on Downton Abbey have had us celebrating, commiserating, and above all, sharing their most vulnerable and very best moments. This celebration, hosted by Hugh Bonneville, includes some of the most romantic and touching wedding scenes and episodes from the across the seasons of Downton Abbey. It features new interviews from Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame, and Liz Trubridge, the show’s creative team who brought these relationships to life, as they discuss and reveal their insights on the romance and storylines along with a careful selection of cast interviews from the Downton archive. Spanning the idyllic pre-war era through the storms of The Great War into the roaring 1920s, there have been many crucial relationships both upstairs and downstairs in the great house. As the world around them undergoes extraordinary change, love affairs within the sumptuous house continue to be marked by passion, ambition, and heartbreak.

Relive the Joy

Relive the Heartbreak

Relive the Beauty

Relive the Drama

Which Downton weddings were your favorites?