Your guide to becoming Titled
If you are looking to acquire a title, you need look no further than this guide. There are many people out there who will accept your money, the difficult thing is differentiating the legitimate titles (and sellers) from the fraudsters and con artists.
The types of titles I will review here are
• Lord and Lady of the Manor
• Laird and Lady
• Lord and Lady “Scams”
• Deed Poll
Make sure the seller is prepared to be identified and traced. Request a postal address and their telephone number. If you are unsure of anything, pick up the phone. If they are a genuine seller they will be happy to talk to you and answer your questions. If they are bogus they won’t want to give out their details and will disappear as soon as they have your money and have posted you your worthless documents. It is always worth a phone call to put your mind at ease and ask about the seller and their product.
Is the seller a registered company? or a private individual. If they are a company then generally you could expect them to be selling within the law. They should be registered and they will be able to provide their company registration number and other details. Again this makes them traceable should you have a problem.
Individuals are probably more risky to deal with, as they do not have the same legal standing as a Company or Corporation and can easily move house with no forwarding address. You should always make this judgement yourself and choose the seller you feel is the most reputable.
This is a cut and dried case. You cannot purchase a Knight title. However hard you try, and whatever promises the seller makes, it is illegal. A Knight title can only be granted by the Crown, and it is always for services to the British Empire, not because you have paid someone.
What you will often find is people offering to sell you a Knight title, and what you will receive is a certificate, printed from their home, on their printer saying “John Smith is now a Knight” As you can imagine, you can do this cheaper yourself at home, and it will be equally invalid!
If you press most of these sellers they may admit that it is a “novelty item”. It is worth asking, and if they won’t admit it is a novelty then you should ask them on what authority they are able to issue Knight titles. Some, like Bespoke-Legal-Technical pretend to own an ancient Order of Chivalry. This is of course a total fantasy and even a superficial search on Wikipedia or Google will expose this scam for what it is.
Our advice? Don’t touch a Knight title with a barge pole
The situation here is exactly the same as with a Knight title
The Scottish Barony is a feudal title, it is not a rank of peerage and is therefore IS possible to purchase. These titles do not come cheaply, as there are only certain estates in Scotland that actually provide the owner with the status of Baron. They do sell every few years and usually fetch in excess of £100,000, often with a house as well as the land.
For the average person, a Scottish Barony is not a viable option.
Our Advice? If you win the lottery then buy one!
Lord or Lady of the Manor
Again these are perfectly valid titles. Many sellers incorrectly promise that you can call yourself Lord John Smith. In fact it is only recognised as John Smith, Lord of the Manor of <placename>
With a Lord of the Manor title, you are not purchasing land, just the title. In theory the title can only be sold once, and is very expensive. However many unscrupulous sellers will sell the title at an inexpensive price – but try to sell the same title to many different people. Only one person should be able to have the title.
Since 1926 the Historical Manuscripts Commission maintains two Manorial Documents Registers. One register is arranged under parishes, the other is arranged under manors and shows the last-known whereabouts of the manorial records. Those that have survived are often at County Record Offices but some are still in the hands of the owners.
Make sure if you are buying a Lord of The Manor title that is a registered one, not a made up one. Almost all of the ones on the internet are made up.
Our advise? This is a legitimate title, but be wary as it could be meaningless. Otherwise, go ahead!
Laird and Lady
These again are perfectly legitimate titles and unlike the English Lord of the Manor, you also get something for your money, namely, some land. In order to be a Laird you need to own a Scottish Estate. Usually such estates are on sale, again, for in excess of £200,000 so out of the reach of your average person looking for a title. However the way to get around this is to buy a smaller part, often one or ten square feet, of somebody else’s estate.
It is important that you check that the estate being sold is part of a Laird’s Estate, not simply a piece of farmland, or a half acre of bog that somebody has bought and is subdividing. Generally anything over about 100 acres in total would count as a Laird’s estate and it is worth finding out more about the land before you buy. There are a few sellers on the internet that seem to be trying to sell their ‘back garden’ or a scrap of useless land.
The title you use can be Laird, Lord or Lady. It is worth noting that it is a Scottish Lord title, not an English Lord title that you acquire. An English Lord title cannot be bought, and is only granted by the Crown.
You will find that most banks are happy to change your credit cards, cheque books, bank accounts etc etc if you are a Laird and it is pretty much well recognised throughout the UK. From a worldwide point of view many foreign buyers use the term Lord instead of Laird as it is more widely heard of. This is down to the preference of the new landowner which they use.
Our advice? This is a legitimate title, but ensure you get the legal deeds of sale for the land, and make sure you buy from a reputable estate.
Lord and Lady Scams
These are the most common type of “title” scams out there. They are so obviously fake that it’s surprising anybody buys them, and yet they do! The wording goes like this. “Would you like to be a Lord? Do you want to have status, gold cards, upgrades etc etc? Well send me £20 and you will become a Lord”
Then the ‘seller’ prints off a certificate from their printer at home, much in the same way as the Knight titles, and the buyer sends off £20. And gets nothing of value.
If you simply want a gag gift, this is a viable option but our advice is to at least save yourself the money and print your own certificate. It will be just as meaningless and you haven’t been ripped off in the process. At the very least, e-mail the seller and ask them on what authority they are able to issue Lord titles. I assure you, the Queen has never knocked on their door and given them permission. If you take that printed certificate into your bank or other agency they will laugh in your face. Do not fall for these tricks, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Our advice? This is a fun novelty gift, but print your own and save the money.
You cannot change your title by deed poll. You can change your NAME but not your title. You also can’t select a name that looks like a title. Eg if you are John Smith you cannot change your first name to Baron and your middle name to John and your last name to Smith and be Baron John Smith. If you visit the deed poll website information, or phone them they will confirm this for you.
Our advice? This is a non starter, you can’t change your title by deed pole.