Jo (jtph_jo) wrote in little_details,

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Title/address for childless widow of a peer?

Bolded the answers that seem to be correct, but I welcome any dissenting voices or other input! :)

Hi! First post, thank you in advance for your help/ patience!

I'm writing a fantasy novel for my creative writing thesis, set in a world which is physically reminiscent of parts of Australia/ South Pacific/ South East Asia, but culturally and politically more akin to 18th century Europe.

Being fantasy, I suppose it's not as essential that I get the titles exactly right, but it's still bugging me trying to work it out.

Basically, what I want to know is: if a peer dies without issue, and the new heir does have a wife who would take over the female title, does the widow still keep her title? If not, what would she be referred to? I'm guessing perhaps by her husband's courtesy title?

So for example, the guy in question is a Marquess. He takes a very young wife, but he dies two years later and they have no children. His younger brother inherits the Marquessate, and his wife therefore becomes Marchioness. The young widow can't be 'dowager' Marchioness because she is clearly not the new Marquess' mother, which from what I've read she would have to be to get that title. So what is she? Would she be Lady Husband'sFirstname Surname? Or maybe 'Firstname, Marchioness of Blahblah' to distinguish her from the actual Marchioness?
This seems to be the right one! But she could technically use a Dowager title, it depends on the custom.

Also, the children of the new Marquess (who was previously just Lord Firstname Surname as a courtesy title, with his kids being plain Miss/Mr), I'm presuming now get the Lord/Lady Firstname Surname style because of their father's new peerage? Even though they were born well before he acceded? Yes they do.

Searched things like "peer widow childless", "peer widow style", "dowager", etc etc, as well as read through so much stuff about the peerage generally I'm going crosseyed :x I may well have just missed it, so I'm sorry in advance if it's simple info to find! D:
Tags: 1700s (no decades given), ~nobility (misc)

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