I have a character who is the son of a baronet in 1821. He is 36 years old and unmarried.
My question regards some confusion of the concepts of a baronet. Searches on google and wikipedia have resolved some of my issues (I know that a baronet is effectively an hereditary knighthood) but there are one or two things I am not sure about which the pages I have looked at seem vague on...
Point one: One page I saw mentioned that a baronet used to have the right to grant their eldest son a knighthood on thier 21st birthday. It also mentions that this right was taken away at some point but is not clear on exactly when. Obviously, it is important for me to know what the state of this is between 1817 and 1821 - was this still extant in 1817 when my character turned 21 and, if it has changed before 1821, do any knighthoods given in this way stil stand?
Point two: like any title, baronets are linked to a location. It is not clear exactly how large this area is - a small town, a village etc? And what baronetcy areas are available in Cambridgeshire in this period?
A final point about the same character... As an unmarried man of his age and social status (only heir) does anyone think it is likely that society may be filled with rumours about why he is unmarried and does not even show an interest in women? Basically, is anyone going to jump to the (erroneous) conclusion that he is gay and is this likely to cause him serious legal problems (of the potential for being executed type - that being the law of the time) despite there being no evidence?
Thanks in advance for any help.