The Peerage

The Peerages of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom share a vast, unbroken, history and a rich, colourful, tradition stretching more than 800 years.

Peerages, which were once for life but soon evolved to become hereditary, are now once more largely for life in the House of Lords – though there remain more than 750 hereditary peers – and this centuries-old lynchpin of the British Constitution appears to be hanging by a thread in the 21st century.

This section of the site explores how the Peerage works, its history, its present and its future, through a series of features on the House of Lords as well as peers past and present both within and without the modern House.

HISTORY OF THE PEERAGE • RANKS OF THE PEERAGEPEERS BY NUMBERSSITTING PEER SUNDAY • HISTORICAL PEERS • THE LORDS’ TALE