Post by Don Aitken Post by email@example.com
There a DUKE of Queensberry (Buccleuch and Queensberry) and there is a
MARQUESS of Queensberry but they are two separate people from what
seems like two separate families.
1) Which one was created first?
2) Any reason for the use of the same place in the title?
This is the story, taken from "Complete Peerage", of the descent of
the Queensberry and related titles (all in the peerage of Scotland,
unless otherwise stated).
William Douglas was created Earl of Queensberry in 1633, with
remainder "to his heirs male bearing the name and arms of Douglas".
His grandson William, the third earl, was created Marquess of
Queensberry in 1682, with remainder to "heirs male whatsoever", and
Duke of Queensberry in 1684, with remainder to "heirs male of his
The first duke's son, James, 2nd duke, received a novodamus of the
dukedom in 1706, redirecting it to "heirs of entail succeeding to the
Queensberry estate and descended from the body of the first earl." In
1708 he was created Duke of Dover in the peerage of Great Britain,
with special remainder to his son Charles and his successive younger
sons in tail male. The entail provided the same remainder for the
Queensberry dukedom, but with an ultimate remainder to the first
duke's heirs general.
The main purpose of all this was to exclude James's eldest son, also
James, known as "the cannibalistic idiot", who was kept in confinement
all his life, except for one occasion on which he escaped and killed
and ate a kitchen boy. The idiot did succeed to the earldom and
marquessate, which were unaffected by the novodamus; they passed to
Charles on his death in 1715.
On the death of Charles without issue in 1778 the dukedom of Dover
became extinct. The other titles all passed to the grandson of the
second son of the first duke, William Douglas, 3rd Earl of March and
Earl of Ruglen. He was 4th Duke of Queensberry, and, under the
nickname "old Q" a notorious figure in late 18th century London. He
died without legitimate issue in 1810.
In accordance with the novodamus and the entail, the dukedom then
passed to Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch since 1751, whose mother,
Jean, was the eldest daughter of the first Duke of Queensberry. His
descendants have held it since; the surname is now
The marquessate and earldom passed to Charles Douglas,
great-great-great-grandson of the first earl, and therefore both his
"heir male of the body" and "heir male whatsoever" to the first
marquess, from whom he was not descended. His claim was accepted by
the HoL in 1812.
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3) Are there other examples of the same thing? (Only one I can think
of off hand is
Windsor (Duke of Windsor and Viscount Windsor)
There have been quite a number, mostly in different peerages - Earls
of Arran in Scotland and Ireland, Earls of March in England and
Scotland, and so on. Exactly identical titles in the *same* peerage
occur only where titles originally held together have been separated
by different remainders, as in the Queensberry case, or when one was
created at a time when the other was dormant, presumed extinct, as in
the case of Devon/Devonshire, and a number of others.
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