in various countries, legal system of hereditary titles, including various ranks of nobility
A peerage is a legal system historically comprising hereditary titles in various countries, comprising various noble ranks.
- It is, if I may so express myself without disrespect, the duty of the Sovereign to confer the peerage as the reward of merit, or the incitement to great and good actions, or for the public benefit, as a mode of placing the individual in a better position to render public service. To suppose, then, that the Sovereign will be at all influenced by any other motives in the exercise of this most important prerogative is indecent, and, in a legal sense, unreasonable.
- John Taylor Coleridge, Brownlow v. Egerton (1854), 23 L. J. Rep. Part 5 (N. S.), Ch. 367; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 194.
- The creation of a peer is an exercise of one of the prerogatives of the Crown, which the Crown possesses, like all other prerogatives, for the good of the country, and which ought to be exercised solely with reference to the public welfare and the merits of the individual to be promoted, and the cause or occasion of his promotion.
- James Parke, 1st Baron Wensleydale, Egerton v. Earl Brownlow and others (1853), 8 St. Tr. (N. S.) 251; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 194.
- It is not only the feeling, of which she cannot divest herself, against making a person of the Jewish religion, a Peer; but she cannot think that one who owes his great wealth to contracts with foreign Governments for Loans, or to successful speculation on the Stock Exchange, can fairly claim a British Peerage. However high Sir L. Rothschild may stand personally in public estimation, this seems to her not less a species of gambling because it is on a gigantic scale and far removed from that legitimate trading which she delights to honour, in which men have raised themselves by patient industry and unswerving probity to positions of wealth and influence.
- Victoria of the United Kingdom, reported in Arnold Leese, Gentile folly: the Rothschilds.