MANORIAL SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN
104 Kennington Road, London SE11 6RE
Tel: (+44) 0207 735 6633 | Fax: (+44) 0207 582 7022
The Manorial Society was founded in 1906, and its original aims were to look after the interests of the ‘Lords of the Manor’. However, its main purpose nowadays, since being taken over by Mr Robert Smith about twenty five years ago, is actually to sell Lordships of the Manor through their sister Company, Manorial Auctioneers.
However, if you are considering the purchase of a manorial lordship through them I would urge caution on you, as the whole area of Manorial Lordships is a complete minefield, with too many grey areas rather than straightforward black and white.
In particular I feel Mr Smith of The Manorial Society sometimes relies too heavily on the use of a Statutory Declaration to 'prove' the ownership of a Manorial Lordship in the absence of existing documentary evidence, and indeed, court cases, in which he has been involved, have proved that the use of statutory declarations to prove ownership in this way is far from satisfactory or reliable.
A reader of Fake Titles, amused by the paradox that the use of a Statutory Declaration is more likely to be proof that the seller does not own a manor rather than that he does, has written a useful description of the dangers for a buyer relying on the seller’s provision of one as proof of ownership. You can view the Article here - courtesy of Baronage, as the Editor has checked it for accuracy and laid it out properly - as a Adobe PDF file, this will require Acrobat Reader 6.0 or later to open it.
It is also worth pointing out that The Manorial Society is not an official authoritative body in any way, but rather a privately owned and run commercial organisation - and should be treated accordingly.
Mr Smith also persists in promoting the continued sale of English Feudal Baronies, despite the fact that the feudal system was abolished in England in 1660 by Act of Parliament (The Abolition of Feudal Tenure Act), after that year no English Feudal Baronies of any degree existed; a similar Act was passed in Ireland two years later.
It is important to realise, as explained on the Home Page, that buying a Lordship of the Manor does not entitle you to call yourself Lord or Lady, though, if genuine and the vendor has proved ownership, they are slices of British history. On rare occasions they have quite lucrative rights that are included with them; such as holding a market, owning verges of roads or even - in the most unusual case - the privilege of holding the right hand of the Monarch at the Coronation.
The Manorial Society has a membership of approximately 1,700 Lords of the Manor and Feudal Barons, Peers and Historians. For those who are particularly interested in finding out more about a Lordship of the Manor, they do have a useful History of Lordships on their site.
To find out about other companies in the ‘title’ selling business go to Warning.