BRITISH TITLES - LORD
lord: a general term denoting a dignity. It may be hereditary, in which case it is specifically applied to a lord of Parliament in the peerage (2) of Scotland and colloquially or loosely to a male who holds the title of baron, earl, marquess or viscount, either substantively or as a courtesy title. (A duke is not usually so referred to, although it might be argued that inasmuch as he has usually been a member of the House of Lords he is a lord by virtue of his being a duke.) It may be appointive and for the grantee's life only or a fixed term, such as is the case with a life peer, law lord (a high-ranking appellate judge) or bishop with a seat in the House of Lords. Not every lord, even one with a seat in the House of Lords, is a peer. Bishops, for instance, are spiritual lords. On the other hand every peer is a lord. The Lord Advocate and Lord Chancellor are high-ranking politically appointed lawyers. The Lord Chamberlain, Lord High Almoner, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Steward and some Lords-in- Waiting are Court appointments. The Lord Chancellor, Lord President of the Council and Lord Privy Seal are senior Government ministers. The Lord Great Chamberlain is the holder of a hereditary ceremonial post concerned with the sovereign's attendance at Parliament and great state occasions such as the lying in state of a recently deceased sovereign and the coronation of the new one. The post is shared in alternate reigns by the Marquess of Cholmondeley (qv), the present incumbent, and representatives of the Marquess of Lincolnshire (see CARRINGTON) and Earl of Ancaster (see WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY). The Lord High Constable and Lord High Steward hold ceremonial offices nowadays filled only for the single day of a coronation. The Lord High Constable of Scotland holds a hereditary post passed down with the Earldom of Erroll (qv). Politically appointed Lords-in-Waiting are Government whips. A lord of the manor was previously a person with certain powers of jurisdiction and the right to collect feudal dues in the administrative unit called a manor but is now often little more than the possessor of some documents relating to a place name and at the most a few residual minor property rights, though confusion in the popular mind between the various categories of lord has lent the term in recent years a factitious importance and encouraged the commercial exchange of such documents.