A (true) Proliferation of Peers
The late Georgian and Regency period saw an unprecedented growth in “the extension, diversification and codification of the peerage.” Or as Michael Cahill names it: “peerage mania.”
This development can, by Cannadine’s reasoning, be attributed to five factors: recipients who became very rich during the period (Grosvenors), those who exerted influence through their political strength (Grenvilles), those who had given significant service to the state (Wellington and Nelson), the inclusion of the Scottish and Irish peerages (Elgin) and finally, the group with ancient but less impressive titles who wanted promotions in order to outrank the newcomers. (
FYI: This last group would also include my fictional character Marquis Straemore, the patriarch of the Braedons, the characters in my series for Kensington. He petitioned the king for a rise in rank from Earl based on his contributions to the improvements of roads and buildings in his part of
To be specific: in 1784 there were only TWO marquesses, by 1809 there were nine and by 1837 there were TWENTY-THREE.
This element alone is filled with plot potential and I happily share it with those who have not yet used it. It seems to me Pam did a masterful job of reflecting social pressure in RITA nominated (yes!) The Slightest Provocation.
Do you recall the first research book that fired your imagination?