Hereditary peers form part of the Peerage in the United Kingdom. There are over seven hundred peers who hold titles that may be inherited. Formerly, most of them were entitled to sit in the House of Lords, but since the House of Lords Act 1999 only ninety-two are permitted to do so. Peers are called to the House of Lords with a writ of summons.
A hereditary title is not necessarily a title of the peerage. For instance, baronets and baronetesses may pass on their titles, but they are not peers. Conversely, the holder of a non-hereditary title may belong to the peerage, as with life peers. Peerages may be created by means of letters patent, but the granting of new hereditary peerages has dwindled, with only six having been created since 1965.
Famous quotes containing the words hereditary and/or peer:
“We bring [to government] no hereditary status or gift of infallibility and none follows us from this place.”
—Gerald R. Ford (b. 1913)
“Most literature on the culture of adolescence focuses on peer pressure as a negative force. Warnings about the wrong crowd read like tornado alerts in parent manuals. . . . It is a relative term that means different things in different places. In Fort Wayne, for example, the wrong crowd meant hanging out with liberal Democrats. In Connecticut, it meant kids who werent planning to get a Ph.D. from Yale.”
—Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)