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)
“All nature is a temple where the alive
Pillars breathe often a tremor of mixed words;
Man wanders in a forest of accords
That peer familiarly from each ogive.”
—Allen Tate (18991979)