17 April 2015

Lombardi boobs again

Outrageous, Wednesday's Bollettino. It refers to someone called "Lord Chris Patten". A totally non-existent person. There is another major Vatican scandal here. Heads should roll.

For there to be any such person, he would have to be the younger son of a Duke. Let us suppose that there is a Thirteenth Duke of Chalice, descendant of King Charles II by his mistress (a very physical girl) Nelly Corporal. His family name is Patten; and, as well as his dukedom, he has some subsidiary titles. So, in full, he is something like this: Charles Patten, Duke of Chalice, Earl of Pall, and Baron Purificator (in fact it would be more complicated that that, but let's not go there). His Grace's personal friends probably call him Charlie Chalice.

Let us imagine he has children and grandchildren. As a matter of courtesy, Chalice's eldest son takes his father's second title and is called "the Earl of Pall" or, more colloquially, Lord Pall. Pall's eldest son, again as a courtesy, bears his grandfather's title of "the Baron Purificator" or, more briefly, Lord Purificator.

Chalice's three younger sons are respectively called (so let us fantasise) Lord Andrew Patten, Lord Benjamin Patten, and Lord Christopher Patten. The duke's daughters are called the Ladies Yolanda and Zuleika Patten. That's how it is with Dukes' children in civilised countries. How dukes organise matters in Lombardy, I just hate to imagine. There are things that don't bear thinking about. Do the Lombards still rampage around Italy looting and kidnapping people to sell into slavery?

Chris Patten is not the fourth son of a Duke. Fr Lombardi, by implying that he is, might even be committing a libel by suggesting that Patten's Mother once comforted a duke. I would suggest that it could be extremely dangerous for Fr Lombardi ever to set foot within these Three Kingdoms, because he would very probably find himself instantly served with a writ and dragged off to the Tower of London, there to be photographed daily by Japanese tourists and pecked at by ravens. Or perhaps the delinquent is not Fr Lombardi, but that Fr Rosica, the cut of whose jib I have never liked. Is he aware that the Tower is where, in English tradition, prisoners are racked?

Patten is a Life Baron; his patent of creation makes clear that his peerage dies with him. Although the College of Heralds designed for him arms with a Supporter each side of the Shield, as befits a peer, they, poor wee beasties, will be sent off to the abattoir the moment their owner dies ... the Supporters, that is, not the Heralds.

And in correct English usage he is just called Lord Patten or, if you feel like being completely  formal, "the Lord Patten of Barnes". And he is the Chancellor, and a very good one, of this University. Italian and Canadian priestlings, hands off!

16 comments:

Jacob Hicks said...

Or the son of a Marquess, Father...

Bruvver Eccles said...

How about "Christopher, Lord Patten" as in "Alfred, Lord Tennyson"?

motuproprio said...

When George Brown was elevated to a life peerage he wanted to be called Lord George Brown. As I recall the heralds explained that he would first have to change his name to George George Brown, which I understand he did.
In these slapdash days even the BBC perpetrates the nomenclatural illiteracy to which you refer.

William Tighe said...

'How about "Christopher, Lord Patten" as in "Alfred, Lord Tennyson"?'

Won't do (if a Yank may opine) because Tennyson was a genuine nobleman, a baron, whereas Patten is but a life peer.

FrereRabit said...

I'm glad you do not like the cut of Fr Rosica's jib. He now seems to have cut his own sails down to avoid a shipwreck after he inadvertently drummed up worldwide support for the obscure Canadian blogger he was trying to close down.

Belfry Bat said...

or "Vincent Cardinal Nichols", my good Eccles? It's even in the famous formula for announcing a new Papam quem Habemus, "Emsm ac Revsm N. SRE Cardinalem NN., qui sibi nomen imposuit..." so every good churchman should be used to the shape already. No?

Charlesdawson said...

As an admirer of the Dorothy L Sayers detective stories, I thank you for this explanation of how Lord Peter Wimsey got to be so addressed.

How does it come about that certain wives of the nobility, for example that of Lord Peter above, have to be addressed by their husband's Christian names and not by their own? Why Princess Michael of Kent?

Hilary White said...

Aw, leave poor old Fr. Lombardi alone. He's a math teacher. Seriously. That's his actual profession. And somehow he got stuck with this hopeless, awful, impossible job that I'll bet he really hates, where no one inside tells him anything but he still has to answer emails from journalists all day. Would you want to answer emails from journalists? Me neither.

motuproprio said...

It is still customary in formal invitations to address a married woman by her husband's name, thus Fr and Mrs John Hunwicke. I am sure there are those who still adhere to the correct form of address and send letters to Mrs John Hunwicke.

Alan said...

A bit harsh on Lombards, I think, Father. I'm sure you meet some thoroughly likable ones during your liturgical excursions to the diocese of Brescia!

Note to Motuproprio: what George Brown actually did was to become the hyphenated Lord George-Brown. One of his greater claims to fame, of course, was the lawsuit which gave so much clout to the old claim that all the best libels are true.

motuproprio said...

Thanks Alan, I realised about the hyphenation after posting. The best George Brown story remains the apocryphal encounter with the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima.

Jacob Hicks said...

With Princess Michael, though, it is because she is not a princess in her own right. The Princess of Wales was often known as Princess Diana but that is wholly incorrect; she was, before the divorce, Princess Charles.

Princess Anne, on the other hand, is a princess in her own right and so is called that.

motuproprio said...

Not so fast Mr Hicks, Princess Helena (the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) was certainly a princess in her own right, but after her marriage to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein became Princess Christian. After divorce "Princess" Diana became Diana, Princess of Wales, before that she was simply HRH The Princess of Wales, and by convention signed herself simply Diana.

motuproprio said...

Since 13th June 1987, Princess Anne's formal style is Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. Before that she was HRH The Princess Anne, Mrs Mark Phillips.

Anon. said...

Because the eldest son of the Duke of Chalice uses his father's subsidiary title by courtesy he would be styled Earl of Pall. The definite article is only for a substantive title. Lord Pall's son would be Lord Purificator.

Anon. said...

Because the eldest son of the Duke of Pall uses his father's subsidiary title by courtesy he would be styled Earl of Pall. The definite article is only for a substantive title. Lord Pall's eldest son would be Lord Purificator.