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The title of duke, derived from the latin ‘dux’, is the highest in the peerage and until 1448 was restricted to members of the royal family. In that year, Henry VI created William de la Pole, who had fought in France on many campaigns, duke of Suffolk. After the Glorious Revolution, Whig grandees were promoted to dukedoms in quick succession—Bolton, Shrewsbury, Leeds, Bedford, Devonshire, and Newcastle. George II and III resumed the policy of restraint. The first non‐royal Scottish dukedom was Montrose (1488) and the first Irish, Ormond (1661).

Subjects: British History.

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