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The title of marquis, second to duke in rank, was the last to be introduced into the peerage and was slow to catch on. The first marquis, Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, was made marquis of Dublin in 1385 by Richard II, but within a year had been promoted duke of Ireland. The next, John Beaufort, earl of Somerset, was promoted marquis of Dorset in 1397, degraded in 1399, and offered reinstatement in 1402: he declined, explaining that the title had a foreign flavour. In 1714 there were still only two marquises in the English peerage, compared with 22 dukes and 74 earls.

Subjects: British History.

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