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WE'RE ONLY HERE FOR THE PEER-AGE; Anyone can lord it .. for price of title.

Byline: ANDREW BUSHE

WOULD-BE 'aristocrats' can style them-selves Baron of Maynooth or Lord Steward of Waterford..if they're willing to pay a right royal PRICE for the name.

Six Irish titles are up for sale by London's Manorial Auctioneers for those who want a feudal Irish barony or lordship of the manor. But the lure of a new social standing doesn't come cheap - prices range from e10,500 to e47,500 plus 10 percent sales fees and VAT.

A spokesman for the company said there was huge interest in old Irish titles both in Ireland and from Irish-Americans.

"We expect quite a lot of offers. They are very popular," he said.

Selling medieval names has been a lucrative sideline for financially-pressed aristocrats who may have lost ancestral acres and mansions but have titles to spare.

The titles on offer are in Cork, Roscommon, Water-ford and Kildare and are part of a sale of 75 in Britain and Ireland.

The barony of Maynooth is being sold with an asking price of e47,500 by Lord Gormanston, Jenico Preston, the 17th Viscount, who lives in Britain.

The title of Lord Steward of Waterford is on offer with a guide price of e33,500 from the Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford, Henry Chetwynd-Talbot.

A British based farmer, he is also hereditary Lord High Steward of Ireland and the premier Earl on the Rolls of England and Ireland. Three lordships of the manor are being sold by Lord de Frayne in Co Roscommon; Carrowreagh, (e10,500), Caher (e10,500) and Brierfield (e10,500).

His ancestor is believed to have come to Ireland with Strongbow's Anglo-Norman invasion forces. The family home at French Park, Co Roscommon was demolished in the 1950s.

The family name is French and the expression "French leave" was coined after an ancestor went absent without leave from the army to visit a woman.

The Earl of Shannon, Richard Boyle, is also selling the lordship of Ballystousone near Castlemartyr, Co Cork.

The titles will only allow buyers to style themselves lord or baron and apply for a coat of arms.

They are not a British or Irish peerage, and do not confer any rights to sit in the now reformed House of Lords. All the original privileges and rights that might have applied centuries ago are gone.

With some of the old British titles, limited privileges may still be involved such as grazing, sporting or fishing rights, permission to collect tolls or hold a fair.

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CLASS: Buyers like to be associated with a country estate
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Sep 29, 2002
Words:425
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