25th February 1432. From Landed Magnate to Magician: Decline of the Aristocracy.

Snape Castle, North Yorkshire.

Snape Castle, North Yorkshire, today long separated, in ownership, from the Latymers.

Snape Castle, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire was built c1430 by Ralph de Neville 1st Earl of Westmoreland. The ownership was passed later to the Cecil Family, when the daughter of the 4th Baron Latymer married Sir Thomas Cecil.

The Latymer (Latimer), barony was created for Sir George Neville, son of Ralph, 1st Earl of Westmoreland, who was summoned, by writ, Today in 1432, to attend Parliament. 

The Latymer title was created four times in the English peerage: one went into Abeyance as with the above, only to be restored in 1913; one was forfeit, and two are dormant.

The Latymers (from ‘Latiner’, a translator), were loyal supporters of the Tudors, as George’s grandson, (second baron) helped suppress the revolt of the imposters to the crown, Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, under Henry VII, and fought at Flodden in 1513 against the Scots.(1)

However another Neville, John 3rd Baron Latymer (great grandson of George) was later said to have been implicated in the northern, Catholic uprising of the Pilgrimage of Grace against the religious reforms of Henry VIII.(2)

We now come to the complications which were to lead to the title falling into Abeyance, as unusually, the 4th Baron, John Neville (1520-1577), had 4 daughters, with issue, and the Tudors were unsure on what to do in such circumstances. Also the earls and dukes of Northumberland now sought a claim to the title, as descendants of the eldest daughter.

Later law then decided that the barony should be divided into 4 quarters among the 4 daughters and heirs. The title thus fell into Abeyance.

The situation was later resolved by saying, if 3 daughters died, then the 4th would inherit, if not then the Crown might confer the title, customarily to the one who petitioned.

We now come to 1911, when the heritor of one of these sub-shares, Francis Burdett Thomas Money-Coutts of the Liberal banking company, petitioned for the Abeyance to be determined and in February 1913, he was summoned to Parliament as the 5th Baron. Whew!

In 2014 the heir apparent to the title was magician and croupier, the Hon. Drummond Money-Coutts, a testament if nothing else, to the tenacious hold of titles in Britain, even though the glory days are long gone.(3)

(1) The Scottish King, James IV, was killed in the battle 9th September 1513, the last British king to die in battle.

(2) Now complications! The 3rd baron, John, as his third wife married Catherine Parr ( as her second husband), and who by her own third marriage became the 6th of Henry VIII).

After Henry’s death Catherine married her old love Edward Seymour’s brother, Thomas, first Baron Seymour of Sudeley and Lord High Admiral. They were much married then!

(3) Lucy Cornwallis one of the 4 original daughters, only had daughters herself saw her share was further diluted.


Less than a hundred of the old hereditary titles still have the right to sit in the Lords and the Royal Family have long forsaken the privilege.

Ref: telegraph.co.uk/news/sir-david-money-coutts.

Ref: wikipedia.org/baron_of_latimer.

Ref: wikipedia.org/snape_north_yorks. Also Pic. Ref.




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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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