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Join Chipping Norton set for a mere £6,750
SOME people are born into privilege but others buy their way in, and for less than you might think.
Now you can become Lord of the Manor, for just £6,750.
London-based firm Manorial Auctioneers is offering the Lordship of the Manor of Showell, near Chipping Norton, for sale.
The new lord or lady of the manor will be able to use the title on their passport, chequebook and credit cards.
It would not allow the person to prefix their name, for example becoming Lord Bloggs. Instead they would become Mr Bloggs, Lord of the Manor of Showell.
But a title like that might allow them to hob-nob with some of Chipping Norton’s more famous residents.
The Chipping Norton set includes the likes of Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron , TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson and former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks, Former Chipping Norton mayor John Grantham, who held the office in 1976 and 1977, was not happy about the prospect.
He said: “We have got enough Chipping Norton Set people without someone buying this.
“It is a lot of money for something of nothing – it is only a title. I cannot honestly imagine someone buying the title for that sort of money.
“Perhaps Jeremy Clarkson would like to buy it, though. He has plenty of money.”
Current mayor Martin Jarratt said: “I am sure the new lord or lady will be welcomed by Chipping Norton. But I think we have got enough Chipping Norton Set members already.”
Manorial Auctioneers is a sister company to the privately run Manorial Society of Great Britain.
Formed in 1906, the society includes Lords of the Manor and barons, and aims to promote English history and traditions.
Director Robert Smith, who has been in the business for 28 years, told the Oxford Mail titles were often bought by local people.
He said: “A lot of manors are still in the hands of the aristocracy, but this one is now in the hands of someone who lives in France. They bought it 10 years ago from the Earl of Shrewsbury, who had it in his family for several centuries.
“Although I do not know for sure, my experience is that he is probably selling the title because he needs the money.”
Mr Smith, who is also chairman of the Manorial Society of Great Britain, said he began selling lordships of the manor, which have been traded since the time of the Domesday Book, “quite by chance”.
The former Guardian journalist was offered the opportunity to sell a title after discovering the manorial society during research for a book.
He sold the titles of Lord of the Manor of Wimbedon in 1996 to a Brazilian for £171,000 and Lord of the Manor of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1991 for £110,000. The Stratford title was sold to American programmer Peter Norton, of Norton AntiVirus fame.
LORDSHIPS of the Manor are among the oldest titles in England and pre-date the Norman Conquest.
They are sold through the Manorial Society of Great Britain, an organisation founded in 1906, and relate to specific areas of land.
Historically the title meant you were lord of the land itself and the people who lived there owed you services.
Now rights that come with the title vary from manor to manor, but can include the ability to use any minerals that are beneath the soil. Some who buy the titles simply see them as an investment that can be sold on at a later date when they become more profitable.
The average price of a manor was about £300 in 1955, £2,500 in 1981, £12,000 in 1998, and £7,000 now.
The society has a membership of approximately 1,900 Lords of the Manor and feudal barons, peers and historians.