Flag of New France from 1663 to 1763
Flag of Canada from 1868 to 1921

Canadian peers and baronets (French: pairs et baronnets canadiens) exist in both the peerage of France recognized by the Monarch of Canada (the same as the Monarch of the United Kingdom) and the peerage of the United Kingdom.

In 1627, French Cardinal Richelieu introduced the seigneurial system of New France. Almost all of the early French Canadians who came as officers in the military or filled important official positions within the colony in New France came from the ranks of the French nobility. Under the Ancien Régime, several of these men were promoted to more senior ranks within the peerage of France. From the early 1700s, it became customary for the governors of New France to be given the title marquis. Except for the Marquis de Vaudreuil and the Marquis de Beauharnois, most were in Canada only for a few years before returning to France and are therefore not counted as Canadians.

The Baronetage of Nova Scotia (a British hereditary title, but not a peerage) had been devised by King James VI and I in 1624 as a means of settling Nova Scotia. Except for Sir Thomas Temple, almost none of them came to Nova Scotia, therefore they are counted as British, not Canadian.

Following the British Conquest of New France in 1763, the likes of The 1st Baron Amherst and The 1st Baron Dorchester were raised to the Peerage of Great Britain for their part in the taking of Canada and as Governors General of Canada, but they were not Canadians. As the colony grew under British rule both in terms of geography and economy, baronetcies began to be conferred upon various Canadian politicians, military commanders and businessmen.

In 1891, Lord Mount Stephen became the first Canadian to be elevated to the peerage of the United Kingdom. The significant losses of the First World War included many direct heirs to titles and some replacements were found in Canada, resulting in the acquisition of titles by Canadians.

After the controversial elevation of Lords Atholstan and Beaverbrook to the Peerage of the United Kingdom, the Nickle Resolution was presented to the House of Commons of Canada in 1917 requesting the Sovereign not to grant knighthoods, baronetcies or peerages to Canadians. This triggered the Canadian titles debate and led to a separate system of orders, decorations, and medals for Canada. Canadians who were granted peerages after that date had to hold or acquire British citizenship, such as The 1st Baron Thomson of Fleet. However, the 1946 Canadian Citizenship Act provided that Canadians who acquired another citizenship by any means other than marriage had renounced their Canadian citizenship. The 1977 Citizenship Act undid this provision.

Canadian nobility in the French aristocracy


Arms of the Barons de Longueuil, holders of the only current French colonial title recognized by King Charles III[citation needed][dubious ]



The Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal was the first Canadian-born Governor General of New France. He was a first cousin of the father of the Marquis de Lotbinière
The Marquis de Lotbinière was the first native Canadian to be elevated to a Marquisate in the Peerage of France. He was the uncle of the Vicomte de Léry; a first cousin of the Marquis de Fresnoy; and his father was a first cousin of the Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal
The Vicomte de Léry was the Canadian Engineer-in-Chief of Napoleon's Armies. He married a daughter of the Duc de Valmy and was a nephew of the Marquis de Lotbinière

Canadian nobility in the aristocracy of the United Kingdom

Peerages awarded before the Nickle Resolution

Lord Strathcona, referred to as "Uncle Donald" by King Edward VII in reference to his philanthropy. He was a first cousin of Lord Mount Stephen.
Lord Mount Stephen, the capitalist behind the creation of the Canadian Pacific Railway and a first cousin of Lord Strathcona. In 1891, he became the first Canadian to be elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom.
Agnes Macdonald, 1st Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe, was the only Canadian lady to be granted a peerage, in lieu of her deceased husband, Sir John A. Macdonald, the 1st Prime Minister of Canada after Confederation in 1867.
Lord Atholstan was the only Canadian in the Peerage of the United Kingdom to have been born and lived his whole life in Canada, but his was also the most controversial of all the Canadian Peerages.



Peerages awarded after the Nickle Resolution



Life peerages

A life peerage is not an hereditary title. The title lasts as long as the recipient of the honour is alive. The recipient's children can style themselves with the prefix 'honourable' but they cannot inherit the baronial title.



Canadian baronetcies

Chief Justice Sir John Beverley Robinson, a native of Quebec, dominated the politics of Upper Canada and was the undisputed leader of the Family Compact.
General Sir William Fenwick Williams was a native of Nova Scotia who won his fame during the Crimean War and later served as Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.
Dundurn Castle was the home built in his native Ontario by Sir Allan Napier MacNab, Premier of Canada before Confederation.
Sir William Osler was a native Canadian dubbed "the father of modern medicine". He is arguably Canada's most famous physician
Sir Vincent Meredith, a member of a notable Canadian family, was the first Canadian-born president of the Bank of Montreal, then Canada's national bank.

Although a baronet is not a peer, it is a British hereditary title and an honour that was conferred upon several Canadians.




Canadians with hereditary titles

Canadian peers by marriage

Canadians married to royalty in the line of succession

Russian peers

See also


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  34. ^ a b Bartlett, Steve (8 January 2011), "From Placentia to the Palace", The Telegram, archived from the original on 11 January 2011, retrieved 9 January 2011
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