Baron and Baroness

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The guidelines set out in this page apply to hereditary and life barons and Lords of Parliament in the peerage of Scotland and their wives.

The fifth degree of the Peerage, baron is always referred to, both verbally and in correspondence, as Lord (Hays) rather than Baron (Hays). The title baron is never used, except in formal or legal documents.

In the peerage of Scotland, the fifth grade of the peerage is a Lord (Lord of Parliament) in any case.

Ecclesiastical, ambassadorial and armed forces ranks precede a baron's rank in correspondence. For example, Major-General the Lord........'.

The wife of a baron is known as Lady (Hays).

A number of baronies can be inherited in the female line and there are a large number of female life baronesses.

How to Address a Baron and Baroness

The recommended (social) style of address is as follows:

Beginning of letter

Dear Lord/Lady Hays

End of letter

Yours sincerely


The Lord/Lady Hays

Verbal communication

Lord/Lady Hays

Invitation* & joint form of address

The Lord and Lady Hays

Description in conversation

Lord/Lady Hays

List of Directors or Patrons

The Lord and Lady Hays

Place card

The Lord/Lady Hays

Legal document

The Right Honourable David Charles Baron Hays, The Right Honourable Kathryn Baroness Hays

*Note that, traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names.


How to address...

Baroness in her own right/Life Baroness

Widow of a Baron

Former Wife of a Baron

Sons of a Baron

Daughters of a Baron



Forms Of Address

the debrett's 500

the debrett's 500

the Debrett's 500

the Debrett's 500

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