I totally should bid on this.
All it takes to be a noble – to be called “m’Lord” or “m’Lady” – is money. And for Texans interested in owning a noble title, a silent auction in London holds an extra appeal. The title being auctioned has a loose connection to Gen. Sam Houston, arguably the most important figure in Texas history.
The Barony of Fingalton, Renfrewshire, Scotland, is said to have once belonged to Houston’s ancestors. Between June 27 and July 11, it’s being sold in a special silent auction.
Auctioneer Robert Smith, of Manorial Auctioneers Ltd., said that he expected the title to sell for at least $100,000.
It’s being sold, Smith said, by a French-speaking Swiss businessman who’s owned it since 1998.
Why would anyone want to pay $80,000 for nothing more than the right to call yourself a baron or baroness?
“People’s reasons vary,” Smith said. “There’s novelty involved, I suppose. I would think someone in Texas would have some warmth in regard to the general.”
Ernie Manouse, the Houston Public Media TV host, said that he bought a title of nobility nearly 20 years ago – for $29 or so.
That title, of highly questionable provenance, came with an ID card and a certificate suitable for framing.
It was, Manouse laughs, well worth the investment.
Manouse used the title years ago on a Lord & Taylor credit-card application, resulting in a credit card that read: “Sir Ernie Manouse.”
According to the sidebar, “Anyone wanting information or planning to bid should write to [email protected] or call auctioneer Robert Smith at &44-20-7582-1588.” I suppose there are better uses for a hundred grand, but these things don’t grow on trees, you know. Maybe I could crowdfund it. Who’d be in for a piece of the action with me?