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  • A marquess is a nobleman of hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies

 Marquess facts

  • The term is also used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in imperial China and Japan
  • In Great Britain and Ireland, the correct spelling of the aristocratic title of this rank is marquess (although for aristocratic titles on the European mainland, the French spelling of marquis is often used in English)
  • In Great Britain and Ireland, the title ranks below a duke and above an earl (see "Marquesses in the United Kingdom")
  • A woman with the rank of a marquess, or the wife of a marquess, is called a marchioness /ˌmɑːrʃəˈnɛs/ in Great Britain and Ireland or a marquise /mɑːrˈkiːz/ elsewhere in Europe
  • The dignity, rank or position of the title is referred to as a marquisate or marquessate
  • The theoretical distinction between a marquess and other titles has, since the Middle Ages, faded into obscurity
  • In times past, the distinction between a count and a marquess was that the land of a marquess, called a march, was on the border of the country, while a count's land, called a county, often was not
  • As a result of this, a marquess was trusted to defend and fortify against potentially hostile neighbours and was thus more important and ranked higher than a count
  • The title is ranked below that of a duke, which was often restricted to the royal family and those that were held in high enough esteem to be granted such a title
  • In the German lands, a Margrave was a ruler of an immediate Imperial territory (examples include the Margrave of Brandenburg, the Margrave of Baden and the Margrave of Bayreuth), not simply a nobleman like a marquess or marquis in Western and Southern Europe

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