Duke


The highest degree of British peerage next to the Prince of Wales. This title is derived from the Latin word dux: the title of Duke was known in other parts of Europe long before it was introduced into England. The first person that was created a duke in England country was Edward the Black Prince, who was created duke of Cornwall by his father Edward the third. The title has since that time belonged to the first born son of the monarch of England. A duke formerly possessed great authority over the province that formed his dukedom, and had large estates annexed to his title to support its dignity. At the present time dukes are created by patent, and their dukedom is merely nominal, neither power nor possessions being annexed to the title.