Maurice threatened that power in a very simple way. He asked to have the title when offered a peerage of Lord Glasman of the City of London. And he was told that was not possible. He explained why it isn’t possible.
You see, the City of London is in a very real sense not a part of the UK. And peers are. They take their title from a territory and owe their loyalty for having lien over it to the Crown which bestowed the privilege. But the City has never been subject to the Crown.
As Maurice related, when William the Conqueror conqured the rest of England and made it Norman he did not conquer the City. The City, with its origins in Roman times, made peace with him quite separately and in return kept all its rights and privileges – which it has had ‘from time immemorial’.
But that also means that the City is neither accountable to parliament or to the Crown – meaning that Maurice Glasman could not be Lord of the City of London becasue for these purposes it is not part of the UK – but a location quite separate to it.
There\’s a very simple reason why a mere Baron could not be styled as \”of the City of London\”.
It\’s because the city is too large to be a titular appendage to a mere Baron.
Barons tend to get bits of the city: \”of Cornhill in the City of London\” or \”of Blackfriars in the City of London\”. And there are in fact two peers who are so styled.
Now, if Maurice comes along and gets made Baron of the City of London he is, in this feudal naming system, now claiming to be the liege lord of those more minor Barons: and they to be his feudal vassals.
Now in fact we do have a system of doing this. If people are to be higher up the food chain then we give them a different title: Viscount, Earl, Marquess, Duke. So, as an example, Winston was offered the title Duke of London and that would have been fine: there\’s a Viscount Chelsea and I assume that back then there were Barons of this or that part of London, but Winnie would have been a Duke and thus able to have a territory that encompassed theirs.
Just as we have a Duke of Somerset and a Baron of Weston super Mare, and I think there was a Marquess of Bristol and there\’s certainly a Marquess of Bath. But we couldn\’t have a Baron of Somerset nor a Viscount of Bath…..meaning that my own overdue peerage will probably have to be \”of Twerton\” or possibly if by birth place, \”of Strete\” (there already being an Earl of Dartmouth you see).
No, I\’m sorry, this is simply Ritchie having been taken in by a story. The reason you can\’t be Baron of the City of London is simply that a Baron isn\’t important enough to be so styled. And that Maurice wasn\’t reckoned important enough to become a Viscount or higher.