Dear Jessica


I’ll start with an explanation for the difference in treatment between royalty and monarchy.


The institution of monarchy predates surnames, which came into use in Europe gradually from the Middle Ages onwards. For this reason many monarchs simply didn’t have surnames in the modern sense, or if they were of lowlier origin, stopped using them once they became kings or queens (or outside England and Scotland, sovereign princes, dukes, counts etc.)


The nobility did adopt surnames for reasons of wider family identity, but continued to be known by what RDA calls the proper name of their titles for reasons of power, authority and prestige.


Here are my thoughts as regards Lady Cornbury.


I can’t find her in the limited reference sources that we have here and don’t know what you have available in your library. ODNB cites this source for her husband (Edward Hyde, Viscount Cornbury, later Earl of Clarendon, 1661-1723) but we don’t have it here:


G. E. C. [G. E. Cokayne], The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, 8 vols. (1887–98); new edn, ed. V. Gibbs and others, 14 vols. in 15 (1910–98); microprint repr. (1982) and (1987)


Falling back on custom and practice therefore, I would enter her under her higher title, Viscountess Cornbury. Her husband for example has the AAP Clarendon, Edward Hyde, Earl of, 1661-1723 (n 86114438) as he lived to inherit his father’s earldom.


I suggest something like: Cornbury, Katherine Hyde, Viscountess, [dates]


(Had Lady Cornbury not predeceased her husband, I would have suggested Clarendon, Katherine Hyde, Countess, [dates])


Hope this is helpful




Richard Lamin


Metadata Officer

Research Services

Information Services

Brynmor Jones Library

University of Hull




From: Jessica Janecki [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 12 September 2016 14:41
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] AAPs for British nobility


Can anyone provide guidance on the construction of AAPs for British nobility?


I have on my piece (which, by the way, is her funeral sermon, so these are her latest names):


Katherine, Lady Cornbury, Baroness Clifton of Leighton Bromswold … wife to his excellency Edward Lord Viscount Cornbury.


She was born Katherine O’Brien then married Edward Hyde (Viscount Cornbury). She was also Baroness Clifton in her own right. Her name is sometimes spelled with a C.


I found RDA, but all the examples assume that the person has a last name. As far as I know, she was never known as Katherine Hyde. The one sentence instruction about variant AAPs also assumes that the person has a last name and doesn’t say anything about VAPs for the person’s other titles or other orders of names.



“Record a name containing a title of nobility by applying the general guidelines on recording names at 8.5[log in to unmask]" alt="">. Guidelines on recording names containing a title of nobility also apply to names containing a courtesy title of nobility.

Record the proper name as the first element of the name if the person:


uses his or her title rather than surname in resources with which he or she is associated



is listed under his or her title in reference sources.3

Follow the proper name in the title by the personal name in direct order. Exclude unused given names.

Follow the personal name with the term of rank in the language in which it was conferred (see appendix G[log in to unmask]" alt="">). Precede the personal name and the part of the title denoting rank by commas.”


RDA instructs us to record royal names in direct order, so Diana is currently Diana, ǂc Princess of Wales, ǂd 1961-1997, not Wales, Diana, princess of. I’m not sure why the rules for royalty and nobility are so different.


Thanks in advance,