LONDON — Commoners who yearned for a venerable English title and a coat of arms paid up to $27,000 for the privilege at a sale of ancient titles Tuesday.
The sale of about 50 manor titles drew bids totaling $520,500, including $16,500 for the Lordship of Hingham, the original home of the family of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.
Available at the auction were lordships of the manor--titles granted by the kings of England stretching back 1,000 years that allow the buyer to adopt a grandiose name such as the Lord of Gurney's and Swathing's Manor, but virtually nothing else.
The title lord of the manor "is a title of honor, that descends from the Norman baronage, nothing more and nothing less," said the sale program. The titles describe, but do not imply, ownership of plots of land originally granted by the king.