Baron de Ros

Barony de Ros
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
FitzGerald-de Ros arms.svg
Arms of Maxwell, Barons de Ros: Quarterly, 1st and 4th: Argent, a saltire gules (Fitzgerald) 2nd and 3rd: Gules, three water bougets argent (de Ros)[1]
Creation date6 February 1288/89, with a precedence to 24 December 1264[2]
MonarchKing Henry III
PeeragePeerage of England
First holderWilliam de Ros
Present holderPeter Trevor Maxwell, 28th Baron
Heir apparentThe Hon. Finbar James Maxwell
Remainder toHeirs of the body
MottoCrom a boo ("Crom forever")[1]

Baron de Ros (pronounced "Roose") is the premier baron in the Peerage of England, created in 1288/89 for William de Ros, with precedence to 24 December 1264.[1] (The spelling of the title and of the surname of the original holders has been rendered differently in various texts. The word "Ros" is sometimes spelt "Roos", and the word "de" is sometimes dropped.) Premier baron is a designation and status awarded to the holder of the most ancient extant barony of the Baron de Ros. Before the Dissolution of the Monasteries the Prior of the Order of St John in England was deemed premier baron.[3]

Ancientness and precedence

On 24 December 1264 Robert de Ros (d.1285) was summoned to Simon de Montfort's Parliament in London,[4] and for some time it was considered that the barony was created by writ in that year, giving it precedence over all other English titles unless certain doubtful contentions concerning the title of the Earl of Arundel were accepted. The only older peerage titles in the British Isles are: Baron Kerry and Lixnaw (1181, held by the Marquess of Lansdowne), Baron Offaly (1199, later creation held by the Duke of Leinster), and Baron Kingsale (circa 1223) in the Peerage of Ireland, and Earl of Mar (predates 1115) and Earl of Sutherland (1230) in the Peerage of Scotland.

According to The Complete Peerage:

In 1616 the barony of De Ros was allowed precedence from this writ [of 24 December 1264], a decision adopted by the Lords in 1806 (Round, Peerage and Pedigree, vol. i, pp. 249-50); but these writs, issued by Simon in the King's name, are no longer regarded as valid for the creation of peerages.[5]

The corresponding article in the first edition of the Complete Peerage, which is available online, is at Volume 6, page 400.