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First comments[edit]

"Earl" replaced the Norman French-derived "count" due to the latter's resemblance to the unflattering word "cunt". - is this just one guess, or is it certain? - Nik42(added 03:32, 30 April 2005)

I've got my doubts - Earl/jarl was used in Scotland and Anglo-saxon England - and continued after the Norman conquest. Count was never used in Scotland - nor (I think) in England - so how could it be 'replaced' by the earlier term Earl?? --Doc Glasgow 11:04, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm pretty dubious of this, as well. Ashley seems to have introduced this bit - can s/he provide a source? john k 07:40, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Now provided. Note that the invading Norman aristocracy spoke Norman French, not English, so they would have originally used "count" or cognate. "Earl" was an English word. —Ashley Y 00:43, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Word "earl" doesn't exists in modern French but it exists in Norman French. E.g. Rollo of Normandy was never count or duke of normandy but "jarl des normands" (earl of northmen). 10:28, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Count originates from Latin comte it were provincial rulers who went independent in time when Roman Empire went asunder. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Edelward (talkcontribs) 09:29, 6 October 2009 (UTC)


I have combined the Jarl article and the Earl article. The way the two cognates are treated in Wikipedia articles, there is no sense to have them as separate entries. Moreover, during the Viking Age, the two names were nothing but two variant of the same concept.--Wiglaf 11:22, 18 August 2005 (UTC).

The following is a totally foundationless statement : "Arguably, their knowledge in interpreting runes also meant they were gifted in martial arts..." That does not follow in any way, unless it can be demonstrated. There is nothing inherently martial about the runes. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 01:20, 29 May 2010 (UTC)


I note that no information on the coronet of rank borne by an earl (which alternates raised orbs and strawberry leaves around the rim) has been included. Incidentally, when I added information on coronets to the Baron and Viscount articles I was blocked for two days by "Doc Glasgow"; can they explain why?

Merge Jarl (title) here[edit]

Someone has created an article Jarl (title). Considering the fact that Jarl is frequently translated into earl on WP and elsewhere, this article seems superfluous and I suggest that its content be merged into this article.--Berig 13:04, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Seven (7) months have passed since I proposed the merger and I have neither seen any objections nor any expansion of the Jarl (title) article to much more than a copy and paste version of the Scandinavian section of this article. I have now merged Jarl (title) into this one, and the only thing that could be added was a better etymology section. I have also removed the unreferenced and farfetched etymological connection with alderman.--Berig (talk) 20:54, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


I quote "The eldest son of an Earl generally takes the highest of his father's lesser titles as a courtesy title; younger sons are styled The Honourable [Forename] [Surname]". What is the first born son if his father has no lesser titles? I know it is uncommon but there is no rule to say it couldnt. Thanks for any help... --Camaeron 13:49, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

See this AllsoulsDay (talk) 12:19, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
From the article "Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom"
"If a peer of the rank of Earl or above does not have any subsidiary titles of a name different from his main title, his eldest son usually uses an invented courtesy title of "Lord Surname". For instance, the eldest son of the Earl of Devon is styled Lord Courtenay, even though the Earl has no barony of that name, and similarly the eldest son of the Earl of Guilford is styled Lord North. The eldest son of the Earl of Huntingdon, who has no subsidiary titles, is styled Viscount Hastings to avoid confusion with the substantive peer Lord Hastings. The Earl Castle Stewart's heir uses the style Viscount Stewart in order to avoid confusion with the Lord Stewart, eldest son of the Viscount Castlereagh, eldest son of the Marquess of Londonderry. The Earl and the Marquess are both scions of the House of Stewart."Gerard von Hebel (talk) 01:04, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

sequence number[edit]

Is there a sourcing explaining how earls are numbered "1st Earl" and "2nd Earl"? Also how the 2nd Earl's wife isn't titled the 2nd Countess and just simply Countess of [fill in the blank]? That stuff confusses me (how it works and where it comes from) and from what I've seen, none of the articles on noble titles explain the numbering system. Cladeal832 (talk) 06:31, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

The person who is created an earl X and is the first holder of the title is the 1st Earl X. His successor the 2nd Earl X and the successor thereof the 3d Earl X and so on. The Countesses are not numbered because they do not hold the title in their own right. Also an Earl that gets widowed or divorced can remarry and the numbering would be confused. If the Earldom of X becomes extinct, and is recreated for another person on a later date, the sequence starts all over again with a new 1st Earl X. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 06:57, 12 January 2013 (UTC)


I can't see anything in the article to explain the inclusion of this article in WikiProject Military History, so I have removed the banner. Feel free to contact me on my talk page or the MILHIST community in general at WT:MILHIST if you believe this was not an appropriate course of action. Regards, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 11:24, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

This article has too much history and not enough modern definitions[edit]

I came to this article hoping to learn what an "earldom" is (it redirects from earldom to here). I also wanted to know what the current status of earls is. Do they get salary/third-penny/money from the monarch or the public? Do they have restrictions placed on them? What are their duties? Where do they live? (Do they have to live in a castle/residence/etc.?) Does an "earldom" have a real place in the UK today? Does it matter what earldom somebody lives in? I hope somebody can elaborate this article. --Waqqashanafi (talk) 11:53, 3 February 2016 (UTC)