User talk:The Duke of Waltham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

His Grace The Duke of Waltham
@ This user can be reached by email.
Crystal package wordprocessing.png This user contributes using a typewriter, and sends all contributions via snail mail.

Greetings, dear Wikipedian. My name is Harold Cartwright, and I am the Duke of Waltham's private secretary. On behalf of the Duke, I should like to welcome you to His Grace's talk page.

Please note that His Grace follows a policy of keeping conversations unfragmented; in other words, an exchange that begins in one talk page should continue in that same talk page, in order to keep the discussion whole and intelligible. If a conversation has begun in a venue other than this, you need not answer here; you can rest assured that I shall notify the Duke about any new messages (through use of a designated watchlist).

Old discussions are archived with extreme care, even though half of them do not deserve such treatment in the least. But who am I but an underpaid member of the staff, to be judging my boss's gossip. Well, for those interested, the archives are open to the public from 09:00 to 17:00, Mondays to Fridays. Try not to come on Fridays, though, because I close early.

Please don't leave any litter while you are here. There is a dustbin in the corner (where the old Signposts end up, and I couldn't care less about recycling).

By the way, thank you for not smoking.

Enjoy the rest of your day(s), if you must.

Spilling the beans[edit]

No need to tell the IP editor he's breaking the formatting! Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:00, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

It's a fair point. I guess I didn't think it very likely that the vandal would care to check the history on who has reverted them and when (and why). Waltham, The Duke of 23:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Succession Box Wars[edit]

Monsieur le duc, it has been too long since we last spoke and certainly years since we worked together to standardise the succession boxes across Wikipedia, a project that I think we can both agree has bee largely a success. Indeed, from what I can tell on the group page, it seems our fair standardisation project may be heading for merger into a larger group. However, I do not write to you about the good old days. Nay, I write concerning a problem I have been having of late with a specific situation involving succession boxes.

Somehow it has come to the attention of a certain user that I enjoy editing and updating succession boxes. They have seemed to now make it their goal in life to not only revert my changes and additions to succession boxes, but to delete them entirely from some pages. I fear that even now the user is reading my comments on this page, Wikihounding me even though their hounding has a basis in Wikipedia policy. The issue at stake are succession boxes that show neither predecessors nor successors, instances such as stand-alone pretenders whose claims are subsequently abandoned, or title-holders who, for whatever reason, are unique in their line of succession. Many of the deleted boxes have been present for many years – even since the beginning – but are now being challenged. I fear searching and editing more such articles just because I feel that my edits will not only be reverted, but that the box will be deleted entirely.

I know we dealt long ago with a fight between ourselves and the people who favoured large collapsable infoboxes for succession lists. That fight seems to have resolved itself in a manner that both parties could keep their boxes. But have we ever discussed the issue of succession boxes that don't, strictly speaking, depict successions? Instances of one-off nobles and royals whose presumably successive titles never ended up being used in such a manner? If so, I'd love to be pointed to the documentation for it so that we can finally put this matter to rest. Currently, my hounder will delete any succession box that does not show a predecessor and/or successor. Their latest victim was just Empress Matilda, Lady of the English. He deleted the box stating that the title was non-successive. Granted it had its own issues, but he didn't fix the issues, he just deleted the box. I've since corrected the issues and restored it, but this was a case where such a correction was an option.

There is also the added problem I've had with another user regarding pretentious titles. It seems our term "Titles held in pretence" is too anachronistic for some since the term "pretender" did not exist in such a form in the Middle Ages. The user in question (who, to be fair, is highly protective of articles that they have contributed to) does not wish to add titles held in pretence as succession boxes since the term itself is anachronistic. The fact that the idea behind the term is not, in fact, anachronistic is apparently beyond them. I haven't yet thought up a solution to this problem. I see no problem continuing to call them pretenders despite the anachronism, but others may disagree. Do we have a policy regarding pretenders specifically and how to handle their succession boxes?

It has been too long since I regularly edited Wiki articles, but I am deep in research these days and consult Wikipedia regularly for simple clarifications, so I can't avoid it any more. Apparently by trying to improve the succession boxes, I have imperilled many of them, much to my dismay. Do you have any advice, my old friend, to help our project through these times?

Darius von Whaleyland, Great Khan of the Barbarian Horde 22:30, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Great Khan, I am so happy to hear from your terrible majesty once again. I feared that you had left these lands forever, a departure that was only followed by greater decline in our beloved project, and in Wikipedia overall. Alas, it has been a long time since I last worked on succession boxes consistently and systematically, and although I occasionally fix or improve the odd box I chance upon, it is but rarely that I undertake wider projects, even as small as fixing a single succession chain across a handful of articles. Various obligations have come to impose upon my time and I have been absent from SBS for years, something caused in part by a series of initiatives and proposals frustrated mostly by inactivity and low participation. Perhaps my absence has contributed further to this withering of our erstwhile active, if small community, but the general trend is worrisome to say the least. I have little hope that any sustained effort could possibly be mounted to improve conditions in this area. I have given up.
Which is why it has taken me so long to reply to your message: I didn't quite know how to say that I cannot be of any material assistance to you. I considered doing some research, but the appetite has left me and, in any case, I am too busy writing an article to take time off—my first article, finally, after so many years!
I do remember that we have discussed at least once the matter of succession boxes as you describe (with stand-alone cells, so to speak, not being part of a chain), but I cannot say we had much of a policy about it, or about several other things for that matter. I can see both sides: on one hand, such boxes can be seen as unnecessary clutter, which offer no navigational benefits and merely repeat things from the article; on the other hand, many people have come to expect to find such information at the bottom of articles, and taking boxes away compromises the completeness of the system. I cannot judge which view is best, at the moment, and cannot afford to involve myself further.
Similarly, the matter of pretenders has been addressed on a couple of occasions, but really what generally happened was that some people encountered certain special cases and treated them as they saw fit, creating a precedent that no one knew or cared about sufficiently to note down somewhere, so that it might serve as an example to others. I remember hearing about a specific case and being inspired by the solution to apply it to a slightly wider class of cases, but not much came out of it. It's all a bit vague in my mind, but our ambitious goals about organisation and guidelines never really amounted to much.
I am really sorry for the delay in my response, and for not having something more useful to tell you. I hope you can find a solution to your problem. I just wish I could be more optimistic about it... Waltham, The Duke of 17:14, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply, your grace. It has indeed been a long time that either of us have been involved with the project and I am disappointed whenever I come across a page that once had a succession box and has since been replaced with a collapsed infobox. So unhelpful! For the moment, I have essentially stopped editing succession boxes except to just update them to the current standards (I found a number of old HTML ones when doing some genealogical research on the Wittelsbach dynasty). I have been contributing other information to articles since my PhD project seems me visiting the site frequently to clarify certain things, but succession boxes are generally left to the wayside unless I am certain an edit can be made without comment or reversion. I have occasionally applied the tried and tested method of making an edit to a box and then immediately making a minor edit to something else (a grammatical error or format error) in the hope that my first edit was not noticed, but this does not always succeed. I rather despise such covert means of editing in any case, but such is life. I have plenty of projects on my hands outside of Wikipedia to become enmeshed in new wars with the generally high school-aged, lowly-educated Tories that dominate these pages in this dark age. I thank you for your reply and I, too, am saddened that you cannot help, but such is life. We all must move on and allow our excellent project on Succession Box Standardisation to evolve or die, as all must do. Cheers!
Darius von Whaleyland, Great Khan of the Barbarian Horde 00:01, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Honorifics in lists of politicians[edit]

Hi The Duke of Waltham. Since you've edited one or more of List of current members of the British Privy Council, British Government frontbench and Official Opposition frontbench in the last six months, I'd like to invite you to a discussion about the use of honorifics in those lists. The discussion is happening here, and I look forward to a helpful and robust discussion. DBD 20:55, 18 September 2015 (UTC)


Dear sir,

I am sure the Duke will be gratified to learn (if he has not already) that he has, at last, been included in the German Wikipedia, next to the impeccibly named "Turnip Townshend", as fellow bearers of coats of arms containing scallops.

My only question is when this list will be included in our own encyclopedia.

Yours, ‑‑YodinT 23:25, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

His Grace would be delighted to hear of this, I'm sure, which is why I'll see to it that he doesn't. There appears to be a nice little in-joke developing here, and I wonder whether someone might carry it even further, but I assure you it wouldn't pass muster in the English Wikipedia, where people are serious enough about heraldry and the Peerage that they wouldn't let these arms mingle with the rest without so much as a disclaimer. (Or at least they used to be; most WikiProjects are but shadows of their former selves these days.) Well, I've added one to the image file itself, just to be safe. It shouldn't spoil the fun... It's just that I'd hate to see a repetition of this sorry affair. Waltham, per pro. H. Cartwright 19:26, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
Good Lord! Sorry to read that, and I don't mean to be a spoil-sport! His Grace's arms are actually a magnificent illustration of a heraldic helm, so I've left the Thai article as is; unfortunately the German list of Scallop-bearing arms is now bereft of the Waltham insignia, though I still contend an English version—even without his Grace—is not only inevitable, but necessary! ‑‑YodinT 13:04, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
It certainly was a lot of work doing it on Microsoft Paint, even at this relatively low resolution, but one had few choices without knowledge of Inkscape (if it even existed in 2007) or some similar design software. Don't mention it to His Grace, but I actually know what prototype he used for the helm and coronet, and to a lesser extent the mantling. That is a truly magnificent helm... Waltham, per pro. H. Cartwright 17:35, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

His presence[edit]

Noting His Grace's presence on this site—very welcome. Please pass this on, Cartwright. Tony (talk) 03:01, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

The Duke is locked in his study writing, sir. He is confident that he will publish his first article within the month, although I've bet ten pounds with Preston, the driver, that he will give up on it at least once and only pick it up again next year. He does seem determined this time, I'll give him that. I shall pass your regards at lunchtime, sir, along with the sandwich tray; I'm sure His Grace will want to hear what you busying yourself with these days. Waltham, per pro. H. Cartwright 10:14, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 16:32, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Lines of succession to thrones[edit]

Hello! Could you give your opinion on this issue: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization/Guidelines#Lines of succession to thrones, please? --Editor FIN (talk) 05:57, 18 May 2016 (UTC)


His Grace's presence is noted. Tony (talk) 15:06, 16 July 2016 (UTC)