I don’t get it. Really, it’s discrimination against late-period (16th c.) persona. By the time ‘my’ shaggy little Scottish butt came around, peerages were being bought and sold on the open English market, usually based on cash flow and how many men you could contribute to Elizabeth’s army in case the Spaniards actually found a clue. Or it was some amount of hereditary. ‘Honor’ and ‘chivalry’ had so little to do with it that the very concept is ludicrous. In my world, it’s all those stick-swingin’ hardshells that are obviously inappropriate to the peerages. Which in itself is a specious argument (that may not be the right word, but I like it) since good ol’ Henry Tudor was still sporting some very slick tournament armor courtesy of the Germans. But he wasn’t a peer, he was King God and a knight only by virtue of – well, perhaps ‘virtue’ is the wrong word here… but hereditary nonetheless. Meh.
It’s a stupid argument, why do I even let it bother me? It’s not that we (read: rapier fighters) need a peerage for our own self-agrandisment. It’s the need/desire for a goal coupled with the fact that, protests to the contrary not withstanding, human nature dictates that you will have a different reaction to a duly elevated peer than to that very same person who is not so recognized. Particularly if you don’t know the person very well; you rely on the rank to express that this person is worth listening to unless you have personal knowledge to the contrary. All things being equal, you will think better of a person the higher on the award food-chain they have risen. You can’t help it, it’s hard-wired into your Id. Witness our duly elected government officials.
And all this for a hobby-group that we have to pay to have the joy of fighting in (at least where I am). Sigh Repeat after me, “This is my hobby, I do this for fun. This is my hobby, I do this for fun…”