By Jane Moseley
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Sure to be classified as more informative and useful than Schott’s Miscellany, but easily just as much fun, Call to Orderis an essential illustrated guide that fills in the gaping holes in our knowledge and helps settle plaguing questions. Among them, “Does four-of-a-kind beat a full house in poker?” (Yes.) Does a Marquess outrank a Duke? (No.) And, what classification of sinner populates the Sixth Circle of Hell? (Heretics.) And, how are they punished. (Crammed into burning tombs.)
Can you never pass question three on HQ? Here are the hierarchies, pecking orders, ranks, and standings that order every aspect of our lives, from society, government and religion to culture, music, biology, and environment.
Call to Order is the definitive catalog of where things stand.
When does the humble list become an established hierarchy? When it places things in order of importance, seniority, authority, value, priority, or status. Hierarchies create ranks and form boundaries, and thereby help us to impose order on our world. They can be relatively simple, top down or bottom up, or much more complex, with branches and subsections. They can apply to social, cultural, musical, religious, celestial, military, corporate, environmental, and biological contexts. The orders of things in this book range far and wide from the most obvious “I knew that,” such as army and church ranks (in fact, the word hierarchy comes from the Greek word hierarkhes, meaning “sacred ruler”), to the “Who knew?” (such as typography and priority at sea, among many others). Many are man-made, the result of humans imposing structure—because that is what we like to do—and others help us make sense of the world; some are for fun (from the omega to the alpha male), while others still occur within the natural world (the food chains of different habitats).
The world in its infinite variety is hard enough to pin down in this manner as it is, and some of the pecking orders and hierarchies in this book also exist as variants according to the source, while some may be disputed by experts in the field. Hierarchies can be subjective, and that is their beauty.
SOCIETY IN THE EDO PERIOD
The social order in Japan during the Tokugawa or Edo period (1603–1867) under the shogunate founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu was structured around a rigid four-tier class system and was based on Confucian ideas. It was intended to create social harmony and stability, organizing society in part according to the contribution made by each level to the greater whole in a “shi-no-ko-sho” structure. Social mobility was extremely limited. The emperor and his family held the highest status, but the emperor wielded little actual power, relying heavily on the daimyos, the powerful nobles who were given land in return for their support. The most powerful daimyo became the shogun, governing the army and the country in general. During this period, the shoguns of the Tokugawa clan brought the daimyos under control.
The hierarchy was as follows, outside which were aristocrats, monastics, and outcasts.
WARRIOR CLASS OR SAMURAI (SHI)
Paid for by their daimyo to control the latter’s domain, they were soldiers, government administrators, tax collectors, and generally wielders of great power, despite making up only a small percentage of the population.
The farmers fed and sustained the people and so were next in line of importance as vital members of society. This class embraced wealthy village heads, poorer tenant farmers, and those who owned no land at all.
As manufacturers of useful products for society, using materials produced by others but for utilitarian purposes, the artisans were next in the order. Some artisans had rich patrons while others scraped out a living making simple baskets.
Seen as the producers of nothing but instead as profiteers from the work of others, merchants had the lowest social status. Some members of this class would have their own stores while others sold goods on the streets.
At the bottom of the social order were the BURAKUMIN, which means “hamlet or village people.” Their occupations were considered impure or associated with death or waste (butchers, tanners, undertakers, executioners). They were stigmatized as a result. Also known as eta (or “much filth”), they could be killed by members of the samurai if they had committed a crime. Other people lived outside this system entirely and were known as hinin. As “nonpersons,” they survived by begging, and this section of society included beggars, prostitutes, and actors. The caste system was abolished in 1871 along with the feudal system.
Egyptian society was structured rather like their famous pyramids. This “social pyramid” saw power held by a few at the apex, with the rest of the population descending in order of social status toward the slaves at the base. In the sky above was the pantheon of Egyptian gods led by Ra. The pharaohs were intermediaries between the gods and the people; they were the supreme leaders, exercising absolute power over their subjects. Class mobility was rare.
Believed to be a god in human form, he/she made the laws and maintained order in the kingdom. Keeping the gods happy was a key part of the job.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, NOBLES, AND PRIESTS
The vizier was the pharaoh’s chief minister, second in command and sometimes serving as high priest. He was tasked with tax collection. Outside the royal family, only nobles could hold government posts, and they made local laws and generally kept order, profiting from tribute paid to the pharaoh by his subjects and donations made to the gods. Priests took on the day-to-day job of pleasing the gods.
Their role was to protect Egypt, control unrest, and supervise workers on the pyramids. Booty from battles was a perk of the job.
Among the few literate people in Egypt, they were the record keepers, documenting events, gifts to the gods, and numbers of soldiers or workers.
MERCHANTS, ARTISANS, AND DOCTORS
The “middle class,” including metalworkers, painters, potters, weavers, and stone carvers, who kept the country running.
FARMERS, SERVANTS, AND CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
The worker ants of Egyptian society, this group fed the kingdom, ensured their superiors’ every whim was met, and built the pyramids and palaces. They included forced labor.
Chattel slaves were prisoners of war or those born of slave mothers. They included bonded laborers—those who sold themselves into slavery, for example, to clear a debt. The slaves worked in houses, quarries or mines, and temples, but in some respects they were on a par with servants, and life was often better for them than for their counterparts in other ancient civilizations.
THE ELIZABETHAN WORLD PICTURE
Elizabethan England was organized according to a hierarchical system known today as the Elizabethan World Picture. A “chain of being” linked the greatest to the least, with God at the very top of this chain, above the monarch, who ruled over all her subjects.
Gloriana, God’s representative on earth.
The titles of peers were bestowed by the monarch or determined by birth, passed from father to oldest son. There were around fifty noble families, usually powerful landowners. In descending order of importance: duke and duchess, marquis and marchioness, earl and countess, viscount and viscountess, baron and baroness. (Archbishops held the same rank as dukes and bishops the same as earls.)
A class made up of, in descending order of importance, knights, squires, and gentlemen. Also landowners on a smaller scale; they were often very wealthy.
A kind of middle class that included farmers who owned or worked small parcels of land, merchants, tradesmen, and shopkeepers.
PEASANTS, LABORERS, AND SERVANTS
THE POOR, BEGGARS, AND PEOPLE UNABLE TO WORK
With the first rumblings of a rudimentary welfare system, the Poor Law made the parishes responsible for their poor, who were in turn classified as:
Helpless poor, including the old, sick, and disabled.
Able-bodied poor, who wanted to work but were unemployed.
Rogues and vagabonds, able-bodied but more inclined to steal or beg than work.
THE ANT COLONY
Ants are eusocial creatures, meaning that they have a developed social structure and live in colonies with a strict caste system. Their life cycle involves four developmental stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult, and it is during the larval stage that an ant’s future is determined. Male ants have just one job to perform—to mate. The best-nourished female larvae will grow wings and become queens, whereas those who don’t receive much TLC from the other ants become workers or soldiers. Additional worker castes (e.g., media or super soldiers) exist in some ant species, such as leaf cutters. Only the queen reproduces, and most of her offspring become workers and soldiers who collect food, protect the colony, and raise the young.
She may be top ant, but she doesn’t order the other ants about; her sole role is to produce offspring. Depending on the species, a colony may have just one or multiple queens.
Born to mate with as many queens as possible and survive for the mating season only. A brief but very busy life.
Worker ants are female and usually sterile; they forage, and build and defend the nest. A life of toil.
Larger workers (may be equipped with swordlike jaws) that defend the colony. The fighting force of the ant world.
Smaller workers who care for the larvae. Busy little bees, but not literally.
ROYAL LINES OF SUCCESSION
Historically, the question of who steps up when a monarch dies has often proved a bone of contention, leading to civil and even international wars. These days, however, it is far less chaotic. In the United Kingdom, home to what is generally acknowledged as the world’s most famous monarchy, there are one hundred names on the royal line of succession list. But it is constantly evolving as new marriages are made and new babies (aka claimants) are born—and the rules changed radically when the Succession to the Crown Bill 2013 was introduced, putting an end to a centuries-old tradition of male primogeniture, whereby boys precede their elder sisters (if there are elder sisters) in the line.
The line directly descended from Queen Elizabeth II currently stands as follows:
1. PRINCE CHARLES (QUEEN’S ELDEST SON)
2. PRINCE WILLIAM (PRINCE CHARLES’S ELDER SON)
3. PRINCE GEORGE (PRINCE WILLIAM’S SON)
4. PRINCESS CHARLOTTE (PRINCE WILLIAM’S DAUGHTER)
5. PRINCE HENRY, OR HARRY (PRINCE CHARLES’S YOUNGER SON)
6. PRINCE ANDREW (QUEEN’S SECOND SON)
7. PRINCESS BEATRICE (PRINCE ANDREW’S ELDER DAUGHTER)
8. PRINCESS EUGENIE (PRINCE ANDREW’S YOUNGER DAUGHTER)
9. PRINCE EDWARD (QUEEN’S YOUNGEST SON)
10. JAMES, VISCOUNT SEVERN (PRINCE EDWARD’S SON)
11. LADY LOUISE WINDSOR (PRINCE EDWARD’S DAUGHTER)
12. PRINCESS ANNE (QUEEN’S DAUGHTER)
13. PETER PHILLIPS (PRINCESS ANNE’S SON)
14. SAVANNAH PHILLIPS (PETER PHILLIPS’S DAUGHTER)
15. ISLA PHILLIPS (PETER PHILLIPS’S DAUGHTER)
16. ZARA TINDALL (PRINCESS ANNE’S DAUGHTER)
17. MIA GRACE TINDALL (ZARA TINDALL’S DAUGHTER)
PEERS OF THE REALM
There are five ranks in the English hereditary peerage, all conferred by the monarch. A peer of the realm may hold one or more titles from within these five ranks at the same time. The system evolved in feudal times, when men who swore an oath of loyalty to the monarch received protection or property in return. Modern peerages are created by letters patent under the Great Seal—the seal represents the sovereign’s authority—rather than by the more dashing fastening of a ceremonial sword to the wearer’s belt or girdle (cincture), as was the case for dukes and earls until 1615. Peerages in the top five ranks are hereditary. Most are passed on through the male line, but some pass on through heirs general, meaning they can pass down the female line.
Within each rank, precedent is established by the date the peerage was created: the earlier the date, the more senior the title bearer.
Derives from the Latin dux, meaning “leader.” Originally only kings were also dukes until kings began conferring dukedoms on their sons and favorites.
The first English duke was created in 1337, when Edward III conferred the Dukedom of Cornwall on his son Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince.
Originally created by cincture, then by letters patent under the Great Seal.
The first duke not a member of the royal family was Sir William de Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, who was made Duke of Suffolk in 1448.
Formal written address: The Most Noble Duke of…
Spoken address: Your Grace/ His Grace.
Any military, ecclesiastical, or ambassadorial rank is given first; for example, Major-General, the Duke of…
A prince of royal blood is created duke either on his coming of age or marriage. Current royal dukes are Cambridge (Prince William), York (Prince Andrew), Gloucester (Prince Richard, grandson of George V), Edinburgh (Prince Philip) and Kent (Prince Edward, grandson of George V).
The wife of a duke.
Formal written address: The Most Noble Duchess of…
Spoken address: Your Grace/ Her Grace.
A foreign import, introduced in 1385 by Richard II. It was never popular, especially among earls, whose status it usurped, and is little used now; the last new marquess to be conferred was in 1926.
The first marquess was Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who was made Marquess of Dublin in 1385.
Conferred by letters patent under the Great Seal.
Formal written address: The Marquess of…
Spoken address: Your Lordship.
Any military, ecclesiastical, or ambassadorial rank is given first; for example, Major-General, the Marquess of…
The wife of a marquess.
Formal written address: The Marchioness of…
Spoken address: Your Ladyship.
Introduced to England by Danish king Canute (c. 994–1036); made hereditary under Norman rule.
Originally created by cincture, then by letters patent under the Great Seal.
Formal written address: The Right Honorable, the Earl of… (unless you are royal, in which case it is His Royal Highness, the Earl of…).
Spoken address: Lord (name of earldom).
Any military, ecclesiastical, or ambassadorial rank is given first; for example, Major-General, the Earl of…
The wife of an earl.
The female inheritor of an earldom.
Formal written address: The Right Honorable, the Countess of…(unless you are royal, in which case it is Her Royal Highness, the Countess of…).
Spoken address: Lady (name of earldom).
The name derives from the Latin vicecomes, meaning “aide or lieutenant of a count.”
The first viscount was created in 1440 by Henry VI, king of both England and France, who elevated John, 6th Baron Beaumont, to the title of Viscount Beaumont of England and Viscount Beaumont of France.
The title did not become popular until the seventeenth century.
Conferred by letters patent under the Great Seal.
Formal written address: The Right Honorable, the Viscount…
Spoken address: Lord (name of viscountcy).
Any military, ecclesiastical, or ambassadorial rank is given first: for example, Major-General, Viscount…
The wife of a viscount.
Formal written address: The Right Honorable, the Viscountess…
Spoken address: Lady (name of viscountcy).
A baron was originally a landowning tenant of the monarch. They were summoned by royal writ to attend Counsel or Parliament, like a kind of early House of Lords.
In 1387, Richard II created the first baron by letters patent under the Great Seal. This was John Beauchamp de Holt, Baron Kidderminster.
Formal written address: Lord (name of barony).
Spoken address: Lord (name of barony).
Any military, ecclesiastical, or ambassadorial rank is given first; for example, Major-General, Lord (name of barony)…
The wife of a baron.
A baroness in her own right.
Formal written address: Lady (name of barony).
Spoken address: Lady (name of barony).
An international and historically secret society established to provide mutual help and fellowship among its members, who meet as equals, whatever their background. The first recorded initiation of a freemason is dated October 16, 1646, but the society’s origins are thought to lie with a guild of stonemasons established in the late eleventh century in Europe. Skilled masons were highly sought after and, unlike serfs, were able to travel around practicing their art—hence, they were “free” masons. Fraternity “lodges” were formed, and in 1717 four London lodges met at an alehouse, the Goose and the Gridiron, united, and declared themselves a Grand Lodge—the world’s first—with a Grand Master.
The Freemasons are famed for their elaborate ceremonies at which new members are admitted and for the annual installation of the Master and officers of the Lodge. Collar “jewels” are worn to denote the rank of the wearer, which is also indicated by where they sit in the Lodge. There are two levels of officer: progressive (who move up a rank each year) and nonprogressive.
The highest honor a Lodge can bestow. The Master sits in the east end of the Lodge and usually conducts the Lodge ceremonies.
Senior and Junior Warden
Both assist the Master in running the Lodge. The Senior Warden sits opposite the Master at the west end of the Lodge, and the Junior Warden at the south.
Senior and Junior Deacon
The deacons accompany the candidates during the ceremonies of the Three Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master Mason). They each carry a wand as a badge of office.
Sits just inside the door of the Lodge to check that only qualified persons enter.
Main function is to assist at the post-meeting dinner.
Immediate Past Master (IPM)
Sits on the left of the Worshipful Master and acts as his guide and support.
Leads the prayers at the beginning and end of each meeting.
Responsible for the Lodge finances and for recommending the amount of the annual subscription.
Deals with the administration of the Lodge, including organizing meetings and distributing the agenda.
Director of Ceremonies (DC)
Oversees the ceremonies, including rehearsals, and ensures that the ceremonies are conducted with decorum.
The Lodge welfare officer, with an in-depth knowledge of resources for those in need.
Organizes charity collections and makes suggestions as to which charities to support.
Assistant Director of Ceremonies (ADC)
As the name suggests, the ADC assists the DC…
… while the Assistant Secretary assists the Secretary.
- "A delight for fussbudgets and trivia lovers."—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- On Sale
- Sep 25, 2018
- Page Count
- 192 pages
- Black Dog & Leventhal