This week I was pleased to read that the Duchess of Medinaceli has agreed to cede one of her titles, that of Count of San Martin de Hoyos, to one of her grandsons, Luis Medina, who hitherto held no title. I have no personal interest in this matter, but had expressed a general view earlier this year in this blog that when one person accumulates some considerable number of titles, the lesser-known titles cease to serve at least one of their purposes: keeping alive the memory of the accomplishments of their first grantee. When any given title is, in a sense, buried under better-known ones, it becomes very much like a portrait of an ancestor left to gather dust in an attic. I even expressed the opinion that where a Grandee unites several titles in their person, the Crown should encourage them to distribute them among their closest relations – siblings and children – so that the more obscure ones should not fall into total disuse.
|The 1st Count of San Martín de Hoyos (1852-1914)|
It appeals to my sense of justice to see at least one instance of this being done, and as to whether or not it works, well, the proof is in the pudding. Even though my career brings me into frequent contact with books and articles referring to members of the Spanish peerage, I confess that I had been completely unaware that there ever was such a person as a Count of San Martín de Hoyos. Now I know.