The doctrine of abeyance relates not to the extinction of a peerage1, but to the state of suspense into which a hereditary peerage falls when co-heirship occurs in the succession. Hitherto the doctrine of abeyance has been accepted by the House of Lords only in respect of baronies in fee, that is, baronies created by writ of summons and sitting. Two claims have been made in respect of earldoms in fee, but no direct decision was given on the point of abeyance2. Abeyance does not apply to Scottish peerages3; it is not known before the seventeenth century, and it
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