‘interested Observer’ says,
“It is amusing to see Ron mangling legal history so badly. If you read the passage of Coke he refers to, the following facts immediately present themselves:
a) Coke nowhere defines the word ‘gentleman’. He merely lays out the rules governing the inheritance of arms by those entitled to them.
b) The document is not a ‘ruling’. It is a legal commentary.
c) The text under commentary is not by Coke. It’s from Thomas de Littleton’s Treatise on Tenures (c. 1480).
d) The bulk of this 530-year-old treatise concerns land law in the days of feudalism. Though fragments survive in the common law, it’s about as relevant to modern legal practice as Ptolemy is to modern astronomy.
A few other fact-checks for you, Ron:
1. The ownership of arms does not confer the status of ‘gentleman’. It confers no status at all. Traditionally it *recognised* the status of gentleman, but the term has been meaningless except as a term of courtesy since c.1850.
2. ‘Refusing to recognise the status of Gentleman’ is not, and has never been, a criminal offence, as you claimed in your blog a few days ago.
3. ‘Refusing to recognise the status of Gentleman’ is not, and has never been, a *civil* offence, as you subsequently claimed.
4. The Law of Arms has precisely nothing to say about the ‘status of Gentleman’.
5. There *is* a Court of Arms, but it concerns itself solely with heraldic matters: disputed ownership of arms, and misuse of them.
6. The Court has sat once in the last century. That case concerned the alleged misuse of a local council’s coat of arms.
7. Claiming any sort of legal recourse for a perceived slight about your social status is therefore sheer fantasy.”