The Much Honoured
The baronage comprises around 350 feudal barons, who in most cases bear titles within the ancient nobility of Scotland granted prior to the 1707 Act of Union. In addition, there are seven feudal earldoms (Arran, Breadalbane, Crawfurd-Lindsay, Errol, Nithsdale, Rothes, Wigtown), one feudal marquessate (Huntly) and one feudal dukedom (Hamilton), all held in baroneum, where there is entitlement. Of these, four of the earldoms are extant, two are unclaimed, one is in dispute and the dukedom and marquessate are held by senior members of the Scottish peerage.
There is a convention that title holders resident outside Scotland may style themselves "The Much Honoured" when "outwith the Realm of Scotland". However, north of the border, the honorific is normally dropped in favour of the traditional territorial designation. It is thought this convention may have its origins in the regularisation of titles of nobility that took place after the publication of The New Peerage by John Debrett in 1769.
The highest-ranking feudal baron in Scotland is The Much Hon. The Baron of Renfrew, HRH The Duke of Rothesay; by tradition both titles being held concurrently by the heir apparent to the British throne. The Marquess of Huntly and The Earl of Eglinton and Winton are other notable title holders.
Historically, certain territorial lairds were permitted to style themselves "The Much Honoured". This practice is now considered obsolete.