This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
IT IS customary, in the heading of petitions to persons in official positions, in the complimentary address of a letter, and in superscriptions, to give each their proper title. These are divided into titles of respect, military, and professional titles.
Titles of respect are:-Mr., from Master; Mrs., from Mistress; Miss, from the French, De-moi-selle; Esq., from Esquire, an English Justice of the Peace, or member of the legal profession, but applied very indiscriminately to males throughout this country generally.
Two titles of the same class should not be applied to the same name. Thus, in addressing John Smith, do not say Mr. John Smith, Esq. ; though we may say Mr. John Smith, or John Smith, Esq.
If the profession of the person addressed be known, the professional title alone should be used. If the person be entitled to two titles the highest is given.
Titles of respect are usually placed before the name; as, Mr., Hon., Rev., Dr., and military titles.
Professional titles sometimes precede and sometimes follow the name; as, Dr. John Smith, or John Smith, M. D. ; Prof. John Smith, or John Smith, A. M.
The following list illustrates the various titles used for the different ranks, among individuals, either in the complimentary address or superscription on the envelope.
" To the King's Most Excellent Majesty."
" To the Queen's Moat Excellent Majesty."
" To his Royal Highness, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales."
In like manner all the other members, male and female, of the
Royal family are addressed.
" To his Grace the Duke of Argyle. " To the Moat Noble the Marquis of Westminster." " To the Right Honorable the Earl of Derby." " To the Right Honorable Lord Viscount Sidney." " To the Honorable Baron Cranworth."
The wives of noblemen have the same titles as their husbands; thus,
" To her Grace the Duchess of Argyle." "To the Moat Noble the Marchioness of Westminster." " To the Right Honorable the Countess of Derby." " To the Right Honorable the Viscountess Sidney." " To the Honorable the Baroness Oranworth."
The title of Honorable, in great Britain, is applied to the younger sons of noblemen (the elder son taking, by courtesy, the title next in rank below that of his father). It is also given to members of parliament and to certain persons holding positions of honor and trust.
'sir Walter Scott, Bart."
"Sir William Armstrong, Kt.
Ellsworth's "Text-Book on Penmanship" gives the following lassification of the various titles used in the United States.
Titles of Honor, Profession and Respect.
" His Excellency Richard Roe,"
" Honorable Richard Roe,"
Vice-President, Senators and Representatives of the U. S., Lieut.-Gov. of State, State Senators and Representatives, Judges, Mayors, Consuls, Ministers Abroad, and Heads of Executive Departments of the General Government.
"Rev. Richard Roe, D.D." " Richard Roe, LL.D." " Richard Roe."
"Dr. Richard Roe."
"Prof. Richard Roe."
" Richard Roe, Esq."
" Mr. Richard Roe."
" Richard Roe." his
"Richard X Roe." mark
Doctor of Laws.
Minister of the Gospel.
Physician and Surgeon.
Professor or teacher of any art or science.
Member of the legal Fraternity.
Unable to write his own name.