HOUSE OF LORDSCategory: Politics
Hereditary Peers: Dukes (31), Marquesses (38), Earls (175), Viscounts (116), Barons (490), Peeresses in their own right (19).
Life Peers (142), Life Peeresses (19). Archbishops (2), Senior Bishops (24).
The figures given above are as they were in 1970. Life peers (Lords) and peeresses receive their peerages as a reward for service, and their children do not inherit the title. Peers may not sit in the House of Commons as MPs, but in 1963 the Peerage Act made it possible for peers to give up their peerages. For example, in 1963, the Earl of Home was chosen by the Conservative Party to be prime minister. It would have been difficult for a prime minister to sit in the House of Lords, and so the Earl gave up his title and was elected to the House of Commons as Sir Alec Douglas-Home.
(From Britain Today by R. Musman)