The Lord of Walthamstow is selling his title after his daughter refused to take it in a bid to boost his pension.
Phillip Leigh, who was born in Walthamstow and bought the title 34 years ago, said his daughter Nicole is “not keen” on inheriting the title so had put it up for auction.
The titles are considered to be property under English Law and can be bought and sold, with most titles being passed down to children and grandchildren.
Mr Leigh said the biggest perk of the title is getting the best seat in the house at restaurants, as he admits: “It’s very handy for organising a good table at restaurants. I’ve rung up restaurants first as plain old Phillip Leigh and it’s been ‘I’m sorry we’re full’, then I’ve called as the Lord of Walthamstow and it’s ‘Yes my lord certainly, we’ve got a lovely table by the window’.”
Lord titles are a big part of English history, with 13,000 lordships listed in the Domesday Book.
Phillip Leigh, a retired property developer and estate agent, bought the title due to his love of history and Walthamstow.
Centuries ago, the lord was the most important person in the village, collecting rents and taxes and dispensing justice. But today, it’s more about bragging than rights.
Mr Leigh told The Times: “Another time, friends booked my wife and I in at a hotel as the Lord and Lady of Walthamstow, unbeknown to us. We were greeted by a load of flunkies, ‘Your lordship this, your lordship that’, they couldn’t do enough for us.”
While the title doesn’t come with a right to attend the House of Lords, it does have its own coat of arms and can be used on passports, driving licences and bank accounts.
The title is set to go to the highest bidder next month. Mr Leigh’s daughter Nicole is said to “not be too keen” on history and isn’t a fan of inheriting the title.
Mr Leigh was born in Walthamstow during the Second World War, giving the area in London sentimental value to him.
He said: “I feel a real connection to the area so when it came up for sale 34 years ago, I went out of my way to buy the title. I am very keen on history and it is a great way to feel part of the country’s heritage.
“I’ve researched it at the Walthamstow museum and have all the documents. I feel very proud to be part of this heritage and to hold this lordship.”
The title is expected to fetch as much as £30,000. Ben Tobin, a consultant at the auction house Strettons, said: “It’s pretty rare these days to have these titles come to auction. I sold a few in the Eighties and Nineties when I think a few of the older families discovered they had these and could sell them.
“Then they sold for between £10,000 and £30,000.”
Mr Leigh claimed the title was worth £200,000, but auctioneers said three other lordships currently listed are on sale for less than £10,000.
There is no age or nationality limit on who can buy titles. It is set to be sold on December 13.