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I am writing a novel that takes place in 1600s England during the time of the English Civil War, and the main characters are aristocracy with fairly vast land holdings in York.

If the husband and land owner is known as something like Lord Richard Whitby, would his wife address him as "Milord"? "Sir"? "Lord Whiteley"? "Sir Richard"? "Richard"?

I have searched the web but can't seem to find anything on what husbands and wives might call each other in their own households, specifically in front of servants, or in privacy having a heated conversation such as when she tries to be somewhat reverent in pleading with him. One example might be if she is entreating him not to take part in the civil war against the king (she is a Royalist and he is for Cromwell). Another instance might be when she is begging him not to take their sickly daughter to the village when it is likely to rain.

I'm not entirely sure what his rank should be in society---he is not nobility I don't think -- very distant if anything, but his family has owned the land for decades if not for a hundred years or more... I realize ownerships and allegiances changed with Henry VIII's proclamations, so Whitby's land might not have been owned for many hundreds of years. Nevertheless, in my story, he is quite powerful and owns a great deal of land and is able to raise forces for Cromwell.

Any help as to the answer or how I can find the information on the aristocracy and their lives while in their own homes would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • I have seen "My lord husband" used in literature. I couldn't tell you if that was the actual address used. – Spencer May 25 at 17:03
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    In bed or out of bed? At an informal family dinner or a gala banquet? How could one possibly generalize across literally hundreds of peers with their wives and three generations - for a marital confidence. I cannot see that any answer could ever possibly be other than opinion based, from a statistically insignificant number of cases. – Pieter Geerkens May 25 at 17:09
  • If his name is Lord Richard Whitby he would be a peer, a titled nobleman, or a son of a peer called lord as a courtesy title. So he would certainly be a nobleman, and one of only a few hundred in the country. – MAGolding May 25 at 22:28
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    "Snuggy-pookims" ? Really now. Pieter G has it nailed. Fiction this is, and fiction it shall be, so let your own imagination be your guide. – MickeyfAgain_BeforeExitOfSO May 26 at 0:34
  • Thank you everyone for your responses. i'm quite surprised by some. Just FYI as I'm writing a novel, it is fiction, and the Civil War was between 1642-1651.They are speaking in the library or dining room in privacy with maybe a servant serving them. I'm sorry I wasn't more specific. I guess what I was wanting to know was if they would be somewhat formal, or call each other by their first names. I think I get the drift from your responses.Thank you. – Judith Silverthorne May 26 at 17:34