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Noble titles: Marquess

A marquess (pronounced /'m?rkw?s/) or marquis (/m?r'ki?/) is a nobleman of hereditary rank in various European monarchies and some of their colonies. The term is also used to render equivalent oriental styles as in imperial China and Japan. In the British peerage it ranks below a duke and above an earl (see Marquesses in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth). In Europe it is usually equivalent where a cognate title exists. A woman with the rank of marquess, or the wife of a marquess, is a marchioness (in British usage), (pronounced /?m?r??'n?s/) or marquise (in Europe, pronounced /m?r'ki?z/).

Various European monarchies created titles of various ranks, including marquess, in chief of "titles" (estates, or simply the names of places or regions) in their colonial territories overseas, e.g., in Spanish and South America, regardless whether the ennobled families resided there.