Sieyês had drawn up at his request, and was elected in three - by the noblesse of Paris, Villers-Cotterets and Crepy-en-Valois.
Joachim Descartes, his father, having purchased a commission as counsellor in the parlement of Rennes, introduced the family into that demi-noblesse of the robe which, between the bourgeoisie and the high nobility, maintained a lofty rank in French society.
The esquires, knights, lesser barons, even the remote descendants of peers, that is, the noblesse of other countries, in England remained gentlemen, but not noblemen - simple commoners, that is, without legal advantage over their fellowcommoners who had no jus imaginum to boast of.
There can be no doubt that the class in England which answers to the noblesse of other lands is the class that bears coat-armour, the gentry strictly so called.'
C. Fox-Davies's Armorial Families (Edinburgh, 1895, and subsequent editions) represents an unhistorical attempt to create the idea of a noblesse in the United Kingdom.