Pedigrees, elaborated by Cecil himself with the help of Camden, the antiquary, associated him with the Cecils or Sitsyllts of Altyrennes in Herefordshire, and traced his descent from an Owen of the time of King Harold and a Sitsyllt of the reign of Rufus.
Yet this very aristocracy, whose claim to consideration was based not upon its own achievements but upon the length of its pedigrees, insisted upon an amplification of its privileges which endangered the economical and political interests of the state and the nation.
Why was he so obsessed with pedigrees?
Hence much pure invention, bolstered up by forgery of charters, falsification of genuine ones, and construction of imaginary pedigrees.
Nowadays most fanciers are able to supply pedigrees for the birds they supply.