The Duke of Sodor, despite his title, is the Earl of Sodor. There have been at least five known Dukes.
King Henry IV conferred the title Earl of Sodor on the last Regent, Sir Arnold de Norramby, who had assisted the King's troops in expelling the Percy garrisons from Sodor in 1404.
The Earldom was extinguished by Attainder in 1715, but on the conclusion of his first term of office as Lieutenant Governor in 1873, Queen Victoria graciously responded to popular petition restored to John Arnold Norramby the Earldom of Sodor and the estates of Ulfstead Castle of which his ancestor had been deprived, and which had been reverted to the Crown.
List of DukesEdit
- John Arnold Norramby (1822-1894) - Promoter and Chairman of the Mid Sodor Railway. He presented the company with an engine which they had named in his honour.
- Henry John Norramby (1854-1915) - Earl from 1894-1915.
- Charles Henry Norramby (1883-1941) - served throughout World War I in the Sodor Regiment. Retired with the rank of Lieutenant General.
- Robert Charles Norramby (1918-1943) - killed in action in North Africa.
- Richard Robert Norramby (1940-onward) - succeeded as a minor, and was seven years old when the Mid Sodor Railway closed down. He opened the Skarloey Railway loop line when he was twenty-five years old, and later came to see Duke when he was rediscovered.
In the Railway Series, Richard Robert Norramby first appeared in the book, Very Old Engines, opening the loop line on the Skarloey Railway in his first appearance. He made a second and final appearance in the series in Duke the Lost Engine, when he came to see Duke after he was rediscovered. His predecessor, Robert Charles, was mentioned in the first story of the book, Granpuff.
In the television series, the Duke of Sodor was first mentioned in the fourth season episode, Granpuff. Richard Robert Norramby, also known as Sir Robert Norramby, made his first appearance in the television series in the special, King of the Railway. He is the owner of the estate railway at Ulfstead Castle, and owns both Stephen and Millie. Since his introduction, he has become a semi-regular character in the television series.
- In reality, there is no Duke of Sodor; the Earls of Sodor are active on the Council of the Duchy in Lancaster. As there is no Duke of Lancaster, the people of Sodor refer to the Earl as their "Duke".