Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0
Why do you think the gentry had several sons? Number one son in the regiment, always the cavelry (infantry being for the lower orders) and more than likely dead 'in a corner of some foreign field' as the poem goes.
Number two son went into the church (a kind of insurance) and more than often ended up with the title.
Lesser sons would be sent to the army, navy or into 'the city'