Shakespeare fans with ready cash and a taste for grandeur will have a chance to buy a piece of history when the title of Lord of the Manor, Stratford-upon-Avon, is auctioned July 19.

The title, which dates from the end of the seventh century, is Britain's most expensive, having sold two years ago to an unidentified person in central England for $150,500.It will be part of a sale of English literature, history books and manuscripts at Sotheby's auction house in London, the company announced in a catalog issued Friday.

Lordships of the manor are the oldest titles in England, pre-dating the Norman Conquest of 1066, but their significance is largely symbolic today and they carry no rights to land, houses or a seat in the House of Lords.

The owner does not become a lord but can write Lord of the Manor of Stratford-upon-Avon after his or her name.

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, spent much of his life there and was buried in 1616 in Holy Trinity church.

The manor was the keystone of the English feudal system, and the lord of the manor was the most important person in village affairs.

Traditionally, the lord gave his people protection in return for services, and throughout the Middle Ages, the English nobility based its power on the ownership of land through the manor.