Baron

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Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary. The female equivalent is baroness.

Nobility privileged social class

Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be largely honorary, and vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can also carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is typically hereditary.

A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either veneration, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted between the first and last name. Some titles are hereditary.

Contents

Etymology

The word baron comes from the Old French baron, from a Late Latin barō "man; servant, soldier, mercenary" (so used in Salic law; Alemannic law has barus in the same sense). The scholar Isidore of Seville in the 7th century thought the word was from Greek βᾰρῠ́ς "heavy" (because of the "heavy work" done by mercenaries), but the word is presumably of Old Frankish origin, cognate with Old English beorn meaning "warrior, nobleman". Cornutus in the first century already reports a word barones which he took to be of Gaulish origin. He glosses it as meaning servos militum and explains it as meaning "stupid", by reference to classical Latin bārō "simpleton, dunce"; [1] because of this early reference, the word has also been suggested to derive from an otherwise unknown Celtic *bar, but the Oxford English Dictionary takes this to be "a figment". [2]

Old French was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. In the 14th century, these dialects came to be collectively known as the langue d'oïl, contrasting with the langue d'oc or Occitan language in the south of France. The mid-14th century is taken as the transitional period to Middle French, the language of the French Renaissance, specifically based on the dialect of the Île-de-France region.

Late Latin Written Latin of late antiquity

Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin of late antiquity. English dictionary definitions of Late Latin date this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD, and continuing into the 7th century in the Iberian Peninsula. This somewhat ambiguously defined version of Latin was used between the eras of Classical Latin and Medieval Latin. There is no scholarly consensus about exactly when Classical Latin should end or Medieval Latin should begin. However, Late Latin is characterized by an identifiable style.

Soldier one who fights as part of an organized armed force

A soldier is one who fights as part of an army. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer.

Continental Europe

France

During the Ancien Régime , French baronies were very much like Scottish ones. Feudal landholders who possessed a barony were entitled to style themselves baron if they were nobles; a roturier (commoner) could only be a seigneur de la baronnie (lord of the barony). These baronies could be sold freely until 1789 when feudal law was abolished. The title of baron was assumed as a titre de courtoisie by many nobles, whether members of the Nobles of the Robe or cadets of Nobles of the Sword who held no title in their own right.

Ancien Régime monarchic, aristocratic, social and political system established in the Kingdom of France from approximately the 15th century until the later 18th century

The Ancien Régime was the political and social system of the Kingdom of France from the Late Middle Ages until 1789, when hereditary monarchy and the feudal system of French nobility were abolished by the French Revolution. The Ancien Régime was ruled by the late Valois and Bourbon dynasties. The term is occasionally used to refer to the similar feudal systems of the time elsewhere in Europe. The administrative and social structures of the Ancien Régime were the result of years of state-building, legislative acts, internal conflicts, and civil wars, but they remained and the Valois Dynasty's attempts at re-establishing control over the scattered political centres of the country were hindered by the Huguenot Wars. Much of the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIII and the early years of Louis XIV were focused on administrative centralization. Despite, however, the notion of "absolute monarchy" and the efforts by the kings to create a centralized state, the Kingdom of France retained its irregularities: authority regularly overlapped and nobles struggled to retain autonomy.

French nobility privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the revolution in 1790

The French nobility was a privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the revolution in 1790. The nobility was revived in 1805 with limited rights as a titled elite class from the First Empire to the fall of the July Monarchy in 1848, when all privileges were abolished for good. Hereditary titles, without privileges, continued to be granted until the Second Empire fell in 1870. They survive among their descendants as a social convention and as part of the legal name of the corresponding individuals.

Commoner Historically, ordinary people in a community or nation who lacked any significant social status

The common people, also known as the common man, commoners, or the masses, are the ordinary people in a community or nation who lack any significant social status, especially those who are members of neither royalty, nobility, the clergy, nor any member of the aristocracy.

Emperor Napoléon created a new imperial nobility, in which baron was the second-lowest title. The titles followed a male-only line of descent and could not be purchased.

Nobility of the First French Empire

As Emperor of the French, Napoleon I created titles of nobility to institute a stable elite in the First French Empire, after the instability resulting from the French Revolution.

In 1815, King Louis XVIII created a new peerage system and a Chamber of Peers, based on the British model. Baron-peer was the lowest title, but the heirs to pre-1789 barons could remain barons, as could the elder sons of viscount-peers and younger sons of count-peers. This peerage system was abolished in 1848.

Peerage of France title of honor within the French nobility

The Peerage of France was a hereditary distinction within the French nobility which appeared in 1180 in the Middle Ages, and only a small number of noble individuals were peers. It was abolished in 1789 during the French Revolution, but it reappeared in 1814 at the time of the Bourbon Restoration which followed the fall of the First French Empire, when the Chamber of Peers was given a constitutional function somewhat along British lines, which lasted until the Revolution of 1848. On 10 October 1831, by a vote of 324 against 26 of the Chamber of Deputies, hereditary peerages were abolished, but peerages for the life of the holder continued to exist until the chamber and rank were definitively abolished in 1848.

Chamber of Peers (France) French upper house from 1814 to 1848

The Chamber of Peers was the upper house of the French parliament from 1814 to 1848.

House of Lords upper house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is granted by appointment or else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Officially, the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

Germany

In pre-republican Germany all the knightly families of the Holy Roman Empire (sometimes distinguished by the prefix von or zu ) eventually were recognised as of baronial rank, although Ritter is the literal translation for "knight", and persons who held that title enjoyed a distinct, but lower, rank in Germany's nobility than barons ( Freiherren ). The wife of a Freiherr (Baron) is called a Freifrau or sometimes Baronin, his daughter Freiin or sometimes Baroness.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Knight An award of an honorary title for past or future service with its roots in chivalry in the Middle Ages

A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.

Holy Roman Empire varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Families which had always held this status were called Uradel ('primordial/ancient/original nobility'), and were heraldically entitled to a three pointed coronet. Families which had been ennobled at a definite point in time (Briefadel or "nobility by patent") had seven points on their coronet. These families held their fief in vassalage from a suzerain. The holder of an allodial (i.e., suzerain-free) barony was thus called a Free Lord, or Freiherr . Subsequently, sovereigns in Germany conferred the title of Freiherr as a rank in the nobility, without implication of allodial or feudal status.

Since 1919, hereditary titles have had no legal status in Germany. In modern, republican Germany, Freiherr and Baron remain heritable only as part of the legal surname (and may thereby be transmitted by males to their wives and children, without implication of nobility).

In Austria, hereditary titles have been completely banned. Thus, a member of the formerly reigning House of Habsburg or members of the former nobility would in most cases simply be addressed as Herr/Frau (Habsburg) in an official/public surrounding, for instance in the media. Still, in both countries, honorary styles like "His/her (Imperial/Royal) Highness", "Serenity", etc. persists in social use as a form of courtesy.

In Luxembourg and Liechtenstein (where German is the official language), barons remain members of the recognized nobility, and the sovereigns retain authority to confer the title (morganatic cadets of the princely dynasty received the title Baron of Lanskron, using bothFreiherr and Baron for different members of this branch.) [3]

Generally, all legitimate males of a German baronial family inherit the title Freiherr or Baron from birth, as all legitimate daughters inherit the title of Freiin or Baroness. As a result, German barons have been more numerous than those of such countries where primogeniture with respect to title inheritance prevails (or prevailed) as France and the United Kingdom.

Italy

In Italy, barone was the lowest rank of feudal nobility except for that of signore or vassallo (lord of the manor). The title of baron was most generally introduced into southern Italy (including Sicily) by the Normans during the 11th century. Whereas originally a barony might consist of two or more manors, by 1700 we see what were formerly single manors erected into baronies, counties or even marquisates. Since the early 1800s, when feudalism was abolished in the various Italian states, it has often been granted as a simple hereditary title without any territorial designation or predicato. The untitled younger son of a baron is a nobile dei baroni and in informal usage might be called a baron, while certain baronies devolve to heirs male general. Since 1948 titles of nobility have not been recognised by the Italian state. In the absence of a nobiliary or heraldic authority in Italy there are, in fact, numerous persons who claim to be barons or counts without any basis for such claims. Baron and noble (nobile) are hereditary titles and, as such, could only be created or recognised by the kings of Italy or (before 1860) the pre-unitary Italian states such as the Two Sicilies, Tuscany, Parma or Modena, or by the Holy See (Vatican) or the Republic of San Marino. Beginning around 1800, a number of signori (lords of the manor) began to style themselves barone but in many cases this was not sanctioned legally by decree, while there was even less justification in the holder of any large (non-feudal) landed estate calling himself a baron. Nevertheless, both were common practices. In most of peninsular Italy the widespread medieval introduction of the title was Longobardic, while in Sicily and Sardinia it was coeval with Norman rule some centuries later, and one referred to the baronage when speaking of landed nobles generally. The heraldic coronet of an Italian baron is a jewelled rim of gold surmounted by seven visible pearls, set upon the rim directly or upon stems; alternately, the French style coronet (entwined in a string of small pearls, with or without four bigger visible pearls set upon the rim) is used.

The Low Countries

In the medieval era, some allodial and enfeoffed lands held by nobles were created or recognized as baronies by the Holy Roman Emperors, within whose realm most of the Low Countries lay. Subsequently, the Habsburgs continued to confer the baronial title in the Southern Netherlands, first as kings of Spain and then, again, as emperors until abolition of the Holy Roman Empire, but these had become titular elevations rather than grants of new territory.

In the Netherlands after 1815, titles of baron authorized by previous monarchs (except those of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland) were usually recognized by the Dutch kings. But such recognition was not automatic, having to be authenticated by the Supreme Council of Nobility and then approved by the sovereign. This ceased to be possible after the Dutch constitution was revised in 1983. More than one hundred Dutch baronial families have been recognized. The title is usually inherited by all males descended patrilineally from the original recipient of the title, although in a few noble families baron is the title of cadet family members, while in a few others it is heritable according to primogeniture.

After its secession in 1830, Belgium incorporated into its nobility all titles of baron borne by Belgian citizens which had been recognized by the Netherlands since 1815. In addition, its monarchs have since created or recognized other titles of baron, and the sovereign continues to exercise the prerogative to confer baronial and other titles of nobility. Baron is the third lowest title within the nobility system above knight (French : chevalier, Dutch : ridder) and below viscount . There are still a number of families in Belgium that bear the title of baron.

Luxembourg's monarch retains the right to confer the baronial title. Two of the grand duchy's prime ministers inherited baronial titles that were used during their tenures in office, Victor de Tornaco and Félix de Blochausen.

The Nordic countries

In Norway, king Magnus VI of Norway (1238–1280) replaced the title Lendmann with Baron, but in 1308 Haakon V abolished the title.

The present corresponding title is baron in the Danish nobility and in the Norwegian nobility, friherre (baron is used orally, while it is written as friherre) in the Swedish nobility, and vapaaherra in the nobility of Finland.

In the beginning, Finnish nobles were all without honorific titulature, and known simply as lords. Since the Middle Ages, each head of a noble family had been entitled to a vote in any of Finland's provincial diets whenever held, as in the realm's House of Nobility of the Riksdag of the Estates. In 1561, Sweden's King Eric XIV granted the hereditary titles of count and vapaaherra to some of these, but not all. Although their cadet family members were not entitled to vote or sit in the Riksdag, they were legally entitled to the same title as the head of the family, but in customary address they became Paroni or Paronitar. Theoretically, in the 16th and 17th centuries, families elevated to vapaaherra status were granted a barony in fief, enjoying some rights of taxation and judicial authority. Subsequently, the "barony" was titular, usually attached to a family property, which was sometimes entailed. Their exemptions from taxes on landed properties continued into the 20th century, although in the 19th century tax reforms narrowed this privilege. Nobility creations continued until 1917, the end of Finland's grand ducal monarchy.

Russia

Muscovite Russia had no traditional baronial titles of its own; they were introduced in early Imperial Russia by Peter the Great. In the hierarchy of nobility introduced by Peter the Great, barons (барон) ranked above untitled nobility and below counts (граф, graf). The styles "Your Well-born" (Ваше благородие, Vashe blagorodiye) and "Master Baron" (Господин барон, Gospondin baron) were used to address a Russian baron.

There were two main groups of nobility which held the baronial title. One was the Baltic German nobility, for which Russia merely recognized their pre-existing titles; the other was new barons created by the Emperors of Russia after 1721. Like in many other countries, new baronial titles were often created by ennoblement of rich bourgeoisie. The title of baron, along with the rest of the noble hierarchy, was abolished in December 1917 after the Bolshevik Revolution; however, certain leaders of the White movement like Baron Pyotr Wrangel and Roman von Ungern-Sternberg continued to use the title until the end of the Russian Civil War.

Spain

In Spain the title follows Vizconde in the noble hierarchy, and ranks above Señor . Baronesa is the feminine form, for the wife of a baron or for a woman who has been granted the title in her own right. In general, titles of baron created before the 19th century originate from the Crown of Aragon. Barons lost territorial jurisdiction around the middle of the 19th century, and from then on the title became purely honorific. Although most barons have not held the rank of grandeza as well, the title has been conferred in conjunction with the grandeza. The sovereign continues to grant baronial titles.

Great Britain and Ireland

In the Peerage of England, the Peerage of Great Britain, the Peerage of Ireland and the Peerage of the United Kingdom (but not in the Peerage of Scotland), barons form the lowest rank, placed immediately below viscounts. A woman of baronial rank has the title baroness. In the Kingdom of England, the medieval Latin word baro, baronis was used originally to denote a tenant-in-chief of the early Norman kings who held his lands by the feudal tenure of "barony" (in Latin per baroniam), and who was entitled to attend the Great Council (Magnum Concilium) which by the 13th century had developed into the Parliament of England. [4] Feudal baronies (or "baronies by tenure") are now obsolete in England and without any legal force but any such historical titles are held in gross , that is to say are deemed to be enveloped within a more modern extant peerage title also held by the holder, sometimes along with vestigial manorial rights and tenures by grand serjeanty.

History

William I introduced the rank of baron in England to distinguish those men who had pledged their loyalty to him under the feudal system. Previously, in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England, the king's companions held the title of earl and in Scotland, the title of thane. All who held their feudal barony "in-chief of the king", that is with the king as his immediate overlord, became alike barones regis ("barons of the king"), bound to perform a stipulated annual military service, and obliged to attend his council. Eventually the greatest of the nobles, especially those in the marches, such as the Earls of Chester or the Bishops of Durham, whose territories were often deemed palatine, that is to say "worthy of a prince", might refer to their own tenants as "barons", where lesser magnates spoke simply of their "men" (homines) and lords of the manor might reference "bondmen". [5]

The robe worn by a baron during his creation ceremony in 17th-century Britain, engraved by Wenceslas Hollar. Wenceslas Hollar - A baron (State 1).jpg
The robe worn by a baron during his creation ceremony in 17th-century Britain, engraved by Wenceslas Hollar.

Initially those who held land directly from the king by military service, from earls downwards, all bore alike the title of baron, which was thus the factor uniting all members of the ancient baronage as peers one of another. Under King Henry II, the Dialogus de Scaccario already distinguished between greater barons, who held per baroniam by knight's service, and lesser barons, who held manors. Technically, Lords of Manors are barons, or freemen, however they are not entitled to be styled as such. John Selden writes in Titles of Honour, "The word Baro (Latin for Baron) hath been also so much communicated, that not only all Lords of Mannors have been from antient time, and are at this day called sometimes Barons (as in the stile of their Court Barons, which is Curia Baronis, &c. And I have read hors de son Barony in a barr to an Avowry for hors de son fee) But also the Judges of the Exchequer have it from antient time fixed on them." [6] Within a century of the Norman Conquest of 1066, as in the case of Thomas Becket in 1164, there arose the practice of sending to each greater baron a personal summons demanding his attendance at the King's Council, which evolved into the Parliament and later into the House of Lords, while as was stipulated in Magna Carta of 1215, the lesser barons of each county would receive a single summons as a group through the sheriff, and representatives only from their number would be elected to attend on behalf of the group. [7] These representatives developed into the Knights of the Shire, elected by the County Court presided over by the sheriff, who themselves formed the precursor of the House of Commons. Thus appeared a definite distinction, which eventually had the effect of restricting to the greater barons alone the privileges and duties of peerage. [7]

Later, the king started to create new baronies in one of two ways: by a writ of summons directing a chosen man to attend Parliament, and in an even later development by letters patent. [7] Writs of summons became the normal method in medieval times, displacing the method of feudal barony, but creation of baronies by letters patent is the sole method adopted in modern times. [7]

Since the adoption of summons by writ, baronies thus no longer relate directly to land-holding, and thus no more feudal baronies needed thenceforth to be created. Following the Modus Tenendi Parliamenta of 1419, the Tenures Abolition Act 1660, the Feudal Tenure Act (1662), and the Fines and Recoveries Act of 1834, titles of feudal barony became obsolete and without legal force. The Abolition Act 1660 specifically states: baronies by tenure were converted into baronies by writ. The rest ceased to exist as feudal baronies by tenure, becoming baronies in free socage, that is to say under a "free" (hereditable) contract requiring payment of monetary rents. [8]

In the twentieth-century Britain introduced the concept of non-hereditary life peers. All appointees to this distinction have (thus far) been at the rank of baron. [7] In accordance with the tradition applied to hereditary peers they too are formally addressed in parliament by their peers as "The Noble Lord". [7]

In addition, baronies are often used by their holders as subsidiary titles, for example as courtesy titles for the son and heir of an Earl or higher-ranked peer. [7] The Scottish baronial title tends to be used when a landed family is not in possession of any United Kingdom peerage title of higher rank, subsequently granted, or has been created a knight of the realm.

Several members of the royal family with the style of Royal Highness are also titled Barons. For example, Charles, Prince of Wales is also The Baron of Renfrew. Similarly, his eldest son Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is also The Baron Carrickfergus and Prince Andrew, Duke of York is The Baron Killyleagh. Some non-royal Barons are somehow related to the royal family, for example Maurice Roche, 6th Baron Fermoy is William's first cousin once removed, through William's late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was the 4th Baron Fermoy's granddaughter.

Irish barons

The title of baron (Irish : barún) was created in the Peerage of Ireland shortly after the Norman invasion of Ireland (1169). Ireland's first baronies included Baron Athenry (1172), Baron Offaly (c. 1193), Baron Kerry (1223), Baron Dunboyne (1324), Baron Gormanston (1365–70), Baron Slane (1370), Baron of Dunsany (1439), Baron Louth (c. 1458) and Baron Trimlestown (1461).

Coronet

A person holding a peerage in the rank of baron is entitled to a coronet bearing six silver balls (called pearls) around the rim, equally spaced and all of equal size and height. The rim itself is neither jeweled, nor 'chased' (which is the case for the coronets of peers of higher degree).

The actual coronet is worn only for the coronation of a new monarch, but a baron can bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms above the shield. In heraldry, the baron's coronet is shown with four of the balls visible.

Style of address

Formally, barons are styled The Right Honourable The Lord [Barony] and barons’ wives are styled The Right Honourable The Lady [Barony]. [7] [9] [10] Baronesses in their own right, whether hereditary or for life, are either styled The Right Honourable The Baroness [Barony] or The Right Honourable The Lady [Barony], mainly based on personal preference (e.g. Lady Thatcher and Baroness Warsi, both life baronesses in their own right). [10] [11] [12] Less formally, one refers to or addresses a baron as Lord [Barony] and his wife as Lady [Barony], and baronesses in their own right as Baroness [X] or Lady [X]. In direct address, barons and baronesses can also be referred to as My Lord, Your Lordship, or Your Ladyship, but never as My Lady (except in the case of a female judge). The husband of a baroness in her own right gains no title or style from his wife.

TheRight Honourable is frequently abbreviated to The Rt Hon. or Rt Hon. When referred to by the Sovereign in public instruments, The Right Honourable is changed to Our right trusty and well-beloved, with Counsellor attached if they are a Privy Counsellor.

Children of barons and baronesses in their own right, whether hereditary or for life, have the style The Honourable [Forename] [Surname]. After the death of the father or mother, the child may continue to use this style.

Courtesy barons are styled Lord [Barony], and their wives Lady [Barony]; the article "The" is always absent. If the courtesy baron is not a Privy Counsellor, the style The Right Honourable will also be absent.

It is very common for the surnames of barons and baronesses to be identical to or included in the formal title of their barony. However, when addressed as a peer, Lord, Lady or Baroness is followed by the name of their barony, not their personal name. This is relevant when a baron or baroness's title is completely different from their personal surname (e.g. William Thomson, Lord Kelvin), or includes a territorial designation in addition to their surname (e.g. Martin Rees, Lord Rees of Ludlow). This also means that including a baron or baroness's forename before their title is incorrect and potentially misleading. For example, "Lady Margaret Thatcher" (as opposed to "Lady Thatcher") would imply that she were the daughter of an earl, marquess or duke rather than a baroness. Likewise, in the case of men, "Lord Digby Jones" (as opposed to "Lord Jones of Birmingham") would imply that he were the younger son of a marquess or duke rather than a baron.

The United Kingdom has a policy of including titles of nobility on passports: the title is entered into the surname field and a standard observation is recorded giving the holder's full name and title. A Baron would therefore record their surname as Lord [Barony], and the observation would note that The holder is The Right Honourable [given names] [surname] Lord [Barony]. However, if the title of an applicant's peerage is different from their surname, they can choose whether to use their surname or title in the surname field. A baroness in their own right would substitute "Baroness" for "Lord", and the wife of a Baron would similarly substitute "Lady". Titles of nobility are checked against Debrett's Peerage, Who's Who or the London Gazette by the passport office on application.

Scottish feudal baronies

A Scottish Baron's helmet ScotsBaronsHelm.JPG
A Scottish Baron's helmet

In Scotland, the rank of baron is a rank of the ancient feudal nobility of Scotland and refers to a holder of a feudal barony, formerly a feudal superiority over a proper territorial entity erected into a free barony by a Crown Charter this being the status of a minor baron, recognized by the crown as noble, but not a peer.

The Court of Lord Lyon will officially recognise feudal barons or those possessing the dignity of baron who meet certain criteria, [13] and will grant them arms with a helmet befitting their degree. Scottish barons rank below Lords of Parliament and while noble have the status of minor baron, being a non-Peerage rank; as such it can be transferred by either inheritance or conveyance.

In showing that Scottish barons are titles of nobility, reference may be made, amongst others, to the Lyon Court in the Petition of Maclean of Ardgour for a Birthbrieve by Interlocutor dated 26 February 1943 which "Finds and Declares that the Minor Barons of Scotland are, and have both in this Nobiliary Court, and in the Court of Session, been recognised as 'titled' nobility, and that the estait of the Baronage (The Barones Minores) is of the ancient Feudal Nobility of Scotland".

Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, in his Scots Heraldry (2nd Ed., p. 88, note 1), states that "The Act 1672, cap 47, specially qualifies the degrees thus: Nobles (i.e. peers, the term being here used in a restricted seventeenth-century English sense), Barons (i.e. Lairds of baronial fiefs and their 'heirs', who, even if fiefless, are equivalent to heads of Continental baronial houses) and Gentlemen (apparently all other armigers)." Baronets and knights are evidently classed as 'Gentlemen' here and are of a lower degree than Barons.

The Scottish equivalent of an English baron is a Lord of Parliament. [7]

Chapeau and helm

Scottish feudal barons were entitled to a red cap of maintenance (chapeau) turned up ermine if petitioning for a grant or matriculation of a coat of arms between the 1930s and 2004. This chapeau is identical to the red cap worn by an English baron, but without the silver balls or gilt. This is sometimes depicted in armorial paintings between the shield and the helmet. Additionally, if the baron is the head of a family he may include a chiefly coronet which is similar to a ducal coronet, but with four strawberry leaves. Because the chapeau was a relatively recent innovation, a number of ancient Arms of Scottish feudal barons do not display the chapeau. Now Scottish barons are principally recognised by the baron's helm, which in Scotland is a steel helmet with grille of three grilles, garnished in gold. Occasionally the great tilting-helm garnished with gold is shown, or a helmet befitting a higher rank, if held. [14]

Style of address

Scottish barons style their surnames similarly to Clan Chiefs, with the name of their barony following their name, as in John Smith of Edinburgh or John Smith, Baron of Edinburgh. [15] [16] [17] [18] Most formally, and in writing, they are styled as The Much Honoured Baron of Edinburgh. Their wives are styled Lady Edinburgh, or The Baroness of Edinburgh. The phrase Lady of Edinburgh is wrong if the lady in question does not hold a Scottish barony in her own right. Orally, Scottish barons may be addressed with the name of their barony, as in Edinburgh or else as Baron without anything else following, which if present would suggest a peerage barony. Informally, when referring to a Scots feudal baron in the third person, the name Baron of [X] is used or simply [X].

Scottish feudal Barons may record [surname] of [territorial designation] in the surname field of their passport, and an official observation would then note that The holder is [given names] [surname] Baron of [territorial designation]; applicants must provide evidence that the Lord Lyon has recognised their feudal barony, or else be included in Burke's Peerage. [19] [20]

Other

Like other major Western noble titles, baron is sometimes used to render certain titles in non-Western languages with their own traditions, even though they are necessarily historically unrelated and thus hard to compare, which are considered 'equivalent' in relative rank. This is the case with China's nanjue (nan-chueh) (Chinese : 男爵 ), hereditary title of nobility of the fifth rank, as well as its derivatives and adaptations:

In some republics of continental Europe, the unofficial title of "Baron" retains a purely social prestige, with no particular political privileges.[ citation needed ]


In Armenian, the word "Baron" should not be confused with the similar word "Paron" (Armenian: Պարոն), which is a title given to ordinary men, equivalent to 'Sir' or 'Mr'.

In the Polynesian island monarchy of Tonga, as opposed to the situation in Europe, barons are granted this imported title (in English), alongside traditional chiefly styles, and continue to hold and exercise some political power.

See also

Sources

Related Research Articles

The peerage in the United Kingdom is a legal system comprising both hereditary and lifetime titles, composed of various noble ranks, and forming a constituent part of the British honours system. The term peerage can be used both collectively to refer to the entire body of nobles, and individually to refer to a specific title. British peerage title holders are termed peers of the Realm.

A viscount or viscountess is a title used in certain European countries for a noble of varying status. In many countries a viscount, and its historical equivalents, was a non-hereditary, administrative or judicial position, and did not develop into an hereditary title until much later. In the case of French viscounts, it is customary to leave the title untranslated as vicomte[vi.kɔ̃t] and vicomtesse.

A courtesy title is a form of address in systems of nobility used for children, former wives and other close relatives of a peer, as well as certain officials such as some judges and members of the Scottish gentry. These styles are used 'by courtesy' in the sense that the relatives, officials and others do not themselves hold substantive titles. There are several different kinds of courtesy titles in the British peerage.

Forms of address used in the United Kingdom are given below. For further information on Courtesy Titles see Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom.

The Peerage of Scotland is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Scots before 1707. Following that year's Treaty of Union, the Kingdom of Scots and the Kingdom of England were combined under the name of Great Britain, and a new Peerage of Great Britain was introduced in which subsequent titles were created.

The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union in 1801, when it replaced the Peerage of Great Britain. New peers continued to be created in the Peerage of Ireland until 1898.

Lord of Parliament

A Lord of Parliament was the holder of the lowest form of peerage entitled as of right to take part in sessions of the pre-Union Parliament of Scotland. Since that Union in 1707, it has been the lowest rank of the Peerage of Scotland, ranking below a viscount. A Lord of Parliament is said to hold a Lordship of Parliament.

<i><i lang="de" title="German language text">Freiherr</i></i> title of nobility in the Holy Roman Empire

Freiherr, Freifrau and Freiin are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler and below Graf and Herzog (duke). The title superseded the earlier medieval form, Edelherr.

Coronet small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring

In English, a coronet is a small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring. By one definition, a coronet differs from a crown in that a coronet never has arches, and from a tiara in that a coronet completely encircles the head, while a tiara does not. By a slightly different definition, a crown is worn by an emperor, empress, king or queen; a coronet by a nobleman or lady. See also diadem.

The hereditary peers form part of the peerage in the United Kingdom. As of 2019 there are 814 hereditary peers. The numbers of peers – of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the UK – whose titles are the highest they hold are: dukes, 24 ; marquesses, 34; earls, 193; viscounts, 112; barons, 444.

False titles of nobility are claimed titles of social rank that have been fabricated or assumed by an individual or family without recognition by the current or past government of a country in which titles of nobility exist or once existed. They have received an increasing amount of press attention, as the number of schemes that attempt to confer or sell such honorifics have proliferated coincident with broadened access to and use of the internet. Concern at the use of titles which lack legal standing or a basis in tradition have prompted increased vigilance and denunciation.

Grandee group of noble men in spain

Grandee is an official aristocratic title conferred on some Spanish nobility and, to a lesser extent, Portuguese nobility. Holders of this dignity enjoyed similar privileges to those of the peerage of France during the Ancien Régime, but unlike in Great Britain, they were not organised into political groupings. "Grandee of Spain" is the highest dignity of nobility in all of Europe, due to its privileges having been greater than those of other similar European dignities, such as the peers of France or the peers of Great Britain. All Dukedoms are automatically attached to a Grandeeship yet only a few Marquessates, Countships, Viscountcies, Baronies and Lordships have the distinction. A single person can be a Grandee of Spain multiple times, as Grandeeships are attached, with the exception of a few cases, to a title and not an individual. Consequently, nobles in Spain with more than one title, most notably the Duchess of Medinaceli and the Duke of Alba, are Grandees 10 and 9 times respectively.

Barons in Scotland Wikimedia list article

In Scotland, a Baron is the head of a "feudal" barony. This used to be attached to a particular piece of land on which was the "caput", or the essence of the barony, normally a building, such as a castle or manor house. Accordingly, the owner of the piece of land containing the "caput" was the baron or baroness. The Court of the Lord Lyon issued a new ruling April 2015 that recognises a person possessing the dignity of baron and other feudal titles (Lordship/Earl/Marquis). Lord Lyon now prefers the approach of recognizing the particular feudal noble dignity as expressed in the Crown Charter that the petitioner presents. These titles are recognised as the status of a minor baron but not a peer. Scottish feudal baronies may be passed to any person, of either sex, by inheritance or conveyance. Scotland has a distinct legal system within the United Kingdom. Historically, in the Kingdom of Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms, as the Sovereign’s Minister in matters armorial, is at once Herald and Judge.

In the United Kingdom, a territorial designation follows modern peerage titles, linking them to a specific place or places. It is also an integral part of all baronetcies. Within Scotland, a territorial designation proclaims a relationship with a particular area of land.

A feudal baron is a vassal holding a heritable fief called a barony, comprising a specific portion of land, granted by an overlord in return for allegiance and service. Following the end of European feudalism, feudal baronies have largely been superseded by baronies held as a rank of nobility, without any attachment to a fief. However, in Scotland, the feudal dignity of baron remains in existence, and may be bought and sold independently of the land to which is was formerly attached.

The British nobility is the peerage of the United Kingdom. The nobility of its four constituent home nations has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although in the present day they retain only the rights to stand for election to the House of Lords, dining rights in the House of Lords, position in the formal order of precedence, the right to certain titles, and the right to an audience with the monarch. Still, more than a third of British land is in the hands of aristocrats and traditional landed gentry.

A feudal lordship is a Scottish feudal title that is held in baroneum, which Latin term means that its holder, who is called a feudal lord, is also always a feudal baron. A feudal lordship is an ancient title of nobility in Scotland. The holder may or may not be a Lord of Regality, which meant that the holder was appointed by the Crown and had the power of "pit and gallows", meaning the power to authorise the death sentence.

Ridder is a noble title in the Netherlands and Belgium. Traditionally it denotes the second lowest rank within the nobility, standing below Baron, but above the untitled nobility (Jonkheer) in these countries. "Ridder" is a literal translation of Latin Eques and originally meant "horseman" or "rider". For its historical association with warfare and the landed gentry in the Middle Ages, it can be considered roughly equal to the titles of "Knight" or "Baronet". In the Netherlands and Belgium no female equivalent exists. The collective term for its holders in a certain area as an executive and legislative assembly is named the Ridderschap.

Marquesses in the United Kingdom Rank of nobility in the peerages of the United Kingdom

Marquess is a rank of nobility in the peerages of the United Kingdom.

An Irish feudal barony was a customary title of nobility: the holder was always referred to as a Baron, but was not the holder of a peerage, and had no right to sit in the Irish House of Lords. In 1614 the Dublin Government noted that there were "diverse gentlemen" in Ireland who were called Baron, yet: "Never was any of them Lord Baron nor summoned to any Parliament".

References

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