This article needs additional citations for verification .(December 2015)
|Part of a series on|
|Part of a series on|
| Imperial, royal, noble,|
gentry and chivalric ranks in Europe
|Emperor ·Empress (dowager) · Tsar ·Tsarina · High king ·High queen|
|King (regnant · consort · dowager · father) · Queen (regnant · consort · dowager · mother) · Grand duke ·Grand duchess · Archduke ·Archduchess|
|Prince (consort) · Princess (consort) · Duke ·Duchess · Crown prince ·Crown princess · Jarl · Prince-elector ·Princess-elector|
|Marquess ·Marchioness · Margrave ·Margravine · Count palatine · Voivode|
|Count ·Countess · Earl · Ealdorman|
|Viscount ·Viscountess · Castellan · Burgrave ·Burgravine · Advocatus · Vidame · Starosta|
|Baron ·Baroness · Thane · Lendmann · Primor · Boyar|
|Baronet ·Baronetess · Lord of the Manor|
|Knight ·Chevalier · Eques · Imperial Knight · Druzhinnik|
|Esquire · Gentleman ·Gentlewoman · Ministerialis|
Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others, acting as a master, chief, or ruler.The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the peerage in the United Kingdom, or are entitled to courtesy titles. The collective "Lords" can refer to a group or body of peers.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, the etymology of the word can be traced back to the Old English word hlāford which originated from hlāfweard meaning "loaf-ward" or "bread-keeper", reflecting the Germanic tribal custom of a chieftain providing food for his followers.The appellation "lord" is primarily applied to men, while for women the appellation "lady" is used. This is no longer universal: the Lord of Mann, a title held by the Queen of the United Kingdom, and female Lords Mayor are examples of women who are styled as "Lord".
Under the feudal system, "lord" had a wide, loose and varied meaning. An overlord was a person from whom a landholding or a manor was held by a mesne lord or vassal under various forms of feudal land tenure. The modern term "landlord" is a vestigial survival of this function. A liege lord was a person to whom a vassal owed sworn allegiance. Neither of these terms were titular dignities, but rather factual appellations, which described the relationship between two or more persons within the highly stratified feudal social system. For example, a man might be lord of the manor to his own tenants but also a vassal of his own overlord, who in turn was a vassal of the King. Where a knight was a lord of the manor, he was referred to in contemporary documents as "John (Surname), knight, lord of (manor name)". A feudal baron was a true titular dignity, with the right to attend Parliament, but a feudal baron, Lord of the Manor of many manors, was a vassal of the King.
The substantive title of "lord of the manor" came into use in the English medieval system of feudalism after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The title "Lord of the Manor" was a titular feudal dignity which derived its force from the existence and operation of a manorial court or court baron at which he or his steward presided, thus he was the lord of the manorial court which determined the rules and laws which were to govern all the inhabitants and property covered by the jurisdiction of the court. To the tenants of a certain class of manor known in Saxon times as Infangentheftheir lord was a man who had the power of exercising capital punishment over them. The term invariably used in contemporary mediaeval documents is simply "lord of X", X being the name of the manor. The term "Lord of the Manor" is a recent usage of historians to distinguish such lords from feudal barons and other powerful persons referred to in ancient documents variously as "Sire" (mediaeval French), "Dominus" (Latin), "Lord" etc. The title of "Lord of the Manor" is recognised by the British Government for any such title registered at Her Majesty's Land Registry before 13 October 2003 (the commencement date of the Land Registration Act 2002) but after that date titles can no longer be registered, and any such titles voluntarily de-registered by the holder cannot later be re-registered. However any transfer of ownership of registered manors will continue to be recorded in the register, on the appropriate notification. Thus in effect the register is closed for new registrations. Such titles are legally classified as "incorporeal hereditaments" as they have no physical existence, and usually have no intrinsic value. However a lucrative market arose in the 20th century for such titles, often for purposes of vanity, which was assisted by the existence of an official register, giving the purchaser the impression of a physical existence. Whether a title of "Lord of the Manor" is registered or unregistered has no effect on its legal validity or existence, which is a matter of law to be determined by the courts. Modern legal cases have been won by persons claiming rights as lords of the manor over village greens. The heads of many ancient English land-owning families have continued to be lords of the manor of lands they have inherited.
The UK Identity and Passport Service will include such titles on a British passport as an "observation" (e.g., 'The Holder is the Lord of the Manor of X'), provided the holder can provide documentary evidence of ownership.The United States forbids the use of all titles on passports. Australia forbids the use of titles on passports if those titles have not been awarded by the Crown (in reference to the Australian Monarchy) or the Commonwealth (in reference to the Australian Government).
The Scottish title Laird is a shortened form of 'laverd' which is an old Scottish word deriving from an Anglo-Saxon term meaning 'Lord' and is also derived from the middle English word 'Lard' also meaning 'Lord'. The word is generally used to refer to any owner of a landed estate and has no meaning in heraldic terms and its use is not controlled by the Lord Lyon.
Lord is used as a generic term to denote members of the peerage. Five ranks of peer exist in the United Kingdom: in descending order these are duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron. The appellation "Lord" is used most often by barons, who are rarely addressed by their formal and legal title of "Baron". The most formal style is "The Lord (X)": for example, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, can be referred to as "The Lord Tennyson", although the most common appellation is "Lord Tennyson". Marquesses, earls and viscounts are commonly also addressed as Lord. Dukes use the style "The Duke of (X)", and are not correctly referred to as "Lord (X)". Dukes are formally addressed as "Your Grace", rather than "My Lord". In the Peerage of Scotland, the members of the lowest level of the peerage have the substantive title "Lord of Parliament" rather than Baron.
"Lord" is also used as a courtesy title for younger sons of a British prince, duke, or marquesses, in the style "Lord (first name) (surname)".The eldest son of a peer would be entitled to use one of his father's subsidiary titles (if any). For example, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent holds the subsidiary title of Earl of St Andrews, which is used by his elder son George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews, while his younger son is styled Lord Nicholas Windsor. However, if the father has no subsidiary title, the older son will assume a courtesy title of "Lord (last name)", such as in the case of the Earl of Devon. As these forms of address are merely courtesy titles, the holder is not actually a member of the peerage and is not entitled to use the definite article "The" as part of the title.
The upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is the House of Lords, which is an abbreviation of the full title, "The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament Assembled". The Lords Temporal are the people who are entitled to receive writs of summons to attend the House of Lords in right of a peerage. The Lords Spiritual are the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Winchester and Durham, and the twenty-one longest-serving bishops of the Church of England from among the other bishops (plus some female bishops of shorter service in consequence of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015), who are all entitled to receive writs of summons in right of their bishoprics or archbishoprics.
The Lords Temporal greatly outnumber the Lords Spiritual, there being nearly 800 of the former and only 26 of the latter. As of December 2016, 92 Lords Temporal sit in the House in right of hereditary peerages (that being the maximum number allowed under the House of Lords Act 1999) and 19 sit in right of judicial life peerages under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876. The rest are life peers under the Life Peerages Act 1958.
Until the creation of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2009), certain judges sat in the House of Lords by virtue of holding life peerages. Most of them (those who were members of the Appellate Committee) were known collectively as the Law Lords. All judges, including former Law Lords, lost the right to sit and vote in the House of Lords, despite retaining their life peerages, upon creation of the Supreme Court. The appellation "Lord", though not the style, is also used to refer to some judges in certain Commonwealth legal systems, who are not peers. Some such judges, for instance judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, are called "Lord Justice". Other Commonwealth judges, for example judges of Canadian provincial supreme courts, are known only as Justices but are addressed with deference in court as 'My Lord', 'My Lady', 'Your Lordship' or 'Your Ladyship'.
Examples of judges who use the appellation "lord" include:
In Great Britain and Ireland, and in most countries that are members or former members of the Commonwealth, bishops may be addressed as "My Lord" or "My Lord Bishop" or "Your Lordship", particularly on formal occasions. This usage is not restricted to those bishops who sit in the House of Lords. Indeed, by custom, it is not restricted to bishops of the Church of England but applies to bishops of the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, and may be applied (though less commonly) to bishops of other Christian denominations. It has become more common to use simply the one word "Bishop".
In the United States, bishops are addressed as "Excellency".
Various other high offices of state in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and Republic of Ireland are prefixed with the deferential appellation of "lord" such as Lord Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal, Lord President of the Council, and Lord Mayor. Holders of these offices are not ex officio peers, although the holders of some of the offices were in the past always peers.
In most cultures in Europe an equivalent appellation denoting deference exists. The French term Mon Seigneur ("My Lord"), shortened to the modern French Monsieur, derives directly from the Latin seniorem, meaning "elder, senior".From this Latin source derived directly also the Italian Signore, the Spanish Señor, the Portuguese Senhor .
Non-Romance languages have their own equivalents. Of the Germanic family there is the Dutch Meneer/Mijnheer/De Heer (as in: aan de heer Joren Jansen), German Herr, and Danish Herre. All three of these stem from a Germanic title of respect (in this case, from the Proto-Germanic root *haira- , "hoary, venerable, grey", likely a loan translation of Latin seniorem).In other European languages there is Welsh Arglwydd, Hungarian Úr, Greek Kyrie , Polish Pan, Czech pán, Breton Aotrou, Albanian Zoti.
In several Indian languages there are: Hindi Swami, Prabhu, Thakur, Samprabhu(Overlord) also words like Saheb or Laat Saheb from Lord Saheb were once used but have changed in meaning now, Telugu Prabhuvu, Tamil Koman, Kannada Dore, Bengali Probhu, Gujarati Swami, Punjabi Su'āmī, Nepali Prabhu. Words like Swami and Prabhu are Sanskrit-origin words, common in many Indian languages.
Philippine languages have different words for "lord", some of which are cognates. Tagalog has Panginoón for "lord" in both the noble and the religious senses. Its root, ginoo, is also found in Visayan languages like Cebuano as the term for "lord". Ginoo is also the Tagalog root for Ginoóng, the modern equivalent of the English term "Mister" (akin to how Romance language terms like señor may be glossed as either "lord", "mister", or "sir"). Ilocano meanwhile employs Apo for "Lord" in religious contexts; it is a particle that generally accords respect to an addressee of higher status than the speaker.
In the Yoruba language of West Africa, the words Olu and Oluwa are used in much the same way as the English term. Olodumare, the Yoruba conception of God Almighty, is often referred to using either of these two words. In the Yoruba chieftaincy system, meanwhile, the Oluwo of Iwo's royal title translates to "Lord of Iwo". In Lagos, the Oluwa of Lagos is one of that kingdom's most powerful chiefs.
English speakers use the word "Lord" as a title of deference for various gods or deities. The earliest recorded use of "Lord" in the English language in a religious context occurred in the work of English scholars such as Bede (c. 673 – 735). However, Bede wrote in Latin (Michael Lapidge describes him as "without question the most accomplished Latinist produced in these islands in the Anglo-Saxon period" ). He used an Anglo-Saxon phrase[ which? ] that indicated a noble, prince, ruler or lord to refer to God; however, he applied this as a gloss to the Latin text that he was producing, and not as a clear translation of the term itself. "Lord", as a gloss to Old English dryhten, meant "royal", "ruler", "prince", or "noble", and did not indicate a deity. After the 11th-century Norman invasion of England and the influx of Norman-French-speaking clerics, this understanding began to be applied to religious texts as well, but that occurred during the later Middle Ages and not in Bede's early-medieval period. The word "Lord" appears frequently in the King James Bible of the early 17th century. See also Jesus is Lord.
Manorialism, also known as the manor system or manorial system, was the method of land ownership in parts of Europe, notably France and later England, during the Middle Ages. Its defining features included a large, sometimes fortified manor house in which the lord of the manor and his dependents lived and administered a rural estate, and a population of labourers who worked the surrounding land to support themselves and the lord. These labourers fulfilled their obligations with labour time or in-kind produce at first, and later by cash payment as commercial activity increased. Manorialism is sometimes included as part of the feudal system.
The peerages in the United Kingdom are 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. The peerage's fundamental roles are ones of government, peers being eligible to a seat in the House of Lords, and of meritocracy, the receiving of any peerage being the highest of British honours. In the UK, five peerages or peerage divisions co-exist, namely:
Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary, in various European countries, either current or historical. The female equivalent is baroness. Typically, the title denotes an aristocrat who ranks higher than a lord or knight, but lower than a viscount or count. Often, barons hold their fief – their lands and income – directly from the monarch. Barons are less often the vassals of other nobles. In many kingdoms, they were entitled to wear a smaller form of a crown called a coronet.
The Right Honourable is an honorific style traditionally applied to certain persons and collective bodies in the United Kingdom, the former British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations. The term is predominantly used today as a style associated with the holding of certain senior public offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and to a lesser extent, Australia.
Forms of address used in the United Kingdom are given below.
The following is the order of precedence in England and Wales as of September 2022. Separate orders exist for gentlemen and ladies.
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.
Lord of the Manor is a title that, in Anglo-Saxon England, referred to the landholder of a rural estate. The lord enjoyed manorial rights as well as seignory, the right to grant or draw benefit from the estate. The title continues in modern England and Wales as a legally recognised form of property that can be held independently of its historical rights. It may belong entirely to one person or be a moiety shared with other people.
Traditional rank amongst European royalty, peers, and nobility is rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although they vary over time and among geographic regions, the following is a reasonably comprehensive list that provides information on both general ranks and specific differences. Distinction should be made between reigning families and the nobility – the latter being a social class subject to and created by the former.
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the peerage whose titles cannot be inherited, in contrast to hereditary peers. In modern times, life peerages, always created at the rank of baron, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as age and citizenship. The legitimate children of a life peer are entitled to style themselves with the prefix "The Honourable", although they cannot inherit the peerage itself.
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 authorities of a country in which titles of nobility exist or once existed. They have received an increasing amount of press attention, as more schemes that purport to confer or sell such honorifics are promoted on the internet. Concern about the use of titles which lack legal standing or a basis in tradition has prompted increased vigilance and denunciation, although under English common law a person may choose to be known by any name they see fit as long as it is not done to "commit fraud or evade an obligation".
A manor house was historically the main residence of the lord of the manor. The house formed the administrative centre of a manor in the European feudal system; within its great hall were held the lord's manorial courts, communal meals with manorial tenants and great banquets. The term is today loosely applied to various country houses, frequently dating from the Late Middle Ages, which formerly housed the landed gentry.
In Scotland, a baron is the head of a feudal barony, also known as a prescriptive barony. This used to be attached to a particular piece of land on which was situated the caput or 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 called a baron. According to Grant, there were around 350 identifiable local baronies in Scotland by the early fifteenth century and these could mostly be mapped against local parish boundaries. The term baron was in general use from the thirteenth century to describe what would have been known in England as a knight of the shire.
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 it was formerly attached.
The British nobility is made up of the peerage and the (landed) gentry. The nobility of its four constituent home nations has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although now they retain only the rights to stand for election to the House of Lords, dining rights there, position in the formal order of precedence, the right to certain titles, and the right to an audience with the monarch. More than a third of British land is in the hands of aristocrats and traditional landed gentry.
A feudal lordship is a 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. 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.
The Manorial Society of Great Britain Limited is a private limited company and incorporated on 30 December 1996. It has a membership of approximately 1,900, comprising Lords of the Manor, feudal barons, peers, and historians mainly from the United Kingdom but also some from the Republic of Ireland.
In the kingdom of England, a feudal barony or barony by tenure was the highest degree of feudal land tenure, namely per baroniam, under which the land-holder owed the service of being one of the king's barons. The duties owed by and the privileges granted to feudal barons are not exactly defined, but they involved the duty of providing soldiers to the royal feudal army on demand by the king, and the privilege of attendance at the king's feudal court, the precursor of parliament.
Feudalism as practiced in the Kingdoms of England during the medieval period was a state of human society that organized political and military leadership and force around a stratified formal structure based on land tenure. As a military defense and socio-economic paradigm designed to direct the wealth of the land to the king while it levied military troops to his causes, feudal society was ordered around relationships derived from the holding of land. Such landholdings are termed fiefdoms, traders, fiefs, or fees.
A useful starting point is Bede, who was without question the most accomplished Latinist produced in these islands in the Anglo-Saxon period.
One of the titles for God is Lord, a translation of Adonai. There is yet another name which is particularly assigned to God as His special or proper name, that is, the four letters YHWH (Exodus 3:14 and Isaiah 42:8). This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore, it has been consistently translated LORD. The only exception to this translation of YHWH is when it occurs in immediate proximity to the word Lord, that is, Adonai. In that case it is regularly translated GOD in order to avoid confusion.