Baron

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Baron is a title of honor in many European peerage systems. It is often a hereditary title that ranks as the one of the lower titles in a peerage. In the UK peerage system, the five peerage titles from highest to lowest are duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron.[1] Baronets and knights are not members of the peerage although a baron may also be a knight. In medieval England a baron was a tenant-in-chief who held his lands directly from the king.[2] During the 13th century barons were summoned by royal writ to attend Parliament.[3]

The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Frankish baro meaning "freeman, warrior". It later merged with Old English beorn meaning "nobleman." The lands of a baron are called a barony. The female title for a baron is baroness. The form of address for a baron is "Lord" and for a baroness "Lady".[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Ranks and Privileges of the Peerage". Debrett's. http://www.debretts.com/people/essential-guide-peerage/ranks-and-privileges-peerage. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  2. "Feudal Terms". University of Mississippi. http://home.olemiss.edu/~tjray/medieval/feudal.htm. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  3. "Baron". Debrett's. http://www.debretts.com/people/essential-guide-peerage/ranks-and-privileges-peerage/baron. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  4. Titles and Forms of Address: A Guide to Correct Use (London: A. & C. Black, 2007), p. 45