/bann rddawonn"/, n.Michel /mee shel"/, (Michel Boyron), 1653-1729, French actor.
* * *ITitle of nobility, ranking in modern times immediately below a viscount or a count (in countries without viscounts).The wife of a baron is a baroness. Originally, in the early Middle Ages, the term designated a tenant of whatever rank who held a tenure of barony direct from the king. Gradually, it came to mean a powerful personage, and therefore a magnate. The rights and title may be conferred for military or other honorable service.II(as used in expressions)Friedrich Leopold Baron von HardenbergBaron Adrian of CambridgeAmherst Jeffery Amherst 1st BaronBach Alexander baron vonBaden Powell of Gilwell Robert Stephenson Smyth 1st BaronBaltimore of Baltimore George Calvert 1st BaronBerzelius Jöns Jacob BaronBeveridge of Tuggal William Henry 1st BaronBlackett of Chelsea Patrick Maynard Stuart BaronBritten of Aldeburgh Edward Benjamin Britten BaronBülow Hans Guido baron vonButler Richard Austen baron of Saffron WaldenByron George Gordon Byron 6th BaronCallaghan of Cardiff Leonard James Callaghan BaronCarondelet Francisco Luis Hector baron deCarson of Duncairn Edward Henry BaronCauchy Augustin Louis BaronCecil William 1st Baron BurghleyClark of Saltwood Kenneth Mackenzie Clark BaronClive of Plassey Robert 1st BaronCoubertin Pierre baron deCuvier Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert BaronDe La Warr Thomas West 12th BaronBaron DelawareDorchester of Dorchester Guy Carleton 1st BaronBaron DupuytrenEichendorff Joseph Baron vonEnsor James Sidney BaronErskine of Restormel Thomas Erskine 1st BaronFairfax of Cameron Thomas Fairfax 3rd BaronFisher of Kilverstone John Arbuthnot Fisher 1st BaronFlorey Howard Walter BaronFourier Jean Baptiste Joseph BaronBaron HaussmannHolberg Ludvig BaronHorta Victor BaronHumboldt Karl Wilhelm baron vonIsmay of Wormington Hastings Lionel Ismay BaronJenkins of Hillhead Roy Harris Jenkins BaronJomini Antoine Henri baron deKelvin of Largs William Thomson BaronKeynes John Maynard Baron Keynes of TiltonKrafft Ebing Richard Freiherr Baron vonLa Hontan Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce baron deLeibniz Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr baron von LeibnizLiebig Justus Freiherr baron vonBaron Lister of Lyme RegisLister Samuel Cunliffe Baron Masham of SwintonBaron Lloyd WebberBaron Lugard of AbingerMacaulay Thomas Babington Baron Macaulay of RothleyBaron Moynihan of LeedsNeurath Konstantin baron vonNordenskiöld Nils Adolf Erik Frihere baronOlivier Laurence Kerr Baron Olivier of BrightonPirquet Clemens baron vonPufendorf Samuel baron vonRaglan of Raglan FitzRoy James Henry Somerset 1st BaronRank Joseph Arthur Baron Rank of Sutton ScotneyRayleigh of Terling Place John William Strutt 3rd BaronReuter Paul Julius Baron von ReuterRichthofen Manfred baron vonthe Red BaronRokitansky Karl baron vonRutherford of Nelson Ernest Rutherford BaronBaron Snow of the City of LeicesterStein Heinrich Friedrich Karl imperial baron vom und zumSteuben Frederick William Augustus Baron vonTedder of Glenguin Arthur William Tedder 1st BaronThomson of Fleet Roy Herbert Thomson 1st BaronTurgot Anne Robert Jacques baron de l'AulneWilson James Harold Baron Wilson of RievaulxWolff Christian Freiherr baron vonWrangel Pyotr Nikolayevich BaronActon of Aldenham John Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton 1st BaronBeaverbrook of Beaverbrook and of Cherkley Maxwell Aitken lst BaronBaron Dalling and Bulwer of Dalling1st Baron Lytton of KnebworthBaron Home of the Hirsel of ColdstreamFreyberg of Wellington and of Munstead Bernard Cyril Freyberg 1st BaronHolland of Foxley and of Holland Henry Richard Vassall Fox 3rd BaronHumboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander Freiherr baron vonBaron Lawrence of the Punjab and of GratelyMontesquieu Charles Louis de Secondat baron de La Brède et deNoel Baker of the City of Derby Philip John Noel Baker BaronShaughnessy of Montreal and Ashford Thomas George Shaughnessy 1st BaronTennyson Alfred 1st Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and FreshwaterWard Barbara Mary Baroness Jackson of LodsworthBaroness Blixen FineckeDroste Hülshoff Annette Baroness vonOrczy Emmuska Magdalena Rosalia Marie Josepha Barbara BaronessAnne Louise Germaine Necker Baroness de Staë l HolsteinThatcher Margaret Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven
* * *▪ titleIntroductiontitle of nobility, ranking below a viscount (or below a count in countries without viscounts). In the feudal system of Europe, a baron was a “man” who pledged his loyalty and service to his superior in return for land that he could pass to his heirs. The superior, sovereign in his principality, held his lands “of no one”—i.e., independently—and the baron was his tenant-in-chief. In early feudal times the baron in turn, in a process of subinfeudation, might have had his own subordinate barons. This practice was discontinued in England when King Edward I recognized the political and fiscal dangers it posed.Great BritainIn England the Norman kings assembled advisory councils of the more powerful barons. As these councils evolved into Parliaments larger numbers of barons, as well as representatives of the church, burgesses, and knights of the shires, were summoned to attend the meetings.The early baron held his lands, or barony, of the king; if the lands passed from his family they carried away the rank and the privileges of that rank: such barons were termed barons by tenure. After the concept of the peerage—those titled individuals who shared the responsibility of government—began to develop, those feudal barons by tenure who had received writs summoning them to the early Parliaments were considered to be ipso facto peers, barons by writ. Landless men who were created peers in anticipation of their contributions to the crown were termed barons by patent. Letters patent (grants made publicly) became the usual way to create new peers or to promote existing ones.Initially the distinction between barons by tenure and those who were the equivalent of peers was unclear. The rank was conferred along with the holdings in the feudal system, but through the hierarchy of feudal ranks the barons held baronies, the lords held lordships, and the earls held earldoms in the same relationship of fealty to the sovereign, in baroniam.The subsequent slow decline of the law-enforcing powers of the barons so reduced the importance of the baronies that the term baron became at one time in Scotland a synonym for freeholder, while in England the term became a title for those in the lowest rank of the peerage. Life peers, whose rank is not heritable, are styled baron. In Scotland today a baron is still one who holds a feudal rank, and the lowest rank of the Scots peerage, equivalent to the rank of baron in the peerages of England, of Great Britain, of Ireland, and of the United Kingdom, is lord of parliament.FranceIn 12th-century France the term baron, in a restricted sense, was applied properly to all lords possessing an important fief, but toward the end of the 13th century the title had come to mean that its bearer held his principal fief direct from the crown and was therefore more important than a count, since many counts were only mediate vassals. From this period, however, the title tended to sink in importance. In the 14th century the barons were ranked below counts and viscounts, though in power and possessions many barons were superior to many counts. In any case, until the 17th century the title of baron could be borne only by the holder of a territorial barony, and it was Louis XIV who first cheapened the title in France by creating numerous barons by royal letters. The creation of barons was later revived by Napoleon I, continued by Louis XVIII, Charles X, and Louis-Philippe, and revived again on a generous scale by Napoleon III. Since 1870 the tolerant attitude of the French republican governments toward titles, which are not officially recognized, has increased the confusion by facilitating the assumption of the title on very slender grounds of right.GermanyThe German equivalent of baron, Freiherr, or “free lord” of the empire, originally implied a dynastic status, and many Freiherren held countships without taking the title of count (Graf). When the more important of them styled themselves counts, the Freiherren sank into an inferior class of nobility. The practice of conferring the title of Freiherr by imperial letters—begun in the 16th century by Emperor Charles V—was later exercised by all the German sovereigns.ItalyIn the Middle Ages the Italian barons had extensive powers of jurisdiction within their domains and could inflict the death penalty. There was a right of appeal, but it was of little value generally and in Sicily and Sardinia was nonexistent. In the late Middle Ages the barons' powers became more extensive, especially in the south, and they had the right to mint money and wage private war. The title was recognized until 1945.SpainIn early medieval Navarre and Aragon barón described the senior nobility but later, perhaps under the influence of Castilian practice, it was displaced by ricos hombres— “rich men.” In Catalonia a baron was simply a magnate, but in the later Middle Ages he achieved a distinct status even more important than the French barons. Some nobles retained the title until it was abolished by the Cortes of Cadiz in 1812.
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