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NOBLE TITLES and LANDS
You may wish to include some of this in your commentary -- I will cite the
major sources . It may also help others to understand the " Middle ages " --
some of what many now believe , was of recent origin , not ancient custom .
By way of introduction , I was at a family reunion of one of the older
branches of my family ( not Sinclair ) in the USA , this past Sunday , the
By "older " that is to say , the "" Plantations ""( Delaware / Pennsyvania
USA ) were established in the 1600's !! Plantation then did not in any way
denote the later usage adopted to describe the slave owners " farms " in the
southern USA , although these were as large ( hundeds/thousands of acres ) .
This same line of mine is one of the oldest in England , apparently being
well established at the time of Alfred the Great ( c.850 ) and its Manor and
are described as " anciently ... and in the DOMESDAY survey "
in the "MAGORA BRITANIA ( 1817 ) .
I was able to extract some reference data from the " family " archives !!
First , the calling of land names after their owners is a custom of remote
antiquity . It is written , " They call their lands after their own names "
OLD TESTAMENT , PSALMS .
Second , from English usage " A MANOR was a district of ground held by LORDS
or GREAT PERSONAGES , as was necessary for the use of their families, which
were called terroe, domicales , or demesne lands, being occupied by the Lord
, or dominus manerii , and his servants,( i.e. dependents )". LAW DICTIONARY
(POTS ) 1813 , p.264 .
With respect to TITLES , I will amplify on my previous letter ::
" EARL " was the oldest title and rank of English nobles and was the highest
until 1337, when the BLACK PRINCE was created DUKE of Cornwall by Edward
" The EARL was a great Royal Officer , who might be set over several Counties
(but never less than one County ) . The EARLS of "Chester and Durham were
almost petty Sovereigns ".
At this time , it would be appropriate to characterize the other main Peer
DUKE -- The first was the "Black Prince "in 1337 . " The original intention
may have been to confine the dignity to the blood royal ". Note : The "Black
Prince " was one of the most dynamic figures of the entire Middle Ages . Heir
to the throne , the overwhelmingly victorious Commanding General of his
father, the King's, armies ; had he lived to assume the throne he may well
have changed the history of all of Europe dramatically .
MARQUESS --""In 1385 , Richard II created , Robert de Vere , "MARQUESS " of
Dublin , thus importing an entirely new and unknown title into the Peerage "".
VISCOUNT -- ' Henry the VI added yet another order , and the last in point
of time ...in 1440 "
The important thing to note, is that although these preceding three titles
" Precedence " socially i.e. reception lines , seating ,etc. , etc. --
""NONE of the new titles above mentioned , ever carried with them , any
official position ; they were conferred as additional honours on men who were
already members of the Peerage ."
To restate , the GREATER BARONS ( EARLS and BARONS ) historically were the
great landowners in England and from the land they drew wealth , power ,
military might , etc.
A similar situation was in force on the continent :
GERMANY , AUSTRIA , etc.-- "In the 11th century... all feudatories (BARONS)
holding in fief of the Crown , ranked as princes ."
FRANCE --- " Towards the end of the 13th century , the title ( BARON ) , had
come to mean that the bearer held his principal fief direct from the Crown
and was therefore more important than that of Count , since many counts were
only mediate vassals . "
" Princes .... in the 15th / 16th century , the title of " PRINCE " ranked
below that of Duke , being sometimes bourne by cadet branches of ducal
ENGLAND --"" It was not until the reign of Henry VII , that the king's son's
began to be ranked as " PRINCES "."
"Until recent years , the title " PRINCE " was not conferred on anybody
except the Heir Apparent to the throne ."
See :: REPORTS ON THE DIGNITY OF A PEER ( Lord ) ;
TITLES OF HONOUR (Selden ) ;
PEERAGE LAW IN ENGLAND (Palmer ) ;
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITTANICA ( 1960 )
So, to conclude , I will say again , that BARON was a great honor when
awarded to William The Seemly and conferred the potential of great wealth and
Regads to all ,