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Baron and such

A feudal title is a territorial dignity which passes with the ownership of
the lands to which it is attached; a peerage title is a personal dignity
which will pass, if it is not a life peerage, according to the "remainder"
or "destination" specified at the time of its creation. There is a clear
distinction there are titles whose classification may be obscure or
contentious. Baron was a feudal territorial dignity, not personal, not a
peerage title feudal titles are universally misused. The words; barony,
lordship, manor, honour and nobility also suffer.

The feudal system was to be found throughout Western Europe from about 1000
AD, it differed from region to region, those differences led to different
connotations of various terms in different jurisdictions. The use of Latin
as the sole cross border European language tended to remove in translation
some of the nuances. In formal Latin baro means dunce or fool. In Vulgar
Latin baro means slave or servant, in a great household.  The feudal system
required the theories of land ownership, hereditary rights and of service, a
"baron" was one on whom a superior relied.  The superior was the higher man
and vassal took an oath of fealty.

The feudal system allowed the baron to hold land as a tenant-in-chief of his
"prince". Prince has a wide range of meanings. In feudal terms it is used to
denote a ruler who holds his lands of no one. He need not be a king; he
could be a bishop; the essence is that he is sovereign in his principality.
Here is where the claims for our Henry as a prince falls.  Henry always owed
his allegiance to someone, at one time to two Kings.

In the early feudal times the king's barons, his tenants-in-chief, to had
their own barons through a process of subinfeudation. The practice was
stopped in England by King Edward I (King 1272-1307). In Scotland it
continued unabated  until the Union of the Crowns.

In England the kings ruled in council, first summoning some of the greater
barons (i.e. the more powerful barons) to attend and advise them, and then,
while retaining the Privy Council, extending the principle to bring to their
Parliament larger numbers of barons, together with the representatives of
the church and the boroughs and the Knights of the Shires. The concept of
peerage  and its subsequent development was haphazard and irrational.
Peerage itself has never been defined by the Committee for Privileges, (the
responsible agency for the organization of the British Peerage in
Parliament.) Those barons who first attended the Norman kings in council
came as territorial magnates holding their lands of the king in accordance
with a loosely hereditary system, but if the barony, which was the lands,
passed to another, the rank of baron and the privileges dependent on it
passed also. Such barons were and are Barons by Tenure.

After the idea of the Peerage found it's place in England, it was argued
that those feudal barons, Barons by Tenure, who had been summoned to the
early Parliaments were ipso facto peers, Barons by Writ (Barons summoned by
a king). Kings created new peers of landless men they considered would make
valuable contributions to their government, and these became Barons by
Patent. Subsequently, Letters Patent became the usual way to create new
peers or to promote existing ones.

In Scotland,  it was quite impossible to distinguish clearly between Barons
who were the equivalent of peers and those who were simply Barons by Tenure,
(land holders). Until the statute of 1428, which recognized the burden
carried by those poorer Barons with the smaller estates, all were expected
to attend Parliament, but thereafter they were classified either as Greater
Barons, the "Lords of Parliament," or as Lesser Barons, who could, but need
not, attend Parliament. (The Scots Parliament was unicarmel and consisted of
the Prelates, the Barons and the Burgesses  (Earls sitting as Barons, i.e.
as those holding their lands in baroniam.) But despite the importance of
land and the significance of the barony, a Baron in Scotland did not
necessarily hold a territorial barony. Feudal Law gives the title of Baron
to all those who hold the absolute jurisdiction which is carried by the
grant of furca et fossa - the power to hang men, and to drown women, found
guilty of capital offences by a baronial court.

"Canlige suspectos semper habitos".

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rika and Kevin" <kevrik@shaka.com>
To: <sinclair@quarterman.org>
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 12:42 AM
Subject: Re: Book: The History of the Sinclair Family in Europe and America

Leonard's undertaking truly
> remarkable.
> Take care, Kevin

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

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