Freiherr

friherreBaronFreiinReichsfreiherrbaronsFreiherrenFreifraubaronialImperial BaronBaron of the Holy Roman Empire
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc.wikipedia
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Baron

Baronessbaronsbarony
It corresponds approximately to baron in rank.
The holder of an allodial (i.e., suzerain-free) barony was thus called a Free Lord, or Freiherr.

Knight

knighthoodknightedknights
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).
Traditionally it denotes the second lowest rank within the nobility, standing above "Edler" (noble) and below "Freiherr" (baron).

Imperial, royal and noble ranks

ranknoble titlehigh nobility
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).

German nobility

German noblemannobleGerman noble
As with most titles and designations within the nobility in the German-speaking areas of Europe, the rank was normally hereditary and would generally be used together with the nobiliary particle of von or zu (sometimes both: von und zu) before a family name.
Traditional titles exclusively used for unmarried noblewomen, such as Baronesse, Freiin and Freifräulein, were also transformed into parts of the legal surname, subject to change at marriage or upon request.

Swedish nobility

nobilitySwedish noble familyfrälse
From the Middle Ages onward, each head of a Swedish noble house was entitled to vote in any provincial council when held, as in the Realm's Herredag, later Riddarhuset. The Finnish nobility shares most of its origins with Swedish nobility.

Nobility

noblemannoblenobles
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke). From 1806 the then independent German monarchies, such as Bavaria, Württemberg and Lippe could create their own nobility, including Freiherren (although the Elector of Brandenburg had, as king of the originally exclusively extraterritorial Prussia even before that date, arrogated to himself the prerogative of ennoblement).

Imperial Knight

imperial knightsReichsritterFree Imperial Knights
The other ministeriales that did not manage to receive the status of immediate vassals of the Emperor were gradually transformed into a titled nobility of free status: the Freiherren (Barons).

Finnish nobility

Finnish noblenobilitynoble
The Finnish nobility shares most of its origins with Swedish nobility.
At the coronation of King Eric XIV in 1561, some nobility became hereditary, when the hereditary higher titles of greve (Count) and friherre (Baron) were created (two of the grantees were ethnically Finnish: Lord Lars Ivarsson Fleming, 1st Baron of Sundholm (Fi.

Holy Roman Empire

ImperialHoly Roman EmperorGermany
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).

Austria

AUTAustrianRepublic of Austria
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).

Prussia

PrussianPrussian statePrussian army
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke). From 1806 the then independent German monarchies, such as Bavaria, Württemberg and Lippe could create their own nobility, including Freiherren (although the Elector of Brandenburg had, as king of the originally exclusively extraterritorial Prussia even before that date, arrogated to himself the prerogative of ennoblement).

Bavaria

BayernFree State of BavariaBavarian
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).

Liechtenstein

Principality of LiechtensteinLIEFürstentum Liechtenstein
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).

Luxembourg

Grand Duchy of LuxembourgLUXLuxemburg
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).

Count

CountessComtecomital
Freiherr (male, abbreviated as Frhr.), Freifrau (his wife, abbreviated as Frfr., literally "free lord" or "free lady") and Freiin (his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as titles of nobility in the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and in its various successor states, including Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, etc. Traditionally it denotes the titled rank within the nobility above Ritter (knight) and Edler (nobility without a specific title) and below Graf (count, earl) and Herzog (duke).

Allodial title

allodialallodial rightalod
The title Freiherr derives from the historical situation in which an owner held free (allodial) title to his land, as opposed "unmittelbar" ("unintermediated"), or held without any intermediate feudal tenure; or unlike the ordinary baron, who was originally a knight (Ritter) in vassalage to a higher lord or sovereign, and unlike medieval German ministerials, who were bound to provide administrative services for a lord.

Vassal

vassalsvassalagefeudatory
The title Freiherr derives from the historical situation in which an owner held free (allodial) title to his land, as opposed "unmittelbar" ("unintermediated"), or held without any intermediate feudal tenure; or unlike the ordinary baron, who was originally a knight (Ritter) in vassalage to a higher lord or sovereign, and unlike medieval German ministerials, who were bound to provide administrative services for a lord.

Ministerialis

ministerialesministerialimperial ministeriales
The title Freiherr derives from the historical situation in which an owner held free (allodial) title to his land, as opposed "unmittelbar" ("unintermediated"), or held without any intermediate feudal tenure; or unlike the ordinary baron, who was originally a knight (Ritter) in vassalage to a higher lord or sovereign, and unlike medieval German ministerials, who were bound to provide administrative services for a lord.

Homage (feudal)

homageliege lordliege
A Freiherr sometimes exercised hereditary administrative and judicial prerogatives over those resident in his barony instead of the liege lord, who might be the duke (Herzog) or count (Graf).

Fief

fiefdomfeeseigneurie
The original distinction from other barons was that a Freiherrs landed property was allodial instead of a fief.

Holy Roman Emperor

EmperorHoly Roman EmperorsImperial
Barons who received their title from the Holy Roman Emperor are sometimes known as "Barons of the Holy Roman Empire" (Reichsfreiherren), in order to distinguish them from other barons, although the title as such was simply Freiherr.

Congress of Vienna

Vienna CongressTreaty of ViennaFinal Act of the Congress of Vienna
By a decision of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, their titles were nonetheless officially recognised.

Lippe (district)

LippeLippe districtKreis Lippe
From 1806 the then independent German monarchies, such as Bavaria, Württemberg and Lippe could create their own nobility, including Freiherren (although the Elector of Brandenburg had, as king of the originally exclusively extraterritorial Prussia even before that date, arrogated to himself the prerogative of ennoblement).

Ennoblement

ennoblednobilitationennoble
From 1806 the then independent German monarchies, such as Bavaria, Württemberg and Lippe could create their own nobility, including Freiherren (although the Elector of Brandenburg had, as king of the originally exclusively extraterritorial Prussia even before that date, arrogated to himself the prerogative of ennoblement).

Nobiliary particle

zudeparticule
As with most titles and designations within the nobility in the German-speaking areas of Europe, the rank was normally hereditary and would generally be used together with the nobiliary particle of von or zu (sometimes both: von und zu) before a family name.