Nobility

The House of Lords is the upper legislature of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is filled with members that are selected from the nobility (both hereditary titleholders and those ennobled only for their individual lives).
Nobility offered protection in exchange for service
French aristocrats, c. 1774
A French political cartoon of the three orders of feudal society (1789). The rural third estate carries the clergy and the nobility.
Opening of the Hungarian Diet (Országgyűlés) with the members of hungarian nobility in the Royal Palace, 1865
Polish magnates 1576–1586
Polish magnates 1697–1795
Hungarian prince Ferenc József in the typical dress of the Hungarian nobility, 18th century
Count Carl Robert Mannerheim (1835–1914), a Finnish aristocrat, businessman, and the father of Baron C. G. E. Mannerheim, the Marshal of Finland
Russian boyars
The Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. Large numbers of English nobility perished in the Wars of the Roses
A Maratha Durbar showing the Chief (Raja) and the nobles (Sardars, Jagirdars, Istamuradars & Mankaris) of the state.
Illustration of Nair nobles in 18th century Kerala, India. The Nair caste was a martial nobility, similar to the Samurai of Japan.
In Korea, royalty and yangban aristocrats were carried in litters called gama. A Korean gama, circa 1890.
An aristocratic family in Lhasa, Tibet in 1936.
Emperor Farrukhsiyar Bestows a Jewel on a Nobleman
Maratha Peshwa Madhavrao II, surrounded by nobles in his court in 18th-century India.
Japanese samurai, 1798
Typical costume of a family belonging to the Principalía of the late 19th century Philippines. Exhibit in the Villa Escudero Museum, San Pablo, Laguna.
Heraldic Crown of Hispanic Hidalgos.
A pre-colonial Tagalog couple belonging to the Datu class or nobility as depicted in the Boxer Codex of the 16th century.
Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (center) and members of the imperial court
King Radama I of Madagascar was from the Andriana stratum of the Merina people.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on his throne in 2016.
Angélica Larrea, Queen Consort of the Afro-Bolivians, in 2012. The queen is the wife of King Julio Pinedo.
Portrait of Marquis of Paraná, Prime Minister of Brazil.
Regent of Bandung, Java, Dutch East Indies, with his pajung bearer – 1863–1865
Sons of Crown Prince Krom Loeang of Siam, Bangkok, 1862
A Siamese noble in a hammock, 1900
Burmese nobles and servants

Social class found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy.

- Nobility
The House of Lords is the upper legislature of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is filled with members that are selected from the nobility (both hereditary titleholders and those ennobled only for their individual lives).

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Baron Hieronymus von Münchhausen (1720–1797), on the basis of which Rudolf Erich Raspe wrote the tales of Baron Munchausen.

Baron

Baron Hieronymus von Münchhausen (1720–1797), on the basis of which Rudolf Erich Raspe wrote the tales of Baron Munchausen.
A lord of Parliament, also called a baron, illustrated in the manuscript "Théâtre de tous les peuples et nations de la terre avec leurs habits et ornemens divers, tant anciens que modernes, diligemment depeints au naturel". Painted by Lucas d'Heere in the 2nd half of the 16th century. Preserverd in the Ghent University Library.
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A Scottish baron's helmet
Baron C. G. E. Mannerheim in 1920

Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary, in various European countries, either current or historical.

The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII, photographed on 20 May 1910. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.

Imperial, royal and noble ranks

The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII, photographed on 20 May 1910. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.

Traditional rank amongst European royalty, peers, and nobility is rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Szlachta in costumes of the Voivodeships of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th and 18th century.

Szlachta

Szlachta in costumes of the Voivodeships of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th and 18th century.
Journey of a Polish Lord During the Times of King Augustus III of Poland, by Jan Chełmiński, 1880.
Michał Kazimierz Ogiński, a nobleman from 18th century Poland and the Enlightenment
Szlachcic sejmik representative Tadeusz Rejtan (lower right), with szlachta republican right of ending any Senate (Sejm) session and nullifying any legislation passed (Liberum veto), defying Russian, Prussian, and Austrian autocratic might to cease legalization of the First Partition of Poland, by halting the Partition Sejm's exit from the Senate chamber on 30 September 1773, in effect proclaiming, "Murder me, not Poland." Painting by Jan Matejko, 1866
A Polish peasant in stocks in a 16th-century Polish woodcut
Lech I
Polish Armor
Bolesław I the Tall (1127-1201) with heraldic shield, by Jan Matejko
Jogaila (Władysław II)
Epitaph of szlachcic John of Ujazd sealed with the Srzeniawa coat of arms by unknown artist. It is located at the church of Czchów, Kraków Voivodeship, Lesser Poland province, Crown of the Kingdom of Poland; 1450.
Szlachta 1228-1333
Polish coats of arms in the Gelre Armorial (compiled before 1396), among them Leliwa coat of arms, Ogończyk coat of arms, Ostoja coat of arms (Ostoja knights' clan), Nałęcz coat of arms.
Ennoblement of the Odrowąż family in the 12th century by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire with Odrowąż coat of arms received by Prandota the Old, probable founder of Saint John the Baptist church in Prandocin village, Duchy of Kraków, Kingdom of Poland. From Liber Genesos illustris Familiae Shidlovicae (Book of the Genesis of the Illustrious Family Szydłowiecki). Painting by Stanisław Samostrzelnik
Election of Stanisław August Poniatowski in 1764
Franciszek Salezy Potocki, wearing the Order of the White Eagle.
The Commonwealth's Power at Its Zenith, Golden Liberty, the Election of 1573. Painting by Jan Matejko
Henry of Valois, first elected monarch of Poland-Lithuania
Magnates of Poland and Lithuania. Drawing by Jan Matejko, circa 1893
The Peasant Uprising of 1846, the largest peasant uprising against szlachta rulership on Polish lands in the 19th century.
Coat of arms of the Order of Malta
Barbara Sanguszko, philanthropist, writer and salon hostess at Poddębice. Oil by Marcello Bacciarelli
Dożynki by Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski, 1910
Ogar Polski
Elżbieta Potocka by Wojciech Kossak
"Brach", Polish Hunting Dog
Prince Konstanty Ostrogski on a Lithuanian commemorative stamp
Elżbieta Czartoryska as Bacciarelli's Blue Marquise
Polish Nobleman with a Parrot, by Józef Simmler, 1859.
Karol Stanisław Radziwiłł, the richest noble of his time.
Prot Potocki, banker and industrialist who turned Odessa from a sleepy fishing village into an international trade centre
Magnate palace: Branicki family palace
Middle nobility manor house (dwór): Żądło-Dąbrowski family manor
"In Front of the Manor House" by Wojciech Gerson; Year: 1856 - painting of a lesser szlachta/nobility homestead (dwór)

The szlachta ( Polish:, exonym) were the noble estate of the realm in the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth who, as a class, had the dominating position in the state, exercising extensive political rights and power.

Typical Freiherr coronet with seven pearls, as used on a coat of arms

Freiherr

Typical Freiherr coronet with seven pearls, as used on a coat of arms

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).

A 13th-century French representation of the tripartite social order of the Middle Ages – Oratores ("those who pray"), Bellatores ("those who fight"), and Laboratores ("those who work").

Estates of the realm

The estates of the realm, or three estates, were the broad orders of social hierarchy used in Christendom (Christian Europe) from the Middle Ages to early modern Europe.

The estates of the realm, or three estates, were the broad orders of social hierarchy used in Christendom (Christian Europe) from the Middle Ages to early modern Europe.

A 13th-century French representation of the tripartite social order of the Middle Ages – Oratores ("those who pray"), Bellatores ("those who fight"), and Laboratores ("those who work").
Representation of the Three Estates under the lordship of Jesus Christ. They are labeled "Tu supplex ora" (you pray), "Tu protege" (you protect), "Tuque labora" (and you work).

The monarchy included the king and the queen, while the system was made up of clergy (the First Estate), nobles (Second Estate), peasants and bourgeoisie (Third Estate).

Cleric, Knight, and Peasant archetypes represent the virtues of prudence, fortitude, and temperance, respectively. In Classical antiquity and Christendom, prudence and fortitude were seen as the cardinal virtues that should govern society.

Gentry

Gentry (from Old French genterie, from gentil, "high-born, noble") are "well-born, genteel and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past.

Gentry (from Old French genterie, from gentil, "high-born, noble") are "well-born, genteel and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past.

Cleric, Knight, and Peasant archetypes represent the virtues of prudence, fortitude, and temperance, respectively. In Classical antiquity and Christendom, prudence and fortitude were seen as the cardinal virtues that should govern society.
This part of a 12th-century Swedish tapestry has been interpreted to show, from left to right, the one-eyed Odin, the hammer-wielding Thor and Freyr. This triad corresponds closely to the trifunctional division: Odin is the patron of priests and magicians, Thor of warriors, and Freyr of fertility and farming.
The feudal social structure in three orders: those who pray (oratores), fight (bellatores) and work (laboratores)
Europe and the Byzantine Empire 1000 CE
The traditional social stratification of the Western world in the 15th century
George Washington
Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, in Virginia, was the seat of his plantation.
Matsue daimyō (c. 1850s)
Group of Seonbi "virtuous scholar" in Korea that followed confucian precepts) (c. 18th century)
Hungarian nobles, circa 1831
A knight being armed.
A page from Brathwait's book that displays the qualities associated with being a gentleman
An example of an Elizabethan pedigree of the de Euro family of Northumberland, barons of Warkworth and Clavering. Scrivened, circa 1570 to 1588

The gentility is primarily formed on the bases of the medieval societies' two higher estates of the realm, nobility and clergy, both exempted from taxation.

Investiture of a knight (miniature from the statutes of the Order of the Knot, founded in 1352 by Louis I of Naples).

Feudalism

The combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries.

The combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries.

Investiture of a knight (miniature from the statutes of the Order of the Knot, founded in 1352 by Louis I of Naples).
Orava Castle in Slovakia. A medieval castle is a traditional symbol of a feudal society.
Herr Reinmar von Zweter, a 13th-century Minnesinger, was depicted with his noble arms in Codex Manesse.
Homage of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis
France in the late 15th century: a mosaic of feudal territories
Depiction of socage on the royal demesne in feudal England, c. 1310

The classic definition, by François Louis Ganshof (1944), describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations which existed among the warrior nobility and revolved around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs.

The Cross of Mathilde, a crux gemmata made for Mathilde, Abbess of Essen (973–1011), who is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the enamel plaque. The figure of Christ is slightly later. Probably made in Cologne or Essen, the cross demonstrates several medieval techniques: cast figurative sculpture, filigree, enamelling, gem polishing and setting, and the reuse of Classical cameos and engraved gems.

Middle Ages

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history.

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history.

The Cross of Mathilde, a crux gemmata made for Mathilde, Abbess of Essen (973–1011), who is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the enamel plaque. The figure of Christ is slightly later. Probably made in Cologne or Essen, the cross demonstrates several medieval techniques: cast figurative sculpture, filigree, enamelling, gem polishing and setting, and the reuse of Classical cameos and engraved gems.
A late Roman sculpture depicting the Tetrarchs, now in Venice, Italy
Barbarian kingdoms and tribes after the end of the Western Roman Empire
A coin of the Ostrogothic leader Theoderic the Great, struck in Milan, Italy, c. AD 491–501
A mosaic showing Justinian with the bishop of Ravenna (Italy), bodyguards, and courtiers.
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
An 11th-century illustration of Gregory the Great dictating to a secretary
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
Charlemagne's palace chapel at Aachen, completed in 805
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
A page from the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created in the British Isles in the late 8th or early 9th century
Medieval French manuscript illustration of the three classes of medieval society: those who prayed (the clergy) those who fought (the knights), and those who worked (the peasantry). The relationship between these classes was governed by feudalism and manorialism. (Li Livres dou Sante, 13th century)
13th-century illustration of a Jew (in pointed Jewish hat) and the Christian Petrus Alphonsi debating
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
The Bayeux Tapestry (detail) showing William the Conqueror (centre), his half-brothers Robert, Count of Mortain (right) and Odo, Bishop of Bayeux in the Duchy of Normandy (left)
Krak des Chevaliers was built during the Crusades for the Knights Hospitallers.
A medieval scholar making precise measurements in a 14th-century manuscript illustration
Portrait of Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher by Tommaso da Modena, 1352, the first known depiction of spectacles
The Romanesque Church of Maria Laach, Germany
The Gothic interior of Laon Cathedral, France
Francis of Assisi, depicted by Bonaventura Berlinghieri in 1235, founded the Franciscan Order.
Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, France
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Map of Europe in 1360
Joan of Arc in a 15th-century depiction
Guy of Boulogne crowning Pope Gregory XI in a 15th-century miniature from Froissart's Chroniques
Clerics studying astronomy and geometry, French, early 15th century
Agricultural calendar, c. 1470, from a manuscript of Pietro de Crescenzi
February scene from the 15th-century illuminated manuscript Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
Medieval illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th-century copy of L'Image du monde

Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, and feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.

Ploughing on a French ducal manor in March from the manuscript, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, c.1410

Manorialism

The method of land ownership in parts of Europe, notably England, during the Middle Ages.

The method of land ownership in parts of Europe, notably England, during the Middle Ages.

Ploughing on a French ducal manor in March from the manuscript, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, c.1410
The great hall at Penshurst Place, Kent, built in the mid 14th century. The hall was of central importance to every manor, where the lord and his family ate, received guests, and conferred with dependents
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Generic map of a medieval manor. The mustard-colored areas are part of the demesne, the hatched areas part of the glebe. William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1923

He can be an individual, in the vast majority of cases a national of the nobility or of the Bourgeoisie, but also a judicial person most often an ecclesiastical institution such as an abbey, a cathedral or canonical chapter or a military order.

The House of Lords is the upper legislature of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is filled with members that are selected from the nobility (both hereditary titleholders and those ennobled only for their individual lives).

Hereditary title

The House of Lords is the upper legislature of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is filled with members that are selected from the nobility (both hereditary titleholders and those ennobled only for their individual lives).

Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility titles, positions or styles that are hereditary and thus tend or are bound to remain in particular families.