earl


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earl

1. (in the British Isles) a nobleman ranking below a marquess and above a viscount
2. (in Anglo-Saxon England) a royal governor of any of the large divisions of the kingdom, such as Wessex

Earl

 

in early medieval England, a member of the hereditary nobility, as distinguished from an ordinary freeman, or ceorl. The average size of an earl’s holding was 40 hides. As Anglo-Saxon society became feudalized, the earls, in the late seventh century, became part of the general landed aristocracy required to render state service, the thanes. Since the 11th century the term “earl” has designated a noble rank corresponding to that of count.

References in classic literature ?
And thus, amid feasting and rejoicing and kingly favor, Robin Hood, the new Earl of Huntingdon, and his bride began their wedded life.
Practically, we should rise to the ceiling," said the Earl.
Thou art my friend, Baldazzar, And I have not forgotten it- thou'lt do me A piece of service; wilt thou go back and say Unto this man, that I, the Earl of Leicester, Hold him a villain?
I am the Earl of Leicester, and thou seest, Dost thou not?
For in the fight I will not raise a hand Against thee, Earl of Leicester.
Ah, yes, the dragon,' said Earl Dorm, 'I was forgetting the dragon.
Dinner at Earl Dorm's was no lunch-counter scuffle.
Outside, the earl had seized his daughter by the wrist and was administering a paternal cross-examination.
King Richard died upon the battlefield, in such a way as properly became a lion-hearted king, as you yourself, no doubt, know; so, after a time, the Earl of Huntingdon--or Robin Hood, as we still call him as of old-- finding nothing for his doing abroad, came back to merry England again.
Now do I lay by the name of Robert, Earl of Huntingdon, and take upon me once again that nobler title, Robin Hood, the Yeoman.
And when Earl Godrich saw how fair and noble she became, he sighed and asked himself:--
But they resolved also to hide the truth from the Earl.