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servants of the king and of important feudal lords in medieval Western Europe.

The ministerials served at court and in the military and carried out household administrative duties. They were selected primarily from among the nonfree population and granted landed possessions for their service (fiefs). In Germany, where the office of ministerial (Ministeriales) had the greatest importance, ministerials acquired personal freedom in the 12th and 13th centuries, and some joined the ranks of knights; some imperial ministerials even became princes.

References in classic literature ?
He had not considered the government as permanently secure until three hundred deputies at least had the courage to form a compact majority systematically ministerial.
And yet the public attention was so deeply interested in the details of the trial that the occurrence of a ministerial crisis was completely unnoticed at the time.
Specimens of all the fishes that swim in the sea, surely had swum their way to it, and if samples of the fishes of divers colours that made a speech in the Arabian Nights (quite a ministerial explanation in respect of cloudiness), and then jumped out of the frying-pan, were not to be recognized, it was only because they had all become of one hue by being cooked in batter among the whitebait.
Fortunately for him she had on the other side Lord Faudel, a most intelligent middle-aged mediocrity, as bald as a ministerial statement in the House of Commons, with whom she was conversing in that intensely earnest manner which is the one unpardonable error, as he remarked once himself, that all really good people fall into, and from which none of them ever quite escape.
To understand how sarcastic were these exhortations, repeated at intervals, we should state that the approaching huntsman was a stout little man whose protuberant stomach was the evidence of a truly ministerial "embonpoint.

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