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1. (in Europe from the Middle Ages) originally any tenant-in-chief of a king or other overlord, who held land from his superior by honourable service; a land-holding nobleman
2. a powerful businessman or financier
3. English law (formerly) the title held by judges of the Court of Exchequer



in Western Europe, a direct vassal of the king; later a noble title (feminine form, baroness). In Britain, where it is retained to this day, the title of baron is below the title of viscount, occupying the last place in the hierarchy of titles of the higher nobility. (In a broader sense the whole British higher nobility and the hereditary members of the House of Lords are barons.) In France and Germany this title was below the title of count. In the Russian Empire the title of baron was introduced by Peter I for the higher German nobility of the Baltic area.

References in periodicals archive ?
The pressing preoccupation of the insular baronage with landed wealth, and with the role of women in its transmission and circulation, translates directly into a romance in which, true to its genre, heiresses and wealthy dowagers play a central role and feudal law is defended against its principal violator, King John.
Moreover, in all editions of Britannia, each county's perambulation closes with an abbreviated baronage illustrating the creation of peerages and tracing their descents.
Tracing the course of the river Waveney in Norfolk, Camden identifies Kenninghall as the principal seat of the Howards, and in the baronage at the close of the tour of Surrey he notes that the Howards, descended from Mowbray, were won over to Richard III when he created, on the same day, John Howard Duke of Norfolk and his son Thomas Earl of Surrey (Aa 5v; Q v).
In plays written before the Civil War, the favourites are enemies to the ancient baronage, as Blair Warden points out.
His Trickster of Liberty: Tribal Heirs to a Wild Baronage at Petronia (1988) describes a whole family of Indian tricksters who rebel against conventional systems and establish ingenious enterprises.
The baronage of Bretayne thane, bechopes and othire, Graythes them to Glaschenbery with gloppynnande hertes To bery thar the bolde kynge and bryng to pe erthe, With all wirchipe and welthe pat any wy scholde.
As an essentially peaceable and sedentary monarch, Paris places Edward in his palace at Westminster in 'parliament' (an early occurrence of this word is used in the Life) with his baronage.
Where St Edward's arms had headed those of the baronage of England in the shields carved in the aisles of Henry III's choir in the abbey, under Edward III, St George's replaced them in the shields decorating the east-end arcading of St Stephen's Chapel at Westminster, splendidly decorated in 1350-63 with images of military saints such as St Eustace, St Mercurius and St George himself, leading the male members of the royal family towards the high altar and image of the Virgin Mary.
There he found an English baronage that was not enamoured of either side and quite naturally wanted to squeeze every possible gain out of the stalemate.
Given current views on the medieval desire for effective rule, this restoration is no longer seen as something to be imposed on a recalcitrant baronage, but even so there are likely to be technical problems in reactivating the machinery of royal government if it has once lapsed.
If King John had been less devious and vindictive, or if a committed section of the English baronage had been less determined, there perhaps would not have been any Magna Carta.
For the income tax of 1436, Dacre had been rated as among the poorest of the baronage, worth a mere 320[pounds] per annum; but after the death in 1487 of another northern peer, Lord Greystoke, Lord Thomas was gradually allowed to secure the whole Greystoke inheritance by an advantageous marriage to Elizabeth Greystoke.