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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 ?
From the early fourteenth century there had in fact been two different baronages of Strange.
Richard points to three factors to explain Alice's failure to recover Champagne: the erosion of her support due to concerns over her legitimacy; papal influence over local baronage and bishops through the threat of excommunications; and, the death of her champion, Peter Hurepel, the Count of Boulogne.
Traditionally, it has been assumed that the Vespers and its immediate aftermath were evidence of a well-defined baronage, capable of unseating the repressive Angevins and, through its parliaments, holding the Aragonese king of the island in check.
A BEAUTIFUL villa with fine lawn in front, studded with trees and surrounded with plantations and gardens was how St Ann's Lodge was described in D M Peters' Baronage of Angus and the Mearns in the 19th century.
52) Immured in a keep on the site of Clifford's Tower at York Castle and beset by a predominantly rural mob led by lesser members of the local baronage eager to obliterate all record of their Jewish bonds,(53) they are said to have cut each other's throats or to have killed themselves.
The clergy and baronage are summoned to treat, ordain and execute; the representatives of the Commons are to bring full powers from those whom they represent to execute what should be ordained by the common council.