Site icon Victorian Era

What is a Baronet? What is the rank and title?

Baronet: Democracy is the prevalent form of government found in the world today. Though this is the case, there are countries where the monarchy is prevalent. Believe it or not, the monarchy is the rule that has been the most prevalent among all the societies in the world.

Sir Nicholas Brown

If you turn the pages of history, you would find that there have been through the ages, various ranks that have been bestowed on individuals to properly rule large kingdoms. One example to be taken among them is surely that of the British system of noblemen. A Baronet is a title conferred on a person that, though did not belong to the peerage, was inheritable.

Title or Ranks Conferred on British Noblemen

Trying to figure the position of the baronet could be a little difficult without knowing the hierarchical structure of the British titles of nobility. Let us try to know about the titles a little.

Baronet – Who were Baronets?

A baronet is the holder of a baronetcy. The title was awarded by the British Crown for the first time in 1611. It was included by King James I above Knight and below Baron as a special hereditary rank.

Sir Dennis Thatcher

The rank was primarily created to raise money to suppress the rebellion that had broken out in Ulster. The Baronets were needed to pay money to get the privilege of the rank. The Baronets got the privilege to be addressed as Sir or Dame at a price of 1080 pounds.

A baronetcy is supposedly the only British hereditary honor that does not belong to the peerage. The Baronet is addressed as ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame’, but they rank above all the knighthoods and damehoods.

Early Days of Baronetage

When King James I first started making Baronetcies, he granted the Letters Patent to 200 gentlemen, who were of good birth and a wealthy income every year. Each of them was responsible for the upkeep of about thirty soldiers for a term of three years, a heavy price in those days.

The concept of baronetcies was prevalent before those. Edward III created about eight of them in his days. There was a subsequent creation of baronetcies by other rulers as well, but none of them sustained for long.

The Baronetage of Ireland created by James I in 1619, and the Baronetage of Scotland and Nova Scotia created by Charles I in 1625 were required to pay about 2000 marks. Some of these exist to the day.

The Title and Power of the Baronets

The title of being called as “Sir” was much like those of the Knights, while Baronetesses would use “Dame”. Wives of Baronets were not Baronetesses and were addressed as “Lady”. But they were different from the Knights on the fact that it was an inheritable title.

Since they were not a part of the peerage like the Knights, they were commoners and not peers of the realm. The baronets had the right to have the eldest son knighted on his 21st birthday among certain others. However, most of the rights faded away with the change of the monarchs.

The Number of Baronetcies

The number of baronetcies created was huge. More than 300 Baronetcies have been created between the 16th and the 19th century, though most of them did not last for very long.

The number of baronetcies today includes more than a thousand, although some of them are not enrolled on the Official Roll of the Baronetage. The baronets and their Baronetcies clearly were not seats of power, but a mode for the British monarchs to make easy money by granting some extra rights to the affluent.

More Info On- NoblemanRoyal British NobilityJohn Everett Millais, John Graham Lounge

Exit mobile version