The word baron comes from the Old French baron, from a Late Latin barō "man; servant, soldier, mercenary" (so used in Salic law; Alemannic law has barus in the same sense). The scholar Isidore of Seville in the 7th century thought the word was from Greek βᾰρῠ́ς "heavy" (because of the "heavy work" done by mercenaries), but the word is presumably of Old Frankish origin, cognate with Old English beorn meaning "warrior, nobleman". Cornutus in the first century already reports a word barones which he took to be of Gaulish origin. He glosses it as meaning servos militum and explains it as meaning "stupid", by reference to classical Latin bārō "simpleton, dunce"; because of this early reference, the word has also been suggested to derive from an otherwise unknown Celtic *bar, but the Oxford English Dictionary takes this to be "a figment".
During the Ancien Régime, French baronies were very much like Scottish ones. Feudal landholders who possessed a barony were entitled to style themselves baron if they were nobles; a roturier (commoner) could only be a seigneur de la baronnie (lord of the barony). These baronies could be sold freely until 1789 when feudal law was abolished. The title of baron was assumed as a titre de courtoisie by many nobles, whether members of the Nobles of the Robe or cadets of Nobles of the Sword who held no title in their own right.
In 1815, King Louis XVIII created a new peerage system and a Chamber of Peers, based on the British model. Baron-peer was the lowest title, but the heirs to pre-1789 barons could remain barons, as could the elder sons of viscount-peers and younger sons of count-peers. This peerage system was abolished in 1848.
In pre-republican Germany all the knightly families of the Holy Roman Empire (sometimes distinguished by the prefix von or zu) eventually were recognised as of baronial rank, although Ritter is the literal translation for "knight", and persons who held that title enjoyed a distinct, but lower, rank in Germany's nobility than barons (Freiherren). The wife of a Freiherr (Baron) is called a Freifrau or sometimes Baronin, his daughter Freiin or sometimes Baroness.
Families which had always held this status were called Uradel ('primordial/ancient/original nobility'), and were heraldically entitled to a three pointed coronet. Families which had been ennobled at a definite point in time (Briefadel or "nobility by patent") had seven points on their coronet. These families held their fief in vassalage from a suzerain. The holder of an allodial (i.e., suzerain-free) barony was thus called a Free Lord, or Freiherr. Subsequently, sovereigns in Germany conferred the title of Freiherr as a rank in the nobility, without implication of allodial or feudal status.
Since 1919, hereditary titles have had no legal status in Germany. In modern, republican Germany, Freiherr and Baron remain heritable only as part of the legal surname (and may thereby be transmitted by males to their wives and children, without implication of nobility).
In Austria, hereditary titles have been completely banned. Thus, a member of the formerly reigning House of Habsburg or members of the former nobility would in most cases simply be addressed as Herr/Frau (Habsburg) in an official/public surrounding, for instance in the media. Still, in both countries, honorary styles like "His/her (Imperial/Royal) Highness", "Serenity", etc. persists in social use as a form of courtesy.
In Luxembourg and Liechtenstein (where German is the official language), barons remain members of the recognized nobility, and the sovereigns retain authority to confer the title (morganatic cadets of the princely dynasty received the title Baron of Lanskron, using both Freiherr and Baron for different members of this branch.)
Generally, all legitimate males of a German baronial family inherit the title Freiherr or Baron from birth, as all legitimate daughters inherit the title of Freiin or Baroness. As a result, German barons have been more numerous than those of such countries where primogeniture with respect to title inheritance prevails (or prevailed) as France and the United Kingdom.
In Italy, barone was the lowest rank of feudal nobility except for that of signore or vassallo (lord of the manor). The title of baron was most generally introduced into southern Italy (including Sicily) by the Normans during the 11th century. Whereas originally a barony might consist of two or more manors, by 1700 we see what were formerly single manors erected into baronies, counties or even marquisates. Since the early 1800s, when feudalism was abolished in the various Italian states, it has often been granted as a simple hereditary title without any territorial designation or predicato. The untitled younger son of a baron is a nobile dei baroni and in informal usage might be called a baron, while certain baronies devolve to heirs male general. Since 1948 titles of nobility have not been recognised by the Italian state. In the absence of a nobiliary or heraldic authority in Italy there are, in fact, numerous persons who claim to be barons or counts without any basis for such claims. Baron and noble (nobile) are hereditary titles and, as such, could only be created or recognised by the kings of Italy or (before 1860) the pre-unitary Italian states such as the Two Sicilies, Tuscany, Parma or Modena, or by the Holy See (Vatican) or the Republic of San Marino. Beginning around 1800, a number of signori (lords of the manor) began to style themselves barone but in many cases this was not sanctioned legally by decree, while there was even less justification in the holder of any large (non-feudal) landed estate calling himself a baron. Nevertheless, both were common practices. In most of peninsular Italy the widespread medieval introduction of the title was Longobardic, while in Sicily and Sardinia it was coeval with Norman rule some centuries later, and one referred to the baronage when speaking of landed nobles generally. The heraldic coronet of an Italian baron is a jewelled rim of gold surmounted by seven visible pearls, set upon the rim directly or upon stems; alternately, the French style coronet (entwined in a string of small pearls, with or without four bigger visible pearls set upon the rim) is used.
In the medieval era, some allodial and enfeoffed lands held by nobles were created or recognized as baronies by the Holy Roman Emperors, within whose realm most of the Low Countries lay. Subsequently, the Habsburgs continued to confer the baronial title in the Southern Netherlands, first as kings of Spain and then, again, as emperors until abolition of the Holy Roman Empire, but these had become titular elevations rather than grants of new territory.
In the Netherlands after 1815, titles of baron authorized by previous monarchs (except those of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland) were usually recognized by the Dutch kings. But such recognition was not automatic, having to be authenticated by the Supreme Council of Nobility and then approved by the sovereign. This ceased to be possible after the Dutch constitution was revised in 1983. More than one hundred Dutch baronial families have been recognized. The title is usually inherited by all males descended patrilineally from the original recipient of the title, although in a few noble families baron is the title of cadet family members, while in a few others it is heritable according to primogeniture.
After its secession in 1830, Belgium incorporated into its nobility all titles of baron borne by Belgian citizens which had been recognized by the Netherlands since 1815. In addition, its monarchs have since created or recognized other titles of baron, and the sovereign continues to exercise the prerogative to confer baronial and other titles of nobility. Baron is the third lowest title within the nobility system above knight (French: chevalier, Dutch: ridder) and below viscount. There are still a number of families in Belgium that bear the title of baron.
Luxembourg's monarch retains the right to confer the baronial title. Two of the grand duchy's prime ministers inherited baronial titles that were used during their tenures in office, Victor de Tornaco and Félix de Blochausen.
The present corresponding title is baron in the Danish nobility and in the Norwegian nobility, friherre (baron is used orally, while it is written as friherre) in the Swedish nobility, and vapaaherra in the nobility of Finland.
In the beginning, Finnish nobles were all without honorific titulature, and known simply as lords. Since the Middle Ages, each head of a noble family had been entitled to a vote in any of Finland's provincial diets whenever held, as in the realm's House of Nobility of the Riksdag of the Estates. In 1561, Sweden's King Eric XIV granted the hereditary titles of count and vapaaherra to some of these, but not all. Although their cadet family members were not entitled to vote or sit in the Riksdag, they were legally entitled to the same title as the head of the family, but in customary address they became Paroni or Paronitar. Theoretically, in the 16th and 17th centuries, families elevated to vapaaherra status were granted a barony in fief, enjoying some rights of taxation and judicial authority. Subsequently, the "barony" was titular, usually attached to a family property, which was sometimes entailed. Their exemptions from taxes on landed properties continued into the 20th century, although in the 19th century tax reforms narrowed this privilege. Nobility creations continued until 1917, the end of Finland's grand ducal monarchy.
Muscovite Russia had no traditional baronial titles of its own; they were introduced in early Imperial Russia by Peter the Great. In the hierarchy of nobility introduced by Peter the Great, barons (барон) ranked above untitled nobility and below counts (граф, graf). The styles "Your Well-born" (Ваше благородие, Vashe blagorodiye) and "Master Baron" (Господин барон, Gospondin baron) were used to address a Russian baron.
There were two main groups of nobility which held the baronial title. One was the Baltic German nobility, for which Russia merely recognized their pre-existing titles; the other was new barons created by the Emperors of Russia after 1721. Like in many other countries, new baronial titles were often created by ennoblement of rich bourgeoisie. The title of baron, along with the rest of the noble hierarchy, was abolished in December 1917 after the Bolshevik Revolution; however, certain leaders of the White movement like Baron Pyotr Wrangel and Roman von Ungern-Sternberg continued to use the title until the end of the Russian Civil War.
In Spain the title follows Vizconde in the noble hierarchy, and ranks above Señor. Baronesa is the feminine form, for the wife of a baron or for a woman who has been granted the title in her own right. In general, titles of baron created before the 19th century originate from the Crown of Aragon. Barons lost territorial jurisdiction around the middle of the 19th century, and from then on the title became purely honorific. Although most barons have not held the rank of grandeza as well, the title has been conferred in conjunction with the grandeza. The sovereign continues to grant baronial titles.
In the Peerage of England, the Peerage of Great Britain, the Peerage of Ireland and the Peerage of the United Kingdom (but not in the Peerage of Scotland), barons form the lowest rank, placed immediately below viscounts. A woman of baronial rank has the title baroness. In the Kingdom of England, the medieval Latin word baro, baronis was used originally to denote a tenant-in-chief of the early Norman kings who held his lands by the feudal tenure of "barony" (in Latin per baroniam), and who was entitled to attend the Great Council (Magnum Concilium) which by the 13th century had developed into the Parliament of England. Feudal baronies (or "baronies by tenure") are now obsolete in England and without any legal force but any such historical titles are held in gross, that is to say are deemed to be enveloped within a more modern extant peerage title also held by the holder, sometimes along with vestigial manorial rights and tenures by grand serjeanty.
William I introduced the rank of baron in England to distinguish those men who had pledged their loyalty to him under the feudal system. Previously, in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England, the king's companions held the title of earl and in Scotland, the title of thane. All who held their feudal barony "in-chief of the king", that is with the king as his immediate overlord, became alike barones regis ("barons of the king"), bound to perform a stipulated annual military service, and obliged to attend his council. Eventually the greatest of the nobles, especially those in the marches, such as the Earls of Chester or the Bishops of Durham, whose territories were often deemed palatine, that is to say "worthy of a prince", might refer to their own tenants as "barons", where lesser magnates spoke simply of their "men" (homines) and lords of the manor might reference "bondmen".
Initially those who held land directly from the king by military service, from earls downwards, all bore alike the title of baron, which was thus the factor uniting all members of the ancient baronage as peers one of another. Under King Henry II, the Dialogus de Scaccario already distinguished between greater barons, who held per baroniam by knight's service, and lesser barons, who held manors. Technically, Lords of Manors are barons, or freemen, however they are not entitled to be styled as such. John Selden writes in Titles of Honour, "The word Baro (Latin for Baron) hath been also so much communicated, that not only all Lords of Mannors have been from antient time, and are at this day called sometimes Barons (as in the stile of their Court Barons, which is Curia Baronis, &c. And I have read hors de son Barony in a barr to an Avowry for hors de son fee) But also the Judges of the Exchequer have it from antient time fixed on them." Within a century of the Norman Conquest of 1066, as in the case of Thomas Becket in 1164, there arose the practice of sending to each greater baron a personal summons demanding his attendance at the King's Council, which evolved into the Parliament and later into the House of Lords, while as was stipulated in Magna Carta of 1215, the lesser barons of each county would receive a single summons as a group through the sheriff, and representatives only from their number would be elected to attend on behalf of the group. These representatives developed into the Knights of the Shire, elected by the County Court presided over by the sheriff, who themselves formed the precursor of the House of Commons. Thus appeared a definite distinction, which eventually had the effect of restricting to the greater barons alone the privileges and duties of peerage.
Later, the king started to create new baronies in one of two ways: by a writ of summons directing a chosen man to attend Parliament, and in an even later development by letters patent. Writs of summons became the normal method in medieval times, displacing the method of feudal barony, but creation of baronies by letters patent is the sole method adopted in modern times.
Since the adoption of summons by writ, baronies thus no longer relate directly to land-holding, and thus no more feudal baronies needed thenceforth to be created. Following the Modus Tenendi Parliamenta of 1419, the Tenures Abolition Act 1660, the Feudal Tenure Act (1662), and the Fines and Recoveries Act of 1834, titles of feudal barony became obsolete and without legal force. The Abolition Act 1660 specifically states: baronies by tenure were converted into baronies by writ. The rest ceased to exist as feudal baronies by tenure, becoming baronies in free socage, that is to say under a "free" (hereditable) contract requiring payment of monetary rents.
In the twentieth-century Britain introduced the concept of non-hereditary life peers. All appointees to this distinction have (thus far) been at the rank of baron. In accordance with the tradition applied to hereditary peers they too are formally addressed in parliament by their peers as "The Noble Lord".
In addition, baronies are often used by their holders as subsidiary titles, for example as courtesy titles for the son and heir of an Earl or higher-ranked peer. The Scottish baronial title tends to be used when a landed family is not in possession of any United Kingdom peerage title of higher rank, subsequently granted, or has been created a knight of the realm.
Several members of the royal family with the style of Royal Highness are also titled Barons. For example, Charles, Prince of Wales is also The Baron of Renfrew. Similarly, his eldest son Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is also The Baron Carrickfergus and Prince Andrew, Duke of York is The Baron Killyleagh. Some non-royal Barons are somehow related to the royal family, for example Maurice Roche, 6th Baron Fermoy is William's first cousin once removed, through William's late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was the 4th Baron Fermoy's granddaughter.
The title of baron (Irish: barún) was created in the Peerage of Ireland shortly after the Norman invasion of Ireland (1169). Ireland's first baronies included Baron Athenry (1172), Baron Offaly (c. 1193), Baron Kerry (1223), Baron Dunboyne (1324), Baron Gormanston (1365–70), Baron Slane (1370), Baron of Dunsany (1439), Baron Louth (c. 1458) and Baron Trimlestown (1461).
A person holding a peerage in the rank of baron is entitled to a coronet bearing six silver balls (called pearls) around the rim, equally spaced and all of equal size and height. The rim itself is neither jeweled, nor 'chased' (which is the case for the coronets of peers of higher degree).
The actual coronet is worn only for the coronation of a new monarch, but a baron can bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms above the shield. In heraldry, the baron's coronet is shown with four of the balls visible.
Formally, barons are styled The Right Honourable The Lord [Barony] and barons’ wives are styled The Right Honourable The Lady [Barony]. Baronesses in their own right, whether hereditary or for life, are either styled The Right Honourable The Baroness [Barony] or The Right Honourable The Lady [Barony], mainly based on personal preference (e.g. Lady Thatcher and Baroness Warsi, both life baronesses in their own right). Less formally, one refers to or addresses a baron as Lord [Barony] and his wife as Lady [Barony], and baronesses in their own right as Baroness [X] or Lady [X]. In direct address, barons and baronesses can also be referred to as My Lord, Your Lordship, or Your Ladyship, but never as My Lady (except in the case of a female judge). The husband of a baroness in her own right gains no title or style from his wife.
The Right Honourable is frequently abbreviated to The Rt Hon. or Rt Hon. When referred to by the Sovereign in public instruments, The Right Honourable is changed to Our right trusty and well-beloved, with Counsellor attached if they are a Privy Counsellor.
Children of barons and baronesses in their own right, whether hereditary or for life, have the style The Honourable [Forename] [Surname]. After the death of the father or mother, the child may continue to use this style.
Courtesy barons are styled Lord [Barony], and their wives Lady [Barony]; the article "The" is always absent. If the courtesy baron is not a Privy Counsellor, the style The Right Honourable will also be absent.
It is very common for the surnames of barons and baronesses to be identical to or included in the formal title of their barony. However, when addressed as a peer, Lord, Lady or Baroness is followed by the name of their barony, not their personal name. This is relevant when a baron or baroness's title is completely different from their personal surname (e.g. William Thomson, Lord Kelvin), or includes a territorial designation in addition to their surname (e.g. Martin Rees, Lord Rees of Ludlow). This also means that including a baron or baroness's forename before their title is incorrect and potentially misleading. For example, "Lady Margaret Thatcher" (as opposed to "Lady Thatcher") would imply that she were the daughter of an earl, marquess or duke rather than a baroness. Likewise, in the case of men, "Lord Digby Jones" (as opposed to "Lord Jones of Birmingham") would imply that he were the younger son of a marquess or duke rather than a baron.
The United Kingdom has a policy of including titles of nobility on passports: the title is entered into the surname field and a standard observation is recorded giving the holder's full name and title. A Baron would therefore record their surname as Lord [Barony], and the observation would note that The holder is The Right Honourable [given names] [surname] Lord [Barony]. However, if the title of an applicant's peerage is different from their surname, they can choose whether to use their surname or title in the surname field. A baroness in their own right would substitute "Baroness" for "Lord", and the wife of a Baron would similarly substitute "Lady". Titles of nobility are checked against Debrett's Peerage, Who's Who or the London Gazette by the passport office on application.
In Scotland, the rank of baron is a rank of the ancient feudal nobility of Scotland and refers to the holder of a feudal barony, formerly a feudal superiority over a proper territorial entity erected into a free barony by a Crown Charter, this being the status of a minor baron, recognized by the crown as noble, but not a peer.
The Court of the Lord Lyon will officially recognise feudal barons or those possessing the dignity of baron who meet certain criteria, and will grant them arms with a helmet befitting their degree. Scottish barons rank below Lords of Parliament and while noble have the status of minor baron, being a non-Peerage rank; as such it can be transferred by either inheritance or conveyance.
In showing that Scottish barons are titles of nobility, reference may be made, amongst others, to the Lyon Court in the Petition of Maclean of Ardgour for a Birthbrieve by Interlocutor dated 26 February 1943 which "Finds and Declares that the Minor Barons of Scotland are, and have both in this Nobiliary Court, and in the Court of Session, been recognised as 'titled' nobility, and that the estait of the Baronage (The Barones Minores) is of the ancient Feudal Nobility of Scotland".
Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, in his Scots Heraldry (2nd Ed., p. 88, note 1), states that "The Act 1672, cap 47, specially qualifies the degrees thus: Nobles (i.e. peers, the term being here used in a restricted seventeenth-century English sense), Barons (i.e. Lairds of baronial fiefs and their 'heirs', who, even if fiefless, are equivalent to heads of Continental baronial houses) and Gentlemen (apparently all other armigers)." Baronets and knights are evidently classed as 'Gentlemen' here and are of a lower degree than Barons.
Scottish feudal barons were entitled to a red cap of maintenance (chapeau) turned up ermine if petitioning for a grant or matriculation of a coat of arms between the 1930s and 2004. This chapeau is identical to the red cap worn by an English baron, but without the silver balls or gilt. This is sometimes depicted in armorial paintings between the shield and the helmet. Additionally, if the baron is the head of a family, he may include a chiefly coronet which is similar to a ducal coronet, but with four strawberry leaves. Because the chapeau was a relatively recent innovation, a number of ancient arms of Scottish feudal barons do not display the chapeau. Now, Scottish barons are principally recognised by the baron's helm, which in Scotland is a steel helmet with grille of three grilles, garnished in gold. Occasionally, the great tilting-helm garnished with gold is shown, or a helmet befitting a higher rank, if held.
Scottish barons style their surnames similarly to Clan Chiefs, with the name of their barony following their name, as in John Smith of Edinburgh or John Smith, Baron of Edinburgh. Most formally, and in writing, they are styled as The Much Honoured Baron of Edinburgh. Their wives are styled Lady Edinburgh, or The Baroness of Edinburgh. The phrase Lady of Edinburgh is wrong if the lady in question does not hold a Scottish barony in her own right. Orally, Scottish barons may be addressed with the name of their barony, as in Edinburgh or else as Baron without anything else following, which if present would suggest a peerage barony. Informally, when referring to a Scots feudal baron in the third person, the name Baron of [X] is used or simply [X].
Scottish feudal Barons may record [surname] of [territorial designation] in the surname field of their passport, and an official observation would then note that The holder is [given names] [surname] Baron of [territorial designation]; applicants must provide evidence that the Lord Lyon has recognised their feudal barony, or else be included in Burke's Peerage.
Like other major Western noble titles, baron is sometimes used to render certain titles in non-Western languages with their own traditions, even though they are necessarily historically unrelated and thus hard to compare, which are considered 'equivalent' in relative rank. This is the case with China's nanjue (nan-chueh) (Chinese: 男爵), hereditary title of nobility of the fifth rank, as well as its derivatives and adaptations:
In some republics of continental Europe, the unofficial title of "Baron" retains a purely social prestige, with no particular political privileges.
In the Polynesian island monarchy of Tonga, as opposed to the situation in Europe, barons are granted this imported title (in English), alongside traditional chiefly styles, and continue to hold and exercise some political power.
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, ( (listen); 2 July 1903 – 9 October 1995) was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964. He was the last Prime Minister to hold office while a member of the House of Lords, before renouncing his peerage and taking up a seat in the House of Commons for the remainder of his premiership. His reputation, however, rests more on his two spells as Britain's foreign minister than on his brief premiership.
The eldest child of Charles Douglas-Home, Lord Dunglass, he was educated at Ludgrove School, Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. A talented cricketer, he played first-class cricket at club and county level; he began serving in the Territorial Army from 1924. Douglas-Home (under the courtesy title Lord Dunglass) entered Parliament in 1931 and served as the parliamentary aide to Neville Chamberlain, although his diagnosis in 1940 with spinal tuberculosis would immobilise him for two years. Having recovered enough to resume his political career, Douglas-Home lost his seat in the 1945 general election. He regained it in 1950, but left the Commons the following year when, on the death of his father, he entered the Lords as the 14th Earl of Home. Under the next Conservative government, Home was appointed to increasingly senior posts, such as Leader of the House of Lords and Foreign Secretary. In the latter post (1960–1963) he supported United States resolve in the Cuban Missile Crisis and was the UK signatory of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in August 1963.
In October 1963, Harold Macmillan resigned as Prime Minister and Home was chosen to succeed him. By the 1960s, it was unacceptable for a Prime Minister to sit in the Lords, so Home renounced his peerage and successfully stood for election to Parliament as Sir Alec Douglas-Home. The manner of his appointment was controversial, and two Macmillan Cabinet ministers refused to stay in office under him. Criticised by the Labour Party as an out-of-touch aristocrat, he came over stiffly in television interviews, by contrast with Labour leader Harold Wilson. As Prime Minister, Douglas-Home's demeanour and appearance remained aristocratic and old-fashioned. His understanding of economics was primitive, and he gave his Chancellor, Reginald Maudling, free rein to handle financial affairs. He enjoyed dealing with foreign policy and his Foreign Secretary, Rab Butler, was not especially energetic, but there were no major crises or issues to resolve. The Conservative Party, having governed for nearly twelve years, lost their standing after the scandalous Profumo affair under Macmillan and, by Douglas-Home's premiership, seemed headed for heavy electoral defeat; his was the second briefest of the 20th century, lasting two days short of a year. Among the legislation passed under his government was the abolition of resale price maintenance in 1964.
Narrowly defeated in the 1964 election, Douglas-Home resigned the party leadership in July 1965, having instituted a new and less secretive method for electing the leader. He later served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Edward Heath at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1970–1974), an expanded version of his former secretaryship. After the first of the twin Conservative defeats of 1974, he stood down at the second, the October 1974 election, and returned to the Lords as a life peer titled Lord Home of the Hirsel. He gradually retired from front-line politics and died in 1995, aged 92.Baron Strucker
Baron Wolfgang von Strucker () is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
Baron Strucker, a former Nazi officer, is one of the leaders of Hydra and an enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers, and the interests of the United States of America. He has been physically augmented to be nearly ageless. He has been seemingly killed in the past only to return to plague the world with schemes of world domination and genocide, time and time again. The character has been portrayed by Campbell Lane in the 1998 TV film Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and by Thomas Kretschmann in the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron.Business magnate
A business magnate or industrialist is an entrepreneur of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise or field of business. The term characteristically refers to a wealthy entrepreneur or investor who controls, through personal business ownership or dominant shareholding position, a firm or industry whose goods or services are widely consumed. Such individuals may also be called czars, moguls, proprietors, tycoons, taipans, barons, or oligarchs.Christopher Guest
Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest (born February 5, 1948) is a British-American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor, and comedian who holds dual British and American citizenship. Guest is most widely known in Hollywood for having written, directed and starred in his series of comedy films shot in mock-documentary (mockumentary) style. Many scenes and character backgrounds in Guest's films are written and directed, although actors have no rehearsal time and the ensemble improvise scenes while filming them. The series of films began with This Is Spinal Tap, and continued with Waiting for Guffman, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, and Mascots.
Guest holds a hereditary British peerage as the 5th Baron Haden-Guest, and has publicly expressed a desire to see the House of Lords reformed as a democratically elected chamber. Though he was initially active in the Lords, his career there was cut short by the House of Lords Act 1999, which removed the right of most hereditary peers to a seat in the parliament. When using his title, he is normally styled as Lord Haden-Guest. Guest is married to actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis.Ernest Rutherford
Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson, , HFRSE, LLD (30 August 1871 – 19 October 1937), was a New Zealand-born British physicist who came to be known as the father of nuclear physics. Encyclopædia Britannica considers him to be the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday (1791–1867).In early work, Rutherford discovered the concept of radioactive half-life, the radioactive element radon, and differentiated and named alpha and beta radiation. This work was performed at McGill University in Canada. It is the basis for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry he was awarded in 1908 "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances", for which he was the first Canadian and Oceanian Nobel laureate.
Rutherford moved in 1907 to the Victoria University of Manchester (today University of Manchester) in the UK, where he and Thomas Royds proved that alpha radiation is helium nuclei. Rutherford performed his most famous work after he became a Nobel laureate. In 1911, although he could not prove that it was positive or negative,
he theorized that atoms have their charge concentrated in a very small nucleus,
and thereby pioneered the Rutherford model of the atom, through his discovery and interpretation of Rutherford scattering by the gold foil experiment of Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden. He performed the first artificially induced nuclear reaction in 1917 in experiments where nitrogen nuclei were bombarded with alpha particles. As a result, he discovered the emission of a subatomic particle which, in 1919, he called the "hydrogen atom" but, in 1920, he more accurately named the proton. Rutherford became Director of the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in 1919. Under his leadership the neutron was discovered by James Chadwick in 1932 and in the same year the first experiment to split the nucleus in a fully controlled manner was performed by students working under his direction, John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton. After his death in 1937, he was honoured by being interred with the greatest scientists of the United Kingdom, near Sir Isaac Newton's tomb in Westminster Abbey. The chemical element rutherfordium (element 104) was named after him in 1997.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (sometimes spelled Leibnitz) (; German: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈlaɪbnɪts] or [ˈlaɪpnɪts]; French: Godefroi Guillaume Leibnitz; 1 July 1646 [O.S. 21 June] – 14 November 1716) was a prominent German polymath and philosopher in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. His most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton's contemporaneous developments. Mathematical works have generally favored Leibniz's notation as the conventional expression of calculus. It was only in the 20th century that Leibniz's law of continuity and transcendental law of homogeneity found mathematical implementation (by means of non-standard analysis). He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of all digital computers.
In philosophy, Leibniz is most noted for his optimism, i.e. his conclusion that our universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created, an idea that was often lampooned by others such as Voltaire. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th-century advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy also looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason to first principles or prior definitions rather than to empirical evidence.
Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in philosophy, probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, linguistics, and computer science. He wrote works on philosophy, politics, law, ethics, theology, history, and philology. Leibniz also contributed to the field of library science. While serving as overseer of the Wolfenbüttel library in Germany, he devised a cataloging system that would serve as a guide for many of Europe's largest libraries. Leibniz's contributions to this vast array of subjects were scattered in various learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters, and in unpublished manuscripts. He wrote in several languages, but primarily in Latin, French, and German. There is no complete gathering of the writings of Leibniz translated into English.James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, (; 27 March 1912 – 26 March 2005), often known as Jim Callaghan, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980.
To date, Callaghan remains the only person to have held all four Great Offices of State, having served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1964–1967), Home Secretary (1967–1970) and Foreign Secretary (1974–1976) prior to his appointment as Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, he had some successes, but is mainly remembered for the "Winter of Discontent" of 1978–79. During a very cold winter, his battle with trade unions led to immense strikes that seriously inconvenienced the public, leading to his defeat in the polls by Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher. Callaghan was the last Prime Minister born before the First World War.
Upon entering the House of Commons in 1945, he was on the left wing of the party. Callaghan steadily moved towards the right, but maintained his reputation as "The Keeper of the Cloth Cap"—that is, he was seen as dedicated to maintaining close ties between the Labour Party and the trade unions. Callaghan's period as Chancellor of the Exchequer coincided with a turbulent period for the British economy, during which he had to wrestle with a balance of payments deficit and speculative attacks on the pound sterling (its exchange rate to other currencies was almost fixed by the Bretton Woods system). On 18 November 1967, the government devalued the pound sterling. Callaghan became Home Secretary. He sent the British Army to support the police in Northern Ireland, after a request from the Northern Ireland Government.
After Labour was defeated at the 1970 general election, Callaghan played a key role in the Shadow Cabinet. He became Foreign Secretary in 1974, taking responsibility for renegotiating the terms of the UK's membership of the European Communities, and supporting a "Yes" vote in the 1975 referendum to remain in the EC. When Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, Callaghan defeated five other candidates to be elected as his replacement. Labour had already lost its narrow majority in the House of Commons by the time he became Prime Minister, and further by-election defeats and defections forced Callaghan to deal with minor parties such as the Liberal Party, particularly in the "Lib–Lab pact" from 1977 to 1978. Industrial disputes and widespread strikes in the 1978 "Winter of Discontent" made Callaghan's government unpopular, and the defeat of the referendum on devolution for Scotland led to the successful passage of a motion of no confidence on 28 March 1979. This was followed by a defeat at the ensuing general election.
Callaghan remained Labour Party leader until November 1980, in order to reform the process by which the party elected its leader, before returning to the backbenches where he remained until he was made a life peer as Baron Callaghan of Cardiff. He went on to live longer than any other British prime minister in history—92 years and 364 days.Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, (5 April 1827 – 10 February 1912), known between 1883 and 1897 as Sir Joseph Lister, Bt., was a British surgeon and a pioneer of antiseptic surgery.
Lister promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Lister successfully introduced carbolic acid (now known as phenol) to sterilise surgical instruments and to clean wounds.
Applying Louis Pasteur's advances in microbiology, Lister championed the use of carbolic acid as an antiseptic, so that it became the first widely used antiseptic in surgery. He first suspected it would prove an adequate disinfectant because it was used to ease the stench from fields irrigated with sewage waste. He presumed it was safe because fields treated with carbolic acid produced no apparent ill-effects on the livestock that later grazed upon them.
Lister's work led to a reduction in post-operative infections and made surgery safer for patients, distinguishing him as the "father of modern surgery".Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, (; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career, he had considerable success in television roles.
His family had no theatrical connections, but Olivier's father, a clergyman, decided that his son should become an actor. After attending a drama school in London, Olivier learned his craft in a succession of acting jobs during the late 1920s. In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and he appeared in his first film. In 1935 he played in a celebrated production of Romeo and Juliet alongside Gielgud and Ashcroft, and by the end of the decade he was an established star. In the 1940s, together with Richardson and John Burrell, Olivier was the co-director of the Old Vic, building it into a highly respected company. There his most celebrated roles included Shakespeare's Richard III and Sophocles's Oedipus. In the 1950s Olivier was an independent actor-manager, but his stage career was in the doldrums until he joined the avant garde English Stage Company in 1957 to play the title role in The Entertainer, a part he later played on film. From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars. His own parts there included the title role in Othello (1965) and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1970).
Among Olivier's films are Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), and a trilogy of Shakespeare films as actor-director: Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948), and Richard III (1955). His later films included The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), Sleuth (1972), Marathon Man (1976), and The Boys from Brazil (1978). His television appearances included an adaptation of The Moon and Sixpence (1960), Long Day's Journey into Night (1973), Love Among the Ruins (1975), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976), Brideshead Revisited (1981) and King Lear (1983).
Olivier's honours included a knighthood (1947), a life peerage (1970) and the Order of Merit (1981). For his on-screen work he received four Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. The National Theatre's largest auditorium is named in his honour, and he is commemorated in the Laurence Olivier Awards, given annually by the Society of London Theatre. He was married three times, to the actresses Jill Esmond from 1930 to 1940, Vivien Leigh from 1940 to 1960, and Joan Plowright from 1961 until his death.Lord Byron
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet, peer, and politician who became a revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence, and is considered one of the historical leading figures of the Romantic movement of his era. He is regarded as one of the greatest English poets and remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular.
He travelled extensively across Europe, especially in Italy, where he lived for seven years in the cities of Venice, Ravenna and Pisa. During his stay in Italy he frequently visited his friend and fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Later in life Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, and died of disease leading a campaign during that war, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died in 1824 at the age of 36 from a fever contracted after the First and Second Siege of Missolonghi.
Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was considered a celebrity in his era both for his success as a Romantic poet and for his aristocratic excesses, which included huge debts and many sex scandals - numerous love affairs with both men and women in a time when bisexuality was considered a crime, as well as rumours of a scandalous, incestous liaison with his half-sister. One of his lovers, Lady Caroline Lamb, summed him up in the famous phrase "mad, bad, and dangerous to know".
His only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, is regarded as a foundational figure in the field of computer programming based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Byron's illegitimate children include Allegra Byron, who died in childhood, and possibly Elizabeth Medora Leigh.Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918), also known as the "Red Baron", was a fighter pilot with the German Air Force during World War I. He is considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.
Originally a cavalryman, Richthofen transferred to the Air Service in 1915, becoming one of the first members of fighter squadron Jagdstaffel 2 in 1916. He quickly distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, and during 1917 became leader of Jasta 11 and then the larger fighter wing unit Jagdgeschwader 1, better known as "The Flying Circus" or "Richthofen's Circus" because of the bright colours of its aircraft, and perhaps also because of the way the unit was transferred from one area of allied air activity to another – moving like a travelling circus, and frequently setting up in tents on improvised airfields. By 1918, Richthofen was regarded as a national hero in Germany, and respected by his enemies.
Richthofen was shot down and killed near Vaux-sur-Somme on 21 April 1918. There has been considerable discussion and debate regarding aspects of his career, especially the circumstances of his death. He remains one of the most widely known fighter pilots of all time, and has been the subject of many books, films and other media.Montesquieu
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (; French: [mɔ̃tɛskjø]; 18 January 1689 – 10 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, man of letters, and political philosopher.
He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He is also known for doing more than any other author to secure the place of the word "despotism" in the political lexicon. His anonymously published The Spirit of the Laws in 1748, which was received well in both Great Britain and the American colonies, influenced the Founding Fathers in drafting the United States Constitution.Peerage of England
The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Scotland were replaced by one Peerage of Great Britain.
Until the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999, all Peers of England could sit in the House of Lords. (Women peers of England were only granted seats with the Peerage Act 1963.)
The ranks of the English peerage are, in descending order, Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, and Baron. While most newer English peerages descend only in the male line, many of the older ones (particularly older baronies) can descend through females. Under English inheritance law all daughters are co-heirs, so many older English peerage titles have fallen into abeyance between various female co-heirs.
Baronets, while holders of hereditary titles, are not peers and not entitled to sit in the House of Lords (unless they also hold a peerage). Knights, Dames, and holders of other non-hereditary orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom are also not peers.
In the following table, each peer is listed only by his or her highest English title (with the exception of the Duke of Norfolk/Earl of Arundel) showing higher or equal titles in the other peerages. Those peers who are known by a higher title in one of the other peerages are listed in italics.Peerage of the United Kingdom
The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union in 1801, when it replaced the Peerage of Great Britain. New peers continued to be created in the Peerage of Ireland until 1898 (the last creation being the Barony of Curzon of Kedleston).Richard Attenborough
Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, (; 29 August 1923 – 24 August 2014) was an English actor, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and politician. He was the President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Attenborough joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and served in the film unit. He went on several bombing raids over Europe and filmed action from the rear gunner's position. He was the older brother of Sir David Attenborough, a naturalist, documenter, and broadcaster, and John Attenborough, an executive at Alfa Romeo. He was married to actress Sheila Sim from 1945 until his death.
As a film director and producer, Attenborough won two Academy Awards for Gandhi in 1983, receiving awards for Best Picture and Best Director. The BFI ranked Gandhi the 34th greatest British film of the 20th century. He also won four BAFTA Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. As an actor, he is perhaps best known for his roles in Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, 10 Rillington Place, The Sand Pebbles, Miracle on 34th Street (1994) and Jurassic Park.Rothschild family
The Rothschild family () is a wealthy Jewish family descending from Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744–1812), a court factor to the German Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel in the Free City of Frankfurt, Holy Roman Empire, who established his banking business in the 1760s. Unlike most previous court factors, Rothschild managed to bequeath his wealth and established an international banking family through his five sons, who established themselves in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Naples. The family was elevated to noble rank in the Holy Roman Empire and the United Kingdom.During the 19th century, the Rothschild family possessed the largest private fortune in the world, as well as in modern world history. The family's wealth was divided among various descendants, and today their interests cover a diverse range of fields, including financial services, real estate, mining, energy, mixed farming, winemaking and nonprofits.The Rothschild family has frequently been the subject of conspiracy theories, many of which have antisemitic origins.Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Noam Baron Cohen (born 13 October 1971) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer. He is known for creating and portraying many fictional satirical characters, including Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno, Admiral General Aladeen, Erran Morad, and multiple others. Like his idol Peter Sellers, he adopts a variety of accents and guises for his characters and rarely appears out of character.In most of his routines, Baron Cohen's characters interact with unsuspecting people, documentary style, who do not realise they are being set up for comic situations and self-revealing ridicule. His other work includes voicing King Julien XIII in the Madagascar film series (2005–2012) and appearing in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Hugo (2011) and Les Misérables (2012). He made a cameo as a BBC News Anchor in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). In 2016, he played an English football hooligan brother of an MI6 spy in the comedy film Grimsby, and co-starred as Time in the fantasy sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. In 2018, Baron Cohen created and starred in Who Is America? for Showtime, his first television project since Da Ali G Show, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.
Baron Cohen was named Best Newcomer at the 1999 British Comedy Awards for The 11 O'Clock Show, and since then, he has received two BAFTA Awards for Da Ali G Show, several Emmy nominations, a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his work in the feature film Borat. After the release of Borat, Baron Cohen stated that because the public had become too familiar with the characters, he would retire Borat and Ali G. Similarly, after the release of Brüno, Baron Cohen stated he would also retire the title character. At the 2012 British Comedy Awards, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award, accepting the award while reprising his Ali G character. In 2013, he received the BAFTA Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy.Travis Barker
Travis Landon Barker (born November 14, 1975) is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer, best known as the drummer for the rock band Blink-182. Barker has also performed as a frequent collaborator with hip hop artists, is a member of the rap rock group Transplants, founded the rock bands +44 and Box Car Racer, and most recently joined Antemasque and Goldfinger. He was a frequent collaborator with the now-late DJ AM, and together they formed TRV$DJAM. Due to his fame, Rolling Stone referred to him as "punk's first superstar drummer" as well as one of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.Born in Fontana, California, Barker began drumming at an early age. He began playing for the Aquabats in 1996, but left to join Blink-182 in 1998, which encountered mainstream success with Enema of the State (1999). Barker established himself as a versatile drummer, producing and making guest appearances in music projects of numerous music genres including hip hop, alternative rock, pop and country. He also starred in an MTV reality series named Meet the Barkers. He was involved in a plane crash in 2008, but he recovered and released his debut solo album, Give the Drummer Some, in 2011. He has continued to work with rappers, releasing extended plays with Yelawolf and Asher Roth and Nottz, as well as with Blink-182 and the Transplants.
Aside from drumming, he founded clothing company Famous Stars and Straps in 1999 and LaSalle Records in 2004. Companies such as DC Shoes and Zildjian cymbals have co-designed products in his name. He released a memoir, Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums, in 2015.William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin
William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was an Ulster Scots Irish mathematical physicist and engineer who was born in Belfast in 1824. At the University of Glasgow he did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He worked closely with mathematics professor Hugh Blackburn in his work. He also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor, which propelled him into the public eye and ensured his wealth, fame and honour. For his work on the transatlantic telegraph project he was knighted in 1866 by Queen Victoria, becoming Sir William Thomson. He had extensive maritime interests and was most noted for his work on the mariner's compass, which previously had limited reliability.
Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour. While the existence of a lower limit to temperature (absolute zero) was known prior to his work, Lord Kelvin is known for determining its correct value as approximately −273.15 degree Celsius or −459.67 degree Fahrenheit.
He was ennobled in 1892 in recognition of his achievements in thermodynamics, and of his opposition to Irish Home Rule, becoming Baron Kelvin, of Largs in the County of Ayr. He was the first British scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords. The title refers to the River Kelvin, which flows near his laboratory at the University of Glasgow. His home was the red sandstone mansion Netherhall, in Largs. Despite offers of elevated posts from several world-renowned universities, Kelvin refused to leave Glasgow, remaining professor of Natural Philosophy for over 50 years, until his eventual retirement from that post. The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow has a permanent exhibition on the work of Lord Kelvin including many of his original papers, instruments, and other artifacts, such as his smoking pipe.
Active in industrial research and development, he was recruited around 1899 by George Eastman to serve as vice-chairman of the board of the British company Kodak Limited, affiliated with Eastman Kodak.
Families that have been included in Kalender öfver i Sverige lefvande ointroducerad adel (1886–1899), Sveriges ointroducerade adels kalender (1912–1944) and/or Kalender över Ointroducerad adels förening (1935–)