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Old 04-20-2017, 02:10 AM
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Emergence and Origin of Nobility & Aristocracy

Hello,

I am very interested to know how did Nobility and Aristocracy emerge as I've heard it was based on the occupation/talent.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:27 AM
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Definitely not in Europe.

The modern concept of nobility has nothing to do with occupation or talent. It mainly had to do with land. It dates back to the time of fiefs. The people who owned the fiefs were literally land lords. The larger the fief, more money, the higher rank. You might be over lord to smaller fiefs. As time went on, lordships which back then came with land and money, were granted by the sovereigns. Political power, military strength and wealth helped raise you through the ranks. Some commoners may indeed enter the nobility based on their occupation, but very rare. Such as a kings minister or a military leader. As estates were inherited by children, these titles became hereditary. There were many wealthy people at court with title who would hope to gain one through service, or funding the king in some way, or marrying a child into it.

The ancient concept came from the early days of democracy and republic in Italy and Greece. Those who were elected to consuls and senators were considered a level above the common folk. They basically became aristocratic rank. When democracy failed, the concept of an aristocratic rank of society remained.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:22 AM
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Thanks for the Information Countessmeout !.

Are there any families who entered Nobility through occupation and talent?
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:29 PM
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occupation?

If you were something like a baker or blacksmith your chances were basically zero.

You had to have one of two things to earn your lordship. You either had to have money or some small skill that landed you at court. And even then you had to find a powerful patron who may help you climb the ladder.

Thomas Cromwell was a perfect example. Thomas was the son of a blacksmith. By the time got executed he was and Earl and one of the most powerful men at court. His son had the baronecy restored to him. Thomas went to the continent as a mercenary and eventually ended up working in Italy under a florentine banker. As a lawyer and politician back home he managed to rise up.

Charles Brandon was the son of a minor lord. He ended up at court due to his father being standard bearer to Henry vii and being killed while protecting the king. Charles due to his friendship with Henry, and his own military skills, received many positions at court. He was viscount Lisle by marriage and later Duke in his own right. He lost viscount when he married Mary.

I am a Tudor buff if you haven't noticed.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:42 AM
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Some families did arise from being bigwigs in their locality, buying land as the Spencers of Northamptonshire did through prospering at sheep rearing, then through the dowries of their brides buying more land and property, gaining a knighthood and climbing the greasy pole that way.
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:55 PM
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Thanks for the information
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:03 AM
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What about the catholic & orthodox Nobility and Aristocracy like the Ligne, Croÿ, Galitzine, d'Udekom d'Acoz, Limburg-Stirum families?
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Shikha Pal View Post
Hello,

I am very interested to know how did Nobility and Aristocracy emerge as I've heard it was based on the occupation/talent.
In medieval Europe, I suppose it was mostly based on military service to the king in exchange for a fiefdom. Later, in the modern age, courtiers also began to be ennobled in recognition of their service to the Crown, but without a grant of land attached to the title. The latter practice was extended in 19th Britain for example to some senior politicians too.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:21 AM
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What about the catholic & orthodox Nobility and Aristocracy like the Ligne, Croÿ, Galitzine, d'Udekom d'Acoz, Limburg-Stirum families?
All of these famous names have an own Wikipedia page...

De Ligne originally were lords (seigneurs) in service of the Counts of Hainaut. The first mention was a certain Thierry de Ligne (1125). From generation on generation they served the Dukes of Burgundy. In 1544 Emperor Charles V elevated the seigneurs De Ligne into comital rank. Since then they are known as Comtes de Ligne et du Saint-Empire.

Croÿ have a similar background: they were lords (seigneurs) in the service of the Dukes of Burgundy and steadily accumulated titles and fiefdoms.

d'Udekem d'Acoz can not be compared with De Ligne and De Croÿ. The first ennoblement (without title) ook place in the 18th C. In the 19th C the King of the Netherlands (of which Belgium was a part) elevated them to the baronial rank. In the 21st C (in 2000) they were elevated to comital rank.

Van Limburg Stirum has more prestige than d'Udekem d'Acoz but rank below De Ligne and Croÿ because of anciennity of their ennoblement and rank.

Golitsyn does not belong in this queue. The four families beforementioned feature in the Low Countries. Golitsyn is one of the grandest princely houses of Russia and is hors categorie compared with De Ligne, Croÿ, d'Udekem d'Acoz and Van Limburg Stirum.
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:14 PM
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Are there any families who entered Nobility through occupation and talent?
King Philippe of Belgium has conferred hereditary noble titles on three businessmen and an author.

Blog sur la famille royale belge: Les 38 anoblis du règne de Philippe Ier
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