Originally Posted by Furienna
This is interesting, But I have a question. What's the difference between the aristocratic, noble and patrician?
"Patricians" are members of old and well-known Dutch families who are listed in the so-called "Blue Book" (officially Nederland's Patriciaat).
Patrician familes are those that have held prominent public offices for several generations in the Netherlands throughout the centuries and belong to the country's upper class, but were never formally admitted into the nobility (de Nederlandse Adel).
The nobility on the other hand is a class of individuals who, by inheritance, birth right or royal decree are legally entitled to use a title (e.g. count, viscount, baron, etc.) or an honorific predicate.
The list of families who belong to the nobility is maintained by an official state body known as de Hoge Raad van Adel
(the High Council of Nobility), which reports to the Dutch council of ministers.
In the Kingdom of the Netherlands, one could be admitted into the nobility by 3 different methods:
- The person's family could be recognized by the monarch as part of the indigenous nobility of the Netherlands from the days of the old Dutch republic (1572-1795).
- The person could be elevated to the nobility by royal decree.
- If the person's family held nobility status in a foreign country, he/she could be incorporated into the nobility of the Netherlands when he/she or his/her father became a naturalized Dutch citizen.
I believe #1 is theoretically still possible, albeit very unlikely, since most eligible families were already recognized a long time ago. New elevations to the nobility on the other hand, although common in 19th century, are now legally possible only for members or former members of the Dutch Royal House. Likewise, incorporation of foreign nobility is no longer allowed by law.
When a person was admitted into the Dutch nobility (by one of the 3 aforementioned methods), he could be also granted a title, or have a pre-existent family title recognized/confirmed by the monarch. Otherwise, if no title was granted or recognized, the admitted person became part of what is called the untitled nobility
. Sometimes a family was admitted as untitled nobility and, many generations later, they could be raised by the monarch to titled status, either by granting of a new title or recognition of a pre-1795 title.
The general rule in the case of recognized pre-existent titles is that the title is transmitted from birth to all male and female descendants, but in male line only. New titles on the other hand were generally inherited by the first-born son only, but, in some cases, they could also be transmitted to all male-line descendants. In the northern Netherlands (i.e the current Kingdom of the Netherlands), the usual titles of nobility were/are count
whereas in the southern Netherlands (modern-day Belgium), the title of viscount
also existed in addition to the former. Members of the untitled nobility on the other hand are entitled to use the honorific predicate of jonkheer,
which is also hereditary in male line.