Barony

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A modern geographic barony, in Scotland, Ireland and outlying parts of England, constitutes an administrative division of a country, usually of lower rank and importance than a county.

Origin

A geographic barony is a remnant from mediaeval times of the area of land held under the form of feudal land tenure termed feudal barony, or barony by tenure, either an English feudal barony, a Scottish feudal barony or an Irish feudal barony, which all operated under different legal and social systems. Just as modern counties are no longer under the administrative control of a noble count or earl, geographic baronies are generally no longer connected with feudal barons, certainly not in England where such tenure was abolished with the whole feudal system by the Tenures Abolition Act 1660. The position in Scotland is more complex, although the legal force of the Scottish feudal baron was abolished early in the 21st century.[1]

Surviving examples

England

Two divisions of the county of Westmorland in England:

Scotland

Ireland

  • Barony (Ireland), a former unit of administration in Ireland, below the level of the counties and latterly not usually associated with any baronial title.

Norway

See also

  • Caput baronium, the seat of a barony in Scotland
  • Moot hill, the principal residence in law of a barony in England

References

  1. ^ P. G. B. McNeill and H. L. MacQueen, eds, Atlas of Scottish History to 1707 (University of Edinburgh: Edinburgh, 1996), pp. 201-7


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