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Fief Thomas Blondel of the Channel Islands  - A Norman Fief Registered Directly With the Royal Courts of Guernsey and with the Crown or Sovereign of The United Kingdom which includes the Fief L"Eperon

"Lord Paramount" was a title used in the feudal system of medieval Europe, particularly in England, to describe a noble who held a high-ranking position within the realm and had authority over other lords. The term "paramount" means "supreme" or "highest in rank or authority."

In England, lords who held land "in capite ut de corona" (meaning "directly from the crown") were considered to be the highest-ranking nobles in the country. They owed their allegiance and service directly to the king and were responsible for governing their lands and the people who lived on them. These lords were also known as "tenants-in-chief" and were granted their lands by the king in exchange for their military and other services.

The term "lord paramount" was used to describe the highest-ranking lord in a particular region or territory. For example, the Lord Paramount of Scotland was the highest-ranking noble in Scotland, while the Lord Paramount of Ireland was the highest-ranking noble in Ireland.

Today, the term "lord paramount" is mainly used in historical contexts and has largely fallen out of use.

The size of fiefs varied greatly throughout history and across different regions, depending on factors such as political and economic conditions, the availability of land, and the power of the feudal lord. Some of the largest fiefs in history include:

  1. The Holy Roman Empire: The Holy Roman Empire was a complex political system that included many feudal lords who held vast fiefs across Europe. The largest of these fiefs was the Duchy of Burgundy, which was held by the Valois dukes of Burgundy and covered much of modern-day France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
  2. The Kingdom of France: In the late medieval period, the Kingdom of France was divided into many large fiefs held by powerful feudal lords, including the Dukes of Brittany, the Dukes of Burgundy, and the Counts of Champagne. The largest of these fiefs was the Duchy of Aquitaine, which covered much of southwestern France.
  3. The Kingdom of England: In England, the largest fiefs were the earldoms, which were held by powerful nobles and covered large areas of land. The largest of these earldoms was the Earldom of Northumbria, which covered much of northern England.
  4. The Mughal Empire: The Mughal Empire was a powerful Muslim empire that ruled over much of South Asia from the 16th to the 19th century. The empire was divided into many large fiefs held by powerful feudal lords, including the Rajputs of Rajasthan, who held vast estates across northern India.
  5. The Russian Empire: The Russian Empire was a vast state that covered much of eastern Europe and northern Asia. The empire was divided into many large fiefs held by powerful feudal lords, including the princes of Moscow, who held vast estates in central Russia.

These are just a few examples of some of the largest fiefs in history. The size and power of these fiefs varied greatly depending on the specific historical and political context in which they existed.

A seigneur was typically a member of the nobility who held a fief from a higher-ranking lord, such as a king, a duke, or a bishop. The seigneur was responsible for administering his fief and providing military service to his overlord in exchange for the land and other privileges granted to him.

The title of seigneur was often hereditary, meaning that it was passed down from father to son. In some cases, a seigneur might be granted additional titles or honors, such as the title of "baron" or "count," depending on his rank and status within the feudal hierarchy.

So, "seigneur" was a noble title used to describe a feudal lord who held a fief or estate in medieval Europe, including in the 12th century.

In medieval France, a seigneur who held a fief directly from the crown was known as a "seigneur direct" or a "seigneur of the crown."

In Guernsey, a fief was a piece of land that was granted by the Crown to a noble in exchange for their service and loyalty. Along with the land, the fief holder was granted certain manorial rights, which included:

  1. The right to collect rents: The fief holder had the right to collect rent from tenants who lived on the land, which was typically paid in the form of produce or goods.
  2. The right to hold court: The fief holder had the right to hold court on their lands and to administer justice to their tenants. This included the right to try cases, impose fines and other punishments, and appoint officials to assist with the administration of justice.
  3. The right to hunt and fish: The fief holder had the right to hunt and fish on their lands and could also grant these rights to others.
  4. The right to timber: The fief holder had the right to cut down trees and use the timber for their own purposes, such as building or fuel.
  5. The right to mines and minerals: The fief holder had the right to mines and minerals on their land, including the right to extract metals and other valuable resources.
  6. The right to feudal incidents: The fief holder had the right to levy certain feudal incidents, such as relief and heriot, which were fees paid by tenants upon inheritance or death.

It's important to note that the specific manorial rights associated with a fief in Guernsey would have varied depending on the particular circumstances and time period. However, these are some of the general rights and privileges that were typically associated with fief ownership in the island. 

 

Reichsfreiherr was a noble title in the Holy Roman Empire that was granted to certain free imperial knights and other noble families. The title literally translates to "Free Baron of the Empire" and was considered higher in rank than a regular baron but lower than a count.

A Lord Paramount, on the other hand, is a term used in the feudal system of England and Scotland to describe a noble who held a certain territory or region and had control over other nobles who held smaller territories within that region. The term was particularly associated with the English Border and Scottish Marches, where powerful magnates held sway over a number of smaller feudal lords.

While both titles refer to nobility, they were associated with different systems of government and were granted in different historical periods. The Reichsfreiherr was granted in the Holy Roman Empire, which existed from the 9th century to 1806, while the title of Lord Paramount was associated with the feudal system of England and Scotland, which lasted from the Norman Conquest of 1066 until the 16th century.

A "R.Frhr." or  Reichsfreiherr was a noble title granted directly by the Holy Roman Emperor, who was the sovereign of the Holy Roman Empire. The title was therefore considered one of the highest honors that could be granted to a noble family, as it signified their direct connection to the imperial power. However, it is important to note that not all Reichsfreiherrs were equal in rank or status, as the title could be granted to individuals or families with varying degrees of power, influence, and wealth.

A seigneur direct, also known as a direct lord, was a type of feudal lord in medieval France who held his lands directly from the king, rather than through an intermediary lord. This meant that the seigneur direct had a closer and more direct relationship with the monarch, as well as more autonomy and authority over his lands and subjects.

In contrast, most feudal lords in medieval France held their lands as vassals of a higher lord, who in turn was a vassal of the king. This system of feudal hierarchy meant that there were many layers of authority and obligation between the king and his subjects, and that many lords held their lands and titles through a complex web of allegiances and loyalties.

The status of seigneur direct was highly coveted and prestigious, as it conferred greater power, wealth, and autonomy on the holder. However, it was also a position of great responsibility, as the seigneur direct was expected to maintain law and order on his lands, provide military service to the king, and uphold the social and economic obligations of feudal society.

In medieval feudal society, a seigneur was a lord or landowner who held authority over a certain area of land, known as a seigneurie. The seigneur had various rights and privileges over the inhabitants of the seigneurie, such as collecting taxes, administering justice, and controlling access to resources like forests and waterways. The seigneur could also grant land and other privileges to vassals, who were bound to provide military or other services in exchange for the land or privileges granted to them.

A vavasseur was a type of vassal who held land directly from a seigneur, rather than from a higher lord in the feudal hierarchy. The vavasseur was responsible for providing military or other services to the seigneur in exchange for the land and privileges granted to them. In some cases, a vavasseur might also have vassals of their own, who were bound to provide services to the vavasseur in exchange for their own lands and privileges.

The relationship between seigneurs and vavasseurs was an important aspect of feudal society, as it defined the distribution of power, wealth, and obligations within a given area. The seigneur-vassal relationship was based on mutual obligations and responsibilities, and was reinforced by a system of oaths and ceremonies that symbolized the bond between lord and vassal.

Feudal Norman seigneurs were also considered vicomtes or viscounts, which was a rank of nobility that was typically lower than that of a count, but higher than that of a baron.

In Norman feudal society, the title of viscount was often associated with a particular area or region, and the viscount was responsible for administering justice and collecting taxes within that area. The viscount was usually appointed by the Duke of Normandy or other higher lord, and was responsible for upholding the law and maintaining order within their jurisdiction. When the moieties of Larger Fiefs were separated from France and divided, the Seigneurs inherited a title in moiety from the Viscounts or Vicommes of France.

The title of viscount was sometimes granted to seigneurs who held important estates or who performed certain services for the Duke or other lords. However, the status of individual seigneurs varied depending on a range of factors, and not all seigneurs were granted the title of viscount.

Overall, the feudal hierarchy in Norman society was complex and fluid, and the status and privileges of individual lords and vassals varied depending on a range of factors, including their relationship with their lord, their wealth and resources, and their military and political influence.


Historically, fiefs were not typically sold at auction, as they were considered to be inalienable, meaning they could not be sold or transferred to someone outside of the feudal system. Instead, fiefs were typically granted to vassals by a lord or monarch, in exchange for the vassal's loyalty and service.

However, in some cases, feudal lords or monarchs might sell or transfer their rights to collect taxes or other revenues from a particular fief, without transferring ownership of the land itself. This practice was known as "leasing" a fief, and it was sometimes used as a way for lords to raise money or reward loyal subjects.

In more recent times, certain historical fiefs or estates have been sold at auction, but this is typically for the land and buildings associated with the fief, rather than for the feudal rights and privileges that historically accompanied it. The prices for such sales can vary widely depending on the location, history, and condition of the property, as well as the demand from potential buyers.

Examples of historical fiefs or estates that have been sold at auction include:

The Chateau de Gudanes, a 94-room castle in the south of France that was originally built in the 18th century as a fiefdom. It was sold at auction in 2013 for €700,000.

The Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers, a medieval castle in western France that was originally built as a fiefdom in the 13th century. It was sold at auction in 2017 for €702,000.

The Domaine du Lys Chateau, a 17th-century chateau in the Loire Valley of France that was originally built as a fiefdom. It was sold at auction in 2015 for €1.57 million.

It's worth noting that these examples are for historical properties that were originally fiefs, and the prices paid at auction are for the property itself, rather than for the feudal rights and privileges that historically accompanied the fief.

 

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