1. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA

    Is it possible for someone to be a 'lord', and not in the 'Feudal' sense?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Link the Writer, Mar 11, 2016.

    Usually when I hear the word 'lord', I think of it in the Feudal sense: a lord owns a plot of land, everyone on that land pays him and he pays to the king, etc. Yet in my fantasy, I have a character who isn't a 'lord' in that sense, but in the sense of 'Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson' kind of 'lord'. As in, 'I'm a very skilled, very wealthy man who works in the government at some capacity, and who owns a lavish mansion and has servants. Did I mention I have some political clout?'

    I'm confused on this. What's the difference between the 'Feudal lord' and the other type of 'lord'? Was the concept of 'lord' in Nelson's time just a flashy title to separate his class from the common rabble? He didn't own a large tract of land where everyone had to pay him taxes, and he then paid taxes to the monarch, correct?

    I just want to get this straight in my head. :D

    EDIT: And while I'm at it, did the Lady (ie, Nelson's wife in this example) have any political power or was she just there to be the pretty face of the house and arrange parties and the like?
     
  2. X Equestris
    Online

    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Nelson has lord in his title because he was a Duke and a viscount. Now by this time medieval style feudalism was mostly dead in Britain, so the nobles weren't governing huge tracts of land like they once had. There were privileges that came with the title, though. I found this reddit thread that covers the nobility's transition from feudalism:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/1sv6pl/how_did_feudalism_end_in_britain_why_and_how_did/
     
    Link the Writer likes this.
  3. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Very interesting link! Had a brief skim over it and it looks very helpful to me. Thanks. :D

    So I guess depending on how the law's structured in my fantasy, my character could either have the power to raise his own private army (which is kind of the basic summary of the plot of A Song of Ice and Fire if I'm not mistakened: a bunch of noble houses fighting each other over who gets to rule over Westeros using their own private armies) and own large tracts of land with peasants and serfs living together alike -- or simply a lord in name only. He would have privileges from being a lord, but he wouldn't be able to extert his power and influence over others.

    But thanks for the link. Very helpful, I'll give it a good read.
     
  4. X Equestris
    Online

    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Pretty much. It depends on how you set up your world. Which is also the answer to your edit in the OP.
     
    Link the Writer likes this.
  5. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I see! And since my fantasy is set in the middle of a quasi-Industrial Revolution-like era, my lord would more than likely be a 'pauper lord', virtually no power save for a useless title and a glorious mansion with servants.

    Thanks so much, Equestris. :D
     
  6. Wayjor Frippery
    Offline

    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    708
    Location:
    Tranquility Base
    Lords in England during this period had real power, even if they no longer had their old feudal privileges (like the ability to raise armies). They all had a seat in the House of Lords, for a start, which was (and still is) the upper house of the legislature. They got a say in making law, had the ear of the monarch, and during the industrial revolution many of them also had positions in government up to and including Prime Minister. Those titles were definitely not 'useless'.

    Having said all that, if you're world building, you're free to do what you like! :)
     

Share This Page