From the middle of the 1860s the privileged position of "Baltic Germans in the Russian Empire began to waver. Already during the reign of "Nicholas I (1825–55), who was under pressure from Russian nationalists, some sporadic steps had been taken towards the russification of the provinces. Later, the Baltic Germans faced fierce attacks from the Russian nationalist press, which accused the Baltic aristocracy of separatism, and advocated closer linguistic and administrative integration with Russia.
Social division was based on the dominance of the Baltic Germans which formed the upper classes while the majority of indigenous population, called "Undeutsch", composed the peasantry. In the Imperial census of 1897, 98,573 Germans (7.58% of total population) lived in the "Governorate of Livonia, 51,017 (7.57%) in the Governorate of Curonia, and 16,037 (3.89%) in the "Governorate of Estonia. The social changes faced by the emancipation, both social and national, of the Estonians and Latvians where not taken seriously by the Baltic German gentry. The provisional government of Russia after 1917 revolution gave the Estonians and Latvians "self-governance which meant the end of the Baltic German era in Baltics.
The Lithuanian gentry consisted mainly of "Lithuanians, but due to strong ties to Poland, had been culturally Polonized. After the "Union of Lublin in 1569, they became less distinguishable from Polish "szlachta, although preserved "Lithuanian national awareness.
The Church had been from the beginning the foundation of the learned society in the Baltic region. It was not only the religious, but also the social and political aspects of which were interwoven in the life of the Church in the Middle Ages. A noticeable part of the clergy were recruited from the local inhabitants, and the celibacy of clergy constrained the rise of structure-based inheritable privileges in the Church.
The Protestant Reformation brought about great change in the Baltic Region of Europe. The Church in Lithuania remained Catholic, but a large part of Livonia came under the sway of the Reformation. The first to accept the ideas of the Reformation were the merchants of "Riga and "Reval, which subsequently functioned as the centers of the Reformation. The Lutheran Church in the Baltics did not come to have the institutional importance or independence its counterpart had in the Nordic countries. Up until the 20th century, it was dominated by the German segment of the population and the clergy were mostly constituted of German-speaking inhabitants or had often come from Germany. Financially, the clergy were tied to the Baltic German nobility's estates, which provided revenues. This added to the notion of the Lutheran Church not being their own by the ethnic majority of Estonians and Latvians. Following the independence of Latvia and Estonia, the re-founded national churches took steps to distance itself from its Baltic German association and emphasise Estonian and Latvian aspects.
Spain and Portugal
In "Spanish nobility and former Portuguese nobility, see "hidalgos and "infanzones.
In Sweden, there was not outright "serfdom. Hence, the gentry was basically a class of well-off citizens that had grown from the wealthier or more powerful members of the peasantry. The two historically legally privileged "classes in Sweden were the Swedish nobility ("Adeln) and the "clergy, which were part of the so-called "frälse (a classification defined by tax exemptions and representation in the "diet).
At the head of the Swedish clergy stood the Archbishop of Uppsala since 1164. The clergy encompassed almost all the educated men of the day and furthermore was strengthened by considerable wealth, and thus it came naturally to play a significant political role. Until the Reformation, the clergy was the first estate but was relegated to the secular estate in the Protestant North Europe.
In the Middle Ages, celibacy in the "Catholic Church had been a natural barrier to the formation of an hereditary priestly class. After compulsory celibacy was abolished in Sweden during the "Reformation, the formation of a hereditary priestly class became possible, whereby wealth and clerical positions were frequently inheritable. Hence the bishops and the vicars, who formed the clerical upper class, would frequently have "manors similar to those of other country gentry. Hence continued the medieval Church legacy of the intermingling between noble class and clerical upper class and the intermarriage as the distinctive element in several Nordic countries after the Reformation.
"Surnames in Sweden can be traced to the 15th century, when they were first used by the Gentry (Frälse), i.e., priests and nobles. The names of these were usually in Swedish, Latin, German or Greek.
The adoption of Latin names was first used by the Catholic clergy in the 15th century. The given name was preceded by Herr (Sir), such as Herr Lars, Herr Olof, Herr Hans, followed by a Latinized form of "patronymic names, e.g., Lars Petersson Latinized as Laurentius Petri. Starting form the time of the Reformation, the Latinized form of their birthplace ("Laurentius Petri Gothus, from Östergötland) became a common naming practice for the clergy.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the surname was only rarely the original family name of the ennobled; usually, a more imposing new name was chosen. This was a period which produced a myriad of two-word Swedish-language family names for the nobility (very favored prefixes were Adler, "eagle"; Ehren – "ära", "honor"; Silfver, "silver"; and Gyllen, "golden"). The regular difference with Britain was that it became the new surname of the whole house, and the old surname was dropped altogether.
The "Western Ukrainian Clergy of the "Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid-20th centuries, following the reforms instituted by "Joseph II, Emperor of Austria. Because, like their "Orthodox brethren, Ukrainian Catholic priests could marry, they were able to establish "priestly dynasties", often associated with specific regions, for many generations. Numbering approximately 2,000–2,500 by the 19th century, priestly families tended to marry within their group, constituting a tight-knit hereditary caste. In the absence of a significant native nobility and enjoying a virtual monopoly on education and wealth within western Ukrainian society, the clergy came to form that group's native aristocracy. The clergy adopted Austria's role for them as bringers of culture and education to the Ukrainian countryside. Most Ukrainian social and political movements in Austrian-controlled territory emerged or were highly influenced by the clergy themselves or by their children. This influence was so great that western Ukrainians were accused of wanting to create a theocracy in western Ukraine by their Polish rivals. The central role played by the Ukrainian clergy or their children in western Ukrainian society would weaken somewhat at the end of the 19th century but would continue until the mid-20th century.
The British upper classes consist of two sometimes overlapping entities, the "peerage and "landed gentry; any male member of either may regard himself as a gentleman, in a special sense mutually understood between hereditary members of the class, which will often exclude life peers. In the British peerage, only the senior family member (typically the eldest son) inherits a substantive title (duke, marquess, earl, viscount, baron); these are referred to as peers or lords. The rest of the nobility are referred to as "landed gentry" (abbreviated "gentry"). Except for the eldest sons of peers, who bear their fathers' inferior titles as "courtesy titles" (but for Parliamentary purposes count as commoners), they usually bear no titles apart from the qualifications of esquire or gentleman (which are ranks recognised in law, although now without any legal consequence); exceptions include the "baronet (a title corresponding to a hereditary knighthood), those that are knighted (for life, called Sir X Y), "Scottish barons (who bear the designation Baron of X after their name), and "Scottish lairds (whose names include a description of their lands in the form of a "territorial designation).
The term landed gentry, although originally used to mean nobility, came to be used for the lesser nobility in England around 1540. Once identical, these terms eventually became complementary. The term gentry by itself, as commonly used by historians, according to "Peter Coss, is a construct applied loosely to rather different societies. Any particular model may not fit a specific society, yet a single definition nevertheless remains desirable. Titles, while often considered central to the upper class, are not strictly so. Both Captain "Mark Phillips and Vice Admiral Sir "Timothy Laurence, the respective first and second husbands of "HRH "Princess Anne, lacked any rank of peerage at the time of their marriage to Princess Anne. However, the backgrounds of both men were considered to be essentially "patrician, and they were thus deemed["by whom?] suitable husbands for a princess.
The landed gentry is a traditional British "social class consisting of "gentlemen in the original sense; that is, those who owned land in the form of "country estates to such an extent that they were not required to actively work, except in an administrative capacity on their own lands. The estates were often (but not always) made up of "tenanted farms, in which case the gentleman could live entirely off "rent income.
"Esquire (abbreviated Esq.) is a term of British origin, referring only to males, and used to denote a high but indeterminate social status. The most common occurrence of term Esquire today is the conferral as the suffix Esq. in order to pay an informal compliment to a male recipient by way of implying "gentle birth. In the post-mediaeval world, the title of esquire came to apply to all men of the higher landed gentry; an esquire ranked socially above a gentleman but below a knight. In the modern world, where all men are assumed to be gentlemen, the term has often been extended (albeit only in very formal writing) to all men without any higher title. It is used post-nominally, usually in abbreviated form (for example, "Thomas Smith, Esq.").
A "knight can be either a mediaeval tenant giving military service as a mounted man-at-arms to a feudal landholder, or a mediaeval gentleman-soldier, usually high-born, raised by a sovereign to privileged military status after training as a page and squire (for a contemporary reference, see "British honours system). In formal protocol, "Sir is the correct "styling for a knight or for a baronet, used with (one of) the knight's "given name(s) or full name, but not with the "surname alone. The equivalent for a woman who holds the title in her own right is "Dame; for such women, the title Dame is used as Sir for a man, never before the surname on its own. This usage was devised["by whom?] in 1917, derived from the practice, up to the 17th century (and still also in legal proceedings), for the wife of a knight. The wife of a knight or baronet is now styled ""Lady [Surname]".
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The "Colonial American use of gentry followed the British usage (i.e., landed gentry); before the independence of the United States, "Southern "planters were often the younger sons of British landowners, who perpetuated the British system in rural Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina, by employing "tenant farmers, "indentured servants, and "chattel "slaves. In the "Northeastern United States, the gentry included (colonial and British) offshoot families who established the city of Boston, Massachusetts, and Harvard and Yale colleges.
The families of Virginia (see "First Families of Virginia) formed the Virginia gentry class as the old guard of plantation owners in United States. As General "Robert E. Lee's paternal ancestors were among the earliest settlers in Virginia, his family was considered among the oldest of the Virginia "gentry class.
The concept of the "gentleman farmer as a man who farms mainly for pleasure rather than for profit was not only a model for the Southern gentry, but very much an ideal befitting some of founding fathers of America, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Washington resumed the life of a gentleman farmer at his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia following his resignation as commander in chief of the army in December 1783.
The American gentry, even in cases where the family never had obtained official rights to bear a coat of arms in history, bore all the same hallmarks of traditional elite as in the old continent.
First Families of Virginia originated with colonists from England who primarily settled at "Jamestown and along the "James River and other navigable waters in the "Colony of Virginia during the 17th century. As there was a propensity to marry within their narrow social scope for many generations, many descendants bear surnames which became common in the growing colony.
Many of the original English colonists considered members of the First Families of Virginia migrated to the Colony of Virginia during the "English Civil War and "English Interregnum period (1642–60). Royalists left England on the accession to power of Oliver Cromwell and his Parliament. Because most of Virginia's leading families recognised "Charles II as King following the execution of "Charles I in 1649, Charles II is reputed to have called Virginia his "Old Dominion", a nickname that endures today. Most of such early settlers in Virginia were so-called "Second Sons". "Primogeniture favored the first sons' inheriting lands and titles in England. Virginia evolved in a society of second or third sons of English aristocracy who inherited "land grants or land in Virginia. They formed part of the southern elite in America. Many of the great Virginia dynasties traced their roots to families like the "Lees and the Fitzhughs, who traced lineage to England's county families and baronial legacies. But not all: even the most humble Virginia immigrants aspired to the English manorial trappings of their betters.
The Colonial families of Maryland were the leading families in the "Province of Maryland. Several also had interests in the Colony of Virginia, and the two are sometimes referred to as the "Chesapeake Colonies. Many of the early settlers came from the "West Midlands in England, although the Maryland families were composed of a variety of European nationalities, e.g., French, Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Swedish, in addition to English. Charles I of England granted the province "palatinate status under "Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. The foundational charter created an aristocracy of "lords of the manor for Maryland. Maryland was uniquely created as a colony for "Catholic aristocracy and landed gentry, but "Anglicanism eventually came to dominate, partly through influence from neighbouring Virginia.
The 'four divisions of society' refers to the "model of society in ancient China and was a "meritocratic "social class system in China and other subsequently influenced "Confucian societies. The four castes—gentry, farmers, artisans and merchants—are combined to form the term Shìnónggōngshāng (士農工商).
Gentry (士) means different things in different countries. In China, Korea, and Vietnam, this meant that the Confucian scholar gentry that would – for the most part – make up most of the bureaucracy. This caste would comprise both the more-or-less hereditary aristocracy as well as the meritocratic scholars that rise through the rank by public service and, later, by imperial exams. Some sources, such as "Xunzi, list farmers before the gentry, based on the Confucian view that they directly contributed to the welfare of the state. In China, the farmer lifestyle is also closely linked with the ideals of Confucian gentlemen. In Japan, this caste essentially equates to the samurai class. In the "Edo period, with the creation of the "Domains (han) under the rule of "Tokugawa Ieyasu, all land was confiscated and reissued as fiefdoms to the daimyo.
The small lords, the samurai (武士 bushi"?), were ordered either to give up their swords and rights and remain on their lands as peasants or to move to the castle cities to become paid retainers of the daimyo. Only a few samurai were allowed to remain in the countryside; the landed samurai (郷士 gōshi"?). Some 5 per cent of the population were samurai. Only the samurai could have proper surnames, which after the "Meiji Restoration, became compulsory to all inhabitants (see "Japanese name).
Hierarchical structure of Feudal Japan
There were two leading classes, i.e. the gentry, in the time of feudal Japan: the "Daimyo and the "Samurai. The Confucian ideals in the Japanese culture emphasised the importance of productive members of society, so farmers and fishermen were considered of a higher status than merchants.
"Emperor Meiji abolished the samurai's right to be the only armed force in favor of a more modern, Western-style, conscripted army in 1873. Samurai became "Shizoku (士族), but the right to wear a katana in public was eventually abolished along with the right to "execute commoners who paid them disrespect.
In defining how a modern Japan should be, members of the Meiji government decided to follow in the footsteps of the United Kingdom and Germany, basing the country on the concept of "noblesse oblige. Samurai were not to be a political force under the new order. The difference between the Japanese and European feudal systems was that European feudalism was grounded in "Roman legal structure, while Japan feudalism had Chinese "Confucian morality as its basis.
Korean monarchy and the native ruling upper class existed in "Korea until the end of the "Japanese occupation. The system concerning the nobility is roughly the same as that of the "Chinese nobility.
As the "Jesuits and other preceding monastical orders did during Europe's "Dark Ages, the Buddhist monks became the purveyors and guardians of Korea's literary traditions while documenting Korea's written history and legacies from the "Silla period to the end of the "Goryeo dynasty. Korean Buddhist monks also developed and used the first movable metal type printing presses in history—some 500 years before "Gutenberg—to print ancient Buddhist texts. Buddhist monks also engaged in record keeping, food storage and distribution, as well as the ability to exercise power by influencing the Goryeo royal court.
During the "decline of the Roman Empire, Roman authority in western Europe completely collapsed. However, the city of Rome, under the guidance of the "Catholic Church, still remained a centre of learning and did much to preserve classic Roman thought in Western Europe. The only universal European institution was the Catholic Church, and even there, fragmentation of authority was the rule; all the power within the "church hierarchy was in the hands of the local bishops and finally the "Bishop of Rome. The clergy encompassed almost all of the era's educated men in Europe and was furthermore strengthened by considerable wealth, and thus, it naturally came to play a significant political role.
During the Early Middle Ages, the monasteries of the Catholic Church were the centres of European education and literacy, preserving Latin learning and maintaining the art of writing. Mediaeval universities had been run for centuries as Christian "episcopal or "monastic schools (scholae monasticae), in which "monks and "nuns taught classes; evidence of these immediate forerunners dates back to the 6th century AD. With the increasing growth and urbanisation of European society during the 12th and 13th centuries, a demand grew for professional clergy. Before the 12th century, the intellectual life of Western Europe had been largely relegated to monasteries, which were mostly concerned with performing the "liturgy and prayer; relatively few monasteries could boast true intellectuals. Following the "Gregorian Reform's emphasis on "canon law and the study of the "sacraments, bishops formed "cathedral schools to train the clergy in these and the more secular aspects of religious administration. Learning became essential to advancing in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and teachers also gained prestige. By the 13th century, almost half of the highest offices in the Church were occupied by degreed masters ("abbots, "archbishops, "cardinals).["citation needed]
Modern systems of education in Europe derive their origins from the schools of the "High Middle Ages. Most schools during this era were founded upon religious principles with the primary purpose of training the clergy. Many of the earliest universities, such as the "University of Paris founded in 1160, had a Christian basis. Free education for the poor was officially mandated by the Church at the "Third Lateran Council (1179), which decreed that every cathedral must assign a master to teach boys too poor to pay the regular fee; parishes and monasteries also established free schools teaching at least basic literary skills. With few exceptions, priests and brothers taught locally, and their salaries were frequently subsidised by towns. Private, independent schools reappeared in mediaeval Europe during this time, but they, too, were religious in nature and mission. Some of the greatest theologians of the High Middle Ages, "Thomas Aquinas and "Robert Grosseteste, were products of the mediaeval university.
Social rituals have formed a part of human "culture for tens of thousands of years. Anthropologists see social rituals as one of many "cultural universals. The Christian clergy has traditionally officiated over of acts worship, reverence, rituals and ceremonies in Europe. Among these central traditions have been "baptism, "Confirmation, "Penance, "Anointing of the Sick, "Holy Orders, marriage, the "Mass or the "Divine Service, and "coronations.
The "European coronation ceremonies of the Middle Ages were essentially a combination of the Christian rite of "anointing with additional elements. Following Europe's conversion to Christianity, "crowning ceremonies became more and more ornate, depending on the country in question, and their Christian elements—especially anointing—became the paramount concern. Anointing a king was considered equivalent to crowning him.
The Catholic, "Eastern Orthodox, "Anglican and the "Church of Sweden (including former dominions of the "Swedish Empire: "Finland, "Estonia and "Livonia) have applied the formal, church-based leadership or an "ordained "clergy in matters of either the church or broader political and sociocultural import. Until the reformation, the clergy was the first estate but was relegated to the secular estate in the Protestant "Northern Europe. After compulsory celibacy was abolished in Sweden during the Reformation, the formation of an hereditary priestly class became possible, whereby wealth and clerical positions were frequently inheritable. Historically, Sweden, including the former Swedish province of Finland, has had a more elaborate form of liturgy, which preserved more than other Nordic countries links to the Mediaeval Catholic tradition. In Germany, the high church movement is much smaller than in Sweden. Because of several unions between "Lutheran and "Reformed churches since the "Prussian Union, resulting in the simple spread of Calvinist concepts from the Reformed Churches by "osmosis", Lutheranism has often taken on a Reformed context.
Values and traditions
Military and clerical
Historically, the nobles in Europe became soldiers; the aristocracy in Europe can trace their origins to military leaders from the migration period and the Middle Ages. For many years, the British Army, together with the Church, was seen as the ideal career for the younger sons of the aristocracy. Although now much diminished, the practice has not totally disappeared. Such practices are not unique to the British either geographically or historically. As a very practical form of displaying patriotism, it has been at times "fashionable" for "gentlemen" to participate in the military.
The fundamental idea of gentry had come to be that of the essential superiority of the fighting man, usually maintained in the granting of arms. At the last, the wearing of a sword on all occasions was the outward and visible sign of a "gentleman"; the custom survives in the sword worn with "court dress". A suggestion that a gentleman must have a coat of arms was vigorously advanced by certain 19th- and 20th-century heraldists, notably "Arthur Charles Fox-Davies in England and "Thomas Innes of Learney in Scotland. The significance of a right to a coat of arms was that it was definitive proof of the status of gentleman, but it recognised rather than conferred such a status, and the status could be and frequently was accepted without a right to a coat of arms.
Chivalry[b] is a term related to the mediaeval institution of "knighthood. It is usually associated with ideals of "knightly virtues, "honour and "courtly love.
Christianity had a modifying influence on the virtues of chivalry, with limits placed on knights to protect and honour the weaker members of society and maintain peace. The church became more tolerant of war in the defence of faith, espousing theories of the "just war. In the 11th century, the concept of a "knight of Christ" (miles Christi) gained currency in France, Spain and Italy. These concepts of "religious chivalry" were further elaborated in the era of the "Crusades.
In the later Middle Ages, wealthy merchants strove to adopt chivalric attitudes. This was a democratisation of chivalry, leading to a new genre called the "courtesy book, which were guides to the behaviour of "gentlemen".
When examining "mediaeval literature, chivalry can be classified into three basic but overlapping areas:
- Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians
- Duties to God
- Duties to women
These three areas obviously overlap quite frequently in chivalry and are often indistinguishable. Another classification of chivalry divides it into warrior, religious and courtly love strands. One particular similarity between all three of these categories is honour. Honour is the foundational and guiding principle of chivalry. Thus, for the knight, honour would be one of the guides of action.
The term gentleman (from Latin gentilis, belonging to a race or gens, and "man", "cognate with the French word gentilhomme, the Spanish hombre gentil and the Italian gentil uomo or gentiluomo), in its original and strict signification, denoted a man of good family, analogous to the Latin generosus (its invariable translation in English-Latin documents). In this sense the word equates with the French gentilhomme ("nobleman"), which was in Great Britain long confined to the peerage. The term gentry (from the Old French genterise for gentelise) has much of the social-class significance of the French noblesse or of the German Adel, but without the strict technical requirements of those traditions (such as "quarters of nobility). To a degree, gentleman signified a man with an income derived from "landed property, a "legacy or some other source and was thus independently wealthy and did not need to work.
The "Far East also held similar ideas to the West of what a gentleman is, which are based on "Confucian principles. The term "Jūnzǐ (君子) is a term crucial to classical Confucianism. Literally meaning "son of a ruler", "prince" or "noble", the ideal of a "gentleman", "proper man", "exemplary person", or "perfect man" is that for which Confucianism exhorts all people to strive. A succinct description of the "perfect man" is one who "combine[s] the qualities of saint, scholar, and gentleman" ("CE). A hereditary elitism was bound up with the concept, and gentlemen were expected to act as moral guides to the rest of society. They were to:
- cultivate themselves morally;
- participate in the correct performance of ritual;
- show filial piety and loyalty where these are due; and
- cultivate humaneness.
The opposite of the Jūnzǐ was the Xiǎorén (小人), literally "small person" or "petty person". Like English "small", the word in this context in Chinese can mean petty in mind and heart, narrowly self-interested, greedy, superficial, and materialistic.
The idea of noblesse oblige, "nobility obliges", among gentry is, as the "Oxford English Dictionary expresses, that the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honorable behaviour; privilege entails to responsibility". Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one's time in idle pursuits.
A coat of arms is a heraldic device dating to the 12th century in Europe. It was originally a cloth tunic worn over or in place of armour to establish identity in battle. The coat of arms is drawn with heraldic rules for a person, family or organisation. Family coats of arms where originally derived from personal ones, which then became extended in time to the whole family. In Scotland, family coats of arms are still personal ones and are mainly used by the head of the family.
Ecclesiastical heraldry is the tradition of heraldry developed by Christian clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and "dioceses. It is most formalised within the Catholic Church, where most "bishops, including the "pope, have a personal "coat of arms. Clergy in "Anglican, "Lutheran, "Eastern Catholic, and "Orthodox churches follow similar customs.
- "Ecclesiastical address
- "Gentry (surname)
- "Grand Burgher
- "Hanseaten (class)
- "Landed gentry
- "Patrician (ancient Rome)
- "Redorer son blason
- "Social environment
- "Symbolic capital
- Following the admired example of the "Roman patrician, the Venetian patrician reverted, especially in the "Renaissance, to a life more focused on his rural estate.
- Etymology: English from 1292, loans from French chevalerie ""knighthood", from chevalier "knight" from "Medieval Latin caballarius "horseman"; "cavalry is from the "Middle French form of the same word.
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- 2 Samuel 2:4
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