A nobleman of England ranking below a marquis, and above a viscount. The rank of an earl corresponds to that of a count (comte) in France, and graf in Germany. Hence the wife of an earl is still called countess. See Count.
The highest title attainable by an English nobleman who is not of royal blood. Word related to Jarl. (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms) Count; highest English title in the Middle Ages. (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 230)
Minor noble rank between a Count and Baron.
the highest rank or title of English nobles, holding lands in the region whose name was attached to the title but without direct authority there.
An alternate title for a Count
Derived from the early Anglo-Saxon, the office of Earl was to administer a shire. Over time, the number of these administrators was reduced, but the holdings by each earldom increased, such that by the time of Edward I the title was the highest ranking nobility in England next to the princes, until Edward III supplanted the title by creating a duchy for his son the Black Prince in Cornwall. Equivalent to the county on the continent, English earls were often styled as such when they went abroad, in reality carrying similar duties and prestige. Within the SCA the title is reserved for those gentles who have served once as king of an SCA kingdom. See also count.
a British peer ranking below a Marquess and above a Viscount
A man who has been king once.
a heriditary title, the 3rd highest order of the nobility
The highest title attainable by an English nobleman who was not of royal blood. Also known in earlier times as Ealdorman.
in Great Britain, a peerage title of Anglo-Saxon origin, analogous in grade to the Continental title of count.
The highest office enjoyed by the nobility of Anglo-Saxon England, below that of king. Earls were originally favored thegns. By the time of the Norman Conquest, the kingdom had been divided into six great administrative districts, called earldoms: Wessex, Kent, Mercia, Huntingdon, East Anglia, and Northumbria. These earls all sat on the king's council, and they were also members of the Witan. After the Conquest, the office of earl was appointed by the king, and many smaller earldoms were created to meet administrative and strategic needs.
An Earl or Jarl was an Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian title, meaning "chieftain" and it referred especially to chieftains set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages, whereas, in Britain, it became synonymous with the continental count.