A title or degree of nobility; originally, the possessor of a fief, who had feudal tenants under him; in modern times, in France and Germany, a nobleman next in rank below a count; in England, a nobleman of the lowest grade in the House of Lords, being next below a viscount.
After 1066, the tenants-in-chief who held their lands directly from the king. Gradually, a distinction between the greater and lesser barons emerged, so that by the late 13th century the greater barons began to attend Parliament under summons from the king. The first use of the style ‘baron' in an individual's name came in 1387. The Baron ranks in precedence below a count, carrying the title ‘ your excellency.' In the SCA, a Baron is a regional lord responsible for a unit, generally a city. ‘Landed' barons are thus attached to a city, responsible for the administration and maintenance of those lands. 'Court' barons have no such land, and are granted the title as a courtesy grant, usually for service to the Crown or kingdom.