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The Last of the Great Barons
Some ten years ago there appeared in these pages a description of the usage of the term “baron” that included ~

The title of Baron is the most widely recognised and yet least understood of all titles. Men who justify the use of the word “baron” as a description exist today in all structured societies – in the old German nobility, as Tuans in Malaysia, as leaders of trade unions in Great Britain or as newspaper owners in Australia – for the word carries the general meaning of a powerful man.

~ but who today can really be compared with the great barons of old, with men such as Godfried de Bouillon who mortgaged his lands, extending to approximately a third of modern Belgium, to finance his participation in the First Crusade, or such as Richard Warwick the Kingmaker, the richest non-royal landowner in England, known to history as “the Last of the Barons”?

There is perhaps HRH The Prince of Wales, but as the Heir to the Throne he cannot really be considered, and in terms of comparative wealth he does not meet the requirements, and although he may have some political influence he does not have the power to impose his will as did the great barons of yore.

But there has been one who met the criteria. He died recently and his heir, as he grows in political stature, may perhaps one day be his equal, but today as we look around, conscious of all the many qualities that combine to make a truly great baron, we surely recognise that he was probably the last.

We assess his baronial qualities in this linked PDF file, and compare them, if only implicitly, with those of the political pygmies made barons in reward for favours given to the Labour Party.

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