The lowest level of the peerage, the title of baron was introduced to England by William the Conqueror in the early 11th century. The word derives from the Latin barō, which can translate into “man,” “servant,” “warrior,” or “nobleman.” A baron was originally used to denote a tenant-in-chief of the early Norman kings; these men held their lands by the feudal tenure of “barony” and were entitled to attend the great council, later the English Parliament.

The Baron de Ros of Helmsley is the premier baron of England; the title was created in 1288 for William de Ros.

A baron’s wife is a baroness; she is address as “lady”; a baron is addressed as “lord.”

A British baron wears a coronet (a gold-plated metal circlet) that features six silver balls (known as “pearls”). See above for an image of a baron’s coronet. The coronet is traditionally worn only at coronations.

Image of a baron’s coronet by Sodacan / Wikipedia. Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic, and 1.0 Generic licenses.