Category: Swiss Nobility

Categories: European Nobility

In Switzerland, since the 14th century, we can distinguish, except the particular cases, three modes of nobility:

1. nobility acquired under the terms of the family right, i.e. by direct line (male and legitimate since the 16th century).

2. nobility resulting from the concession or the recognition of a Sovereign, which can be one monarch or a collective Sovereign. This may be individual, family or collective concession. The Sovereign can also recognize an ennoblement conceded to one of his subjects by a foreign sovereign. Also there exists "reward's ennoblements" conceding only the possession of a title.

3. nobility acquired by integration [For example: Affry in 15th century, Reyff (1577) Pontherose (1443), Vevey (1523), Vandel (1526), Hugues (1544)]. This integration frequently results from a social rise and of one or more alliances with families belonging already to the nobility. Sometimes that was accompanied by the acquisisition of a noble domain (the seigniory of Mézières was bought in 1547 by Jost Freitag who was consequently qualified noble).

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