Home > Arts & Humanities > History > In the middle ages, could a wealthy enough commoner buy him self a nobility title? The church used to "sell" salvation for a fee, so?

In the middle ages, could a wealthy enough commoner buy him self a nobility title? The church used to "sell" salvation for a fee, so?

  • Answers
  • It was not unusual for commoners to be raised to the nobility. The present Duke of Bedford's ancestors were medieval wine merchants for instance. If a commoner became sufficiently wealthy and important he certainly might attain a noble title. Even a peasant who became sufficiently prosperous might rise to the ranks of the minor gentry.
    Louise C · 0 0
  • In France, a seigneurie (lordship) might include one or more manors surrounded by land and villages subject to a noble's prerogatives and disposition. Seigneuries could be bought, sold or mortgaged. If erected by the crown into, e.g., a barony or countship, it became legally entailed for a specific family, which could use it as their title. Yet most French nobles were untitled ("seigneur of Montagne" simply meant ownership of that lordship but not, if one was not otherwise noble, the right to use a title of nobility, as commoners often purchased lordships).
    Gray Bold · 0 0
  • Buying nobility was WAY different than buying your way into heaven.
    Elaine M · 0 0
  • Yes.
    Emdog · 3 0