baron

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baron

formerly the title held by judges of the COURT OF EXCHEQUER.

BARON. This word has but one signification in American law, namely, husband: we use baron and feme, for husband and wife. And in this sense it is going out of use.
     2. In England, and perhaps some other countries, baron is a title of honor; it is the first degree of nobility below a viscount. Vide Com. Dig. Baron and Feme; Bac. Ab. Baron and Feme; and the articles. Husband; Marriage; Wife.
     3. In the laws of the middle ages, baron or bers, (baro) signifies a great vassal; lord of a fief and tenant immediately from the king: and the words baronage, barnage and berner, signify collectively the vassals composing the court of the king; as Le roi et son barnage, The king and his court. See Spelman's Glossary, verb. Baro.

COVERT, BARON. A wife; so called, from her being under the cover or protection of her husband, baron or lord.

References in classic literature ?
'The Baron Von Koeldwethout, of Grogzwig in Germany, was as likely a young baron as you would wish to see.
down upon the road that winds along the river's bank from Staines there come towards us, laughing and talking together in deep guttural bass, a half-a-score of stalwart halbert-men - Barons' men, these - and halt at a hundred yards or so above us, on the other bank, and lean upon their arms, and wait.
Pope Julius came afterwards and found the Church strong, possessing all the Romagna, the barons of Rome reduced to impotence, and, through the chastisements of Alexander, the factions wiped out; he also found the way open to accumulate money in a manner such as had never been practised before Alexander's time.
And so, while the barons learned to hate him the more, the peasants' love for him increased.
The Baron looked slightly offended, and the Vice-Warden discreetly changed the subject.
The Baron only scowled a little, and the Baroness swept straight on.
"Bless me," murmured Baron Danglars, "this must surely be a prince instead of a count by their styling him `excellency,' and only venturing to address him by the medium of his valet de chambre.
"So we are to lose you soon, Prince," the Baron was saying.
First Baron Montbarry, of Montbarry, King's County, Ireland.
"To that I can say nothing," returned D'Artagnan, who knew the vanity of the new baron. "Then, here's to our next merry meeting!"
The Jew sate with his mouth a-gape, and his eyes fixed on the savage baron with such earnestness of terror, that his frame seemed literally to shrink together, and to diminish in size while encountering the fierce Norman's fixed and baleful gaze.
"Be so kind as to come in, Monsieur le Baron," he invited.