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In its restrictive meaning, the term Immemorial Nobility refers to those noble families whose origins can be traced back to the fall of the Roman Empire (c. 490 AD). In its more ample meaning, the term immemorial nobility encompasses feudal nobility who can trace back their noble ancestry to a period earlier than recorded. The latter is the most generally accepted meaning.

The most ancient houses of a kingdom, considered primus inter pares, enjoy this rank not by royal charter but by uncontested exercise of the privileges of aristocracy. Proof of unbroken possession or use of any nobility right since time immemorial made it unnecessary to establish the original grant.

The year set as the limit for the earliest record preserved in order to be considered an immemorial noble depends on the traditions of the particular region :

See also

References

  1. ^ Huarte de San Juan, Juan (1989) [1575]. Serés, Guillermo. ed (in Spanish). Examen de ingenios para las ciencias. Madrid: Cátedra. ISBN 9788437608723.  Also quoted in Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, ed (1948) (in Spanish). Floreto de anécdotas y noticias diversas que recopiló un fraile dominico residente en Sevilla a mediados del siglo XVI. Memorial Histórico Español. 48. Real Academia de la Historia. Madrid: Maestre. p. 355. OCLC 5723566. 
  2. ^ Ruiz García, Elisa (2006). "La carta ejecutoria de hidalguía: Un espacio gráfico privilegiado" (in Spanish). En la España medieval 1 Extra: 251–276. ISSN 0214-3038. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2688784. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  3. ^ Basanta de la Riva, Alfredo (1955) (in Spanish). Sala de los Hijosdalgo: Catálogo de todos sus pleitos, expedientes y probanzas. Archivo de la Real Chancillería de Valladolid. Madrid: Ediciones Hidalguía, Instituto Internacional de Genealogía y Heráldica. OCLC 2831583. 
  4. ^ Rey Hazas, Antonio. "El Quijote y la picaresca: la figura del hidalgo en el nacimiento de la novela moderna" (in Spanish). Edad de Oro 15: 141–160. http://cvc.cervantes.es/obref/quijote_antologia/hazas.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  5. ^ McEvoy and Bradley, Human Genetics 2006
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