Russian nobility. For what merits it was possible to become the baron?
In Europe the title of the baron is known from the Middle Ages, well it was known also in Russia as still princely teams resisted on North more than once - the country West to knightly groups in which there were many barons. In Russia application of this title began only during reign of Peter I granting to his several citizens. From now on in the country there was a dual relation to carriers of a baronial title which was accurately dividing barons into two categories - those who own a title historically, having received it from the ancestors who were the titled noblemen in several generations, and those who received a title from the Russian or foreign monarchs in an award for some merits (the beginning of the 18th century was a reference point usually).
The matter is that many from received a baronial title from monarchs, came from petty bourgeoises or merchants and were connected with trade, the industry, bank activity. The part of new barons received a title along with assignment of the hereditary nobility. In society there was even an opinion that the baronial title in the country is purposefully used for encouragement of bankers and manufacturers, i.e. those people to whom the historical hereditary nobility always concerned with a certain vigilance.
The similar relation to the granted title of the baron was put at Peter I though the two first grants and did not foretell that the title will become a specific award for merchants. The first Russian baron in 1710 became vice-the chancellor P. P. Shafirov. He though was a descendant of the baptized Jew, but held a large state post. The privy councilor of A. I became the second Russian baron in 1721. Osterman awarded with a title for the conclusion of the Nishtadtsky world which finished long and bloody Northern war.
But the following assignments of a baronial title laid the foundation of new tradition. In 1722 three brothers Stroganov, before even the “eminent people“ who were not noblemen, and carrying a rank became barons. Merits of the brothers developing trade and factory business in the country were indisputable, as allowed the tsar to put them level with the titled nobility, having emphasized, as the monarch will rely on such people in reforming of the state. Subsequently Stroganov` descendants received also count titles, but by then they already borrowed high ranks on court and civil service.
Pyotr`s undertaking was supported by his widow Ekaterina, having ascended to a throne, she gave baronial titles to three brothers Solovyov coming from petty bourgeoises. But by the time of receiving a title brothers, in any case, Osip and Dmitry, were noblemen.
At Peter II the barony was received the valet of the young emperor Constance and chambers - the cadet V. P. Pospelov. Elizabeth Petrovna conferred a title baronial on the valid councilor of state I. A. Cherkasov who began service at Petr the scribe of a mandative log hut in Vladimir but then the emperor who became the authorized representative and his office - the secretary.
Catherine II built in baronial advantage several people. The first the title from the empress was received Labe - the physician valid councilor of state T. Dimsdal and his son Nafanail. The physician received a titulz the fact that he imparted smallpox to the empress and her son Pavel, future emperor. At that time for Russia the smallpox inoculation was business not just new, but also extremely dangerous. Dimsdal coped with a risky task brilliantly what he received a title for, and in addition and personal pension.
Then a title Amsterdam bankers of T received from Ekaterina. and R. de Smeta, court bankers I. Yu. Frederiks and River. Suterland, the minister (the Russian diplomatic representative) at the bishop lyubsky I. I. Mestmakher, the general - the major G. M. Sprengporten and the general - anshef I. I. Meller.
Ivan Ivanovich Meller who received together with a title and an additional prefix to a surname “Zakomelsky“ (on the lands granted to it at the river Butt), became one of the few, awarded a baronial title for the military valor shown at storm of Ochakovo. The title I. I. Meller - Zakomelsky carried only a year, he died at Kiliya`s storm in 1790. The tradition of service to the Fatherland was carried on by his sons Petr and Egor who became generals and caused a stir in wars with Napoleon.
There is an opinion that at Catherine II the special decree affirmed the right for assignment of a baronial title to the manufacturers and merchants consisting in the first guild in connection with century of trading house. Historian E. P. Karpovich who wrote in the second half of the 19th century several books on stories of the Russian nobility noted that “such law does not exist and never existed“.
But the tradition also actually was. Among granted by baronial titles there are a lot of manufacturers and bankers. So, Paul I made in barons of court bankers N. S. Rogovikov, I. P. Velyo and A. Ral. Nicholas I granted a title to the banker L. I. Shtiglitsu. At Alexander II the Warsaw banker A. Frenkel, the merchant 1 - y to guild I. Knop, commerce advisers E. G. Gintsburg and E. Mass, commerce an asessor F. Dellingsgauzen etc. became barons. And, the part of them received titles from foreign monarchs.
Cases when the Russian citizens received baronial titles from foreign monarchs or turned into citizenship already having a title, were not a rarity. The uniform rule for all foreign titled nobility worked for such persons. Just to use a title in Russia, it was necessary to get permission from the emperor. And to be ranked as the Russian titled nobility and to acquire the right to enter a surname in the genealogical book of one of provinces, it was necessary to ask special permission.
Similar permissions were given not always and if were given, then through certain time. So, E. G. Gintsburg received barony of the Great Duchy of Hesse - Darmstadt in 1874, and permission to use a title in Russia followed only in 1879. Before within five years the baron Gintsburg continued to remain the honourable hereditary citizen, i.e. not the nobleman.
Some barons from the Russian citizens received the permission to use the titles received from foreign monarchs, only in those countries where titles were granted to them. So, childbirth Kleyberov and Kramerov could use titles of barons only within Saksen - Koburg - the Gothic duchy.
It should be noted that many foreign barons from old families who became a citizen of Russia or appeared in it in connection with inclusion in the empire of Poland, Baltic, Finland used the noble background prefix which was not had by the Russian barons. And the number of such childbirth was not small. Only after accession of Baltic edge in baronial advantage special definitions of the Ruling senate approved more than 70 - ti noble childbirth. About 60 - ti baronial childbirth also about 20 were registered on the Grand duchy Finnish - ti on the Kingdom Polish which were a part of the Russian Empire.
So it developed that from all the baronial childbirth existing in Russia the noticeable mark was left in the history by units. Perhaps, our contemporaries at best will remember the baron Piotr Wrangel, heading the white movement in the south of Russia short term. Perhaps, will remember also the baron Myunkhgauzen who some time served in the Russian army and even received the captain`s rank.
Officially baronial titles in Russia existed till November, 1917 when the new power adopted the decree “About destruction of estates and civil ranks“.