HOME

TheInfoList




Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
word ''superānus'', meaning "above". The roles of a sovereign vary from
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

monarch
or
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
to head of municipal government or head of a chivalric order. As a result, the word sovereign has more recently also come to mean independence or autonomy.


Head of State

The word ''Sovereign'' is frequently used synonymously with
Monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

Monarch
. There are
numerous titles
numerous titles
in a monarchical rule which can belong to the sovereign. The sovereign is the autonomous head of the state. Examples of the various titles in modern sovereign leaders are:


Chivalric Orders

The term ''Sovereign'' is generally used in place of "Grand Master" for the supreme head of various orders of
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
an nations. In the
Sovereign Military Order of Malta The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta ( it, Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta; ...
, the Grand Master is styled "Sovereign", e.g. Sovereign Grand Master, due to its status as an internationally independent sovereign entity. Examples of the Sovereign of a chivalric order are: * Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania: Sovereign of the
Order of Carol I The Order of Carol I (Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and So ...

Order of Carol I
,
Order of the Crown
Order of the Crown
*
Philip the Good Philip III (french: Philippe le Bon; nl, Filips de Goede; 31 July 1396 – 15 June 1467) was Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, ...

Philip the Good
, founder of the
Order of the Golden Fleece The Distinguished Order of the Golden Fleece ( es, Insigne Orden del Toisón de Oro, german: Orden vom Goldenen Vlies) is a Catholic order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an or ...
*
Karl von Habsburg Karl von Habsburg (given names: ''Karl Thomas Robert Maria Franziskus Georg Bahnam''; born 11 January 1961) is an Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links= ...
, current Sovereign of the
Order of the Golden Fleece The Distinguished Order of the Golden Fleece ( es, Insigne Orden del Toisón de Oro, german: Orden vom Goldenen Vlies) is a Catholic order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an or ...
*
Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia Georg Friedrich Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia (born 10 June 1976 in Bremen Bremen (, also ; Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germani ...
, current Sovereign of the
Order of the Black Eagle The Order of the Black Eagle (german: Hoher Orden vom Schwarzen Adler) was the highest order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order (honour), order of knights typically founded ...

Order of the Black Eagle
,
Order of the Red Eagle The Order of the Red Eagle (german: Roter Adlerorden) was an order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired by the original Catholic ...

Order of the Red Eagle
,
Order of Louise The Order of Louise (German: ''Luisen-Orden'') was founded on 3 August 1814 by Frederick William III of Prussia to honor his late wife, the much beloved Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen Louise (''née Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie, Herzogi ...
,
Order of the Crown
Order of the Crown
*
Caroline of Baden Caroline may refer to: People *Caroline (given name), a feminine given name * J. C. Caroline (born 1933), American college and National Football League player * Jordan Caroline (born 1996), American (men's) basketball player *Caroline Kennedy (born ...
, Sovereign of the
Order of Saint Elizabeth The Order of Saint Elizabeth was an all-female chivalric and charitable order in the Kingdom of Bavaria. The following excerpt is from ''The Orders of Knighthood, British and Foreign'' (1884): The first Consort of the Elector Charles Theodore ...
*
Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza Duarte may refer to: * Duarte (surname), person's surname (or composed surname) and given name * Duarte, California, United States * Duarte Province, Dominican Republic * Pico Duarte, mountain in the Dominican Republic See also

* * {{disambigu ...
, Sovereign of the
Order of Saint Isabel The Order of Queen Saint Isabel ( pt, Ordem da Rainha Santa Isabel) is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of which the Grand Master (order), Grand Mistress is the Duchess of Braganza. History King John VI of Portugal created the order on 4 Novembe ...

Order of Saint Isabel


Municipal Government

As chief officer of municipal government, ''the Sovereign'' had duties and responsibilities deriving from the charter which established the local town borough or council. This was commonly used throughout
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
. This usage was less common in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
and occasionally meant a
Marcher Lord A Marcher Lord () was a noble appointed by the King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from about 886, and ...
.


Characteristics

The candidate for this position was elected by the freemen and burgesses of the town, borough and city councils and had to be a Burgess himself. And in later years he also had to be approved by the patron. The level of responsibility ranged from enacting by-laws about tolls up to the death penalty. Some charters established the sovereign as the local
magistrate The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– ...
or
Justice of the peace A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer A judicial officer is a person with the responsibilities and powers to facilitate, arbitrate, preside over, and make decisions and directions in regard to the application of the law. Judicial ...
. The office generally had no salary though some patrons provided a stipend to the Sovereign in their borough. In some localities the sovereign was appointed directly by the patron of the borough which allowed him to influence the election of the local MP. Once the parliamentary franchise was lost with the
Acts of Union 1800 The Acts of Union 1800 (sometimes referred to as a single Act of Union 1801) were parallel acts of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union 17 ...
, the role became largely ceremonial or forgotten. The title of the chief officer of a city council has become known as a
Mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their ow ...

Mayor
. In some municipal boroughs the titles Borough Master or
Burgomaster Burgomaster (alternatively spelled burgermeister, literally ''master of the town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary co ...
,
Bailiff A bailiff (from Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct va ...
,
Portreeve A portreeve (sometimes spelled Port-reeve) or port warden is the title of a historical official in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of ...
,
Warden A warden is a person who has been entrusted with the oversight of something important to the community, such as a college, church, prison, wild game or firefighting. It may also refer to: Occupations, ranks and roles * Prison warden, the chief a ...
and
Provost Provost may refer to: People * Provost (name)Provost is a surname of French origin, deriving from a civil or military official responsible for maintaining order. It moved to England with its conquering by William of Normandy in 1066. It is stil ...
were used interchangeably with mayor and sovereign.


History

Ireland had established self-governing municipal boroughs which gave a city-state status to the locality in existence since the Norman conquest. These were most typically in the denser populated provinces of
Munster Munster ( gle, an Mhumhain or ) is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.ht ...

Munster
and
Leinster Leinster ( ; ga, Laighin or ) is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic ...

Leinster
. The provision of the borough and the corporation was established through a charter, the granting of which was known as incorporation. Freemen and burgesses were the usual governing members of the council and elected their chief officer, the Sovereign. In earlier incarnations the council also managed the law court known as the "hundred court" and dealt with local administrative and legal business. Boroughs also elected the local MP. Positions on the council were predominantly from among the wealthy and related families in the area. The first mention of the Sovereign in
Kilkenny Kilkenny (). is a city in County Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located in the South-East Region, Ireland, South-East Region and in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster. It is built on both banks of the River Nore. T ...

Kilkenny
dates from 1231. The ''Liber Primus Kilkenniensis'' is a contemporaneously written account of the proceedings of Kilkenny municipality beginning in 1230 and running to 1538. Attempts have been made to identify the names of Kilkenny's sovereigns and currently there is a list of the names of 244 sovereigns from 1282 to 1608. At that point a new charter was established for the town and in 1609 the first Mayor of the City of Kilkenny is elected.


Weakening power

Early Irish borough had a city-state status however with the unification of Ireland under the crown in 1603 they were transformed into more ordinary municipal towns on the English model. Part of this was to reduce the autonomy of the Irish borough and partly to establish the new rules by which the planted towns of Ireland were to operate. Since the MPs to the Irish parliament were elected by the borough council, and to prevent a Catholic majority there, additional boroughs were created in areas with a strong Protestant base. A direct result of this was the Protestant majority of 232 to 100 in the 1613 House of Commons. The new charters placed the government of the borough with the Sovereign and twelve chief burgesses, who are to elect all the rest and stipulated that all had to conform to the established church by taking the Oath of Supremacy.
Sir John Davies Sir John Davies (16 April 1569 (baptised)8 December 1626) was an English poet, lawyer, and politician who sat in the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdo ...

Sir John Davies
,
Attorney General for Ireland The Attorney-General for Ireland was an Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent u ...
wrote "the newly erected boroughs . . . will be perpetual seminaries of Protestant burgesses". Historically the number of boroughs varied considerably. There were 117 boroughs in Ireland from 1685 to 1800. Prior to the passing of the
Municipal Corporations Act 1835 The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 (5 & 6 Wm. IV., c.76), sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legisla ...
, there were sixty-eight borough corporations in Ireland. As each of the changes and new charters were brought in and with the loss of the parliamentary franchise, sovereigns became less powerful and more ceremonial.


Legacy

There is a sailing race held in
Kinsale Kinsale (; ) is a historic port and fishing town in County Cork County Cork ( ga, Contae Chorcaí) is the largest and the southernmost county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesCham ...

Kinsale
which references back to the chief officer of the town council. When looking to name a new trophy the local yacht club discovered that the ‘Sovereign of Kinsale’ used to put up a trophy for a sailing race in the late 1700s. The result is that the race and trophy today is known as The Sovereign's cup. Kinsale had been given its charter to set up a borough led by a Sovereign around 1319.


See also


References

{{Authority control Government occupations
Management occupations Occupations relating to management. Business occupations Management, Occupations Positions of authority {{CatAutoTOC ...
Positions of authority Titles Heads of local government