The Info List - Duchy

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A duchy is a country, territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess. The term is used almost exclusively in Europe, where in the present day there is no sovereign duchy (i.e. with the status of a nation state) left. The term "duke" (like the corresponding "duchy") should not be confused with the title Grand Duke
(or Grand Duchy, such as the present-day Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Luxembourg), as there exists a significant difference of rank between the two. In common European cultural heritage, a grand duke is the third highest monarchic rank, after emperor and king. Its synonym in many Slavic and Baltic European languages (Russian, Lithuanian, etc.) is translated as Grand Prince, whereas most Germanic and Romance European languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian etc.) use expressions corresponding to Grand Duke.[1] Unlike a duke, the sovereign grand duke is considered royalty (or in German, 'royal nobility', Königsadel). The proper form of address for a grand duke is His Royal Highness (HRH),[2] whereas for a non-royal duke in the United Kingdom it is His Grace. In contrast to this, the rank of a duke differs from one country to the next. In Germany, for example, a duke is listed in the aristocratic hierarchy below an emperor (Kaiser), king (König), grand duke (Großherzog), and elector (Kurfürst)– in that order – whereas in Britain the duke comes third after king/queen and prince (there are no British grand dukes or electors).[3] In all countries, there existed an important difference between "sovereign dukes" and dukes subordinate to a king or emperor. Some historic duchies were sovereign in areas that would become part of nation-states only during the modern era, such as Germany (a federal empire) and Italy (an unified kingdom). In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that had unified either partially or completely during the medieval era, such as France, Spain, Sicily, Naples, and the Papal States. In England, the term is used in respect of non-territorial entities.


1 Examples 2 List of grand duchies 3 List of duchies

3.1 Kingdom of Spain 3.2 Holy Roman Empire 3.3 Duchies in the Papal States (Holy See) 3.4 Duchies in Croatia 3.5 Duchies in the Kingdom of Naples 3.6 Duchies under Danish rule 3.7 Duchies in England 3.8 Duchies in France 3.9 Duchies in Poland 3.10 Duchies in Baltic States 3.11 Duchies in Sweden 3.12 Other current or historical duchies

4 See also

4.1 Fictional duchies 4.2 Fictional grand duchies

5 References 6 External links

Examples[edit] Traditionally, a grand duchy, such as Luxembourg
or Tuscany (1569–1860), was generally independent and sovereign. There were also many sovereign or semi-sovereign duchies in the de facto confederate Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
(961–1806) and German-speaking areas. In France, a number of duchies existed in the medieval period. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
still claims the medieval French title of Duke
of Normandy as successor of William the Conqueror, and this provides the legal status of the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
as Crown dependencies. Other important French duchies included Burgundy, Brittany, and Aquitaine. The medieval German stem duchies (German: Stammesherzogtum, literally "tribal duchy", the official title of its ruler being Herzog
or "duke") were associated with the Frankish Kingdom
Frankish Kingdom
and corresponded with the areas of settlement of the major Germanic tribes. They formed the nuclei of the major feudal states that comprised the early era of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
of the German nation (961-1806; in German: Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation). These were Schwaben (Swabia, mainly the present-day German state of Baden-Württemberg), Bayern (Bavaria), and Sachsen (Saxony) in pre-Carolingian times, to which Franken (Franconia, at present the northern part of the German state of Bavaria) and Lothringen (Lorraine, nowadays mostly part of France) were added in post-Carolingian times. As mentioned above, such a duke was styled Herzog
(literally "the one who is leading [the troops]"). In medieval England, duchies associated with the territories of Lancashire
and Cornwall
were created, with certain powers and estates of land accruing to their dukes. The Duchy of Lancaster
Duchy of Lancaster
was created in 1351 but became merged with the Crown when, in 1399, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke
of Lancaster, ascended the throne of England as Henry IV. Nowadays the Duchy of Lancaster
Duchy of Lancaster
always belongs to the sovereign and its revenue is the Privy Purse. The Duchy of Cornwall was created in 1337 and held successively by the Dukes of Cornwall, who were also heirs to the throne. Nowadays, the Duchy of Cornwall belongs to the sovereign's heir apparent, if there is one: it reverts to the Crown in the absence of an heir apparent, and is automatically conferred to the heir apparent upon birth. These duchies today have mostly lost any non-ceremonial political role, but generate their holders' private income. During the Wars of the Roses, the Duke
of York made a successful entry into the City
of York, by merely claiming no harm and that it was his right to possess "his duchy of York".[4] Any and all feudal duchies that made up the patchwork of England have since been absorbed within the Royal Family. Other than Cornwall
and Lancaster, British royal dukedoms are titular and do not include land holdings. Non-royal dukedoms are associated with ducal property, but this is meant as the duke's private property, with no other feudal privileges attached. In more recent times, territorial duchies have become rare; most dukedoms conferred in the last few centuries have been of a purely ceremonial or honorific character (see Duke). At present all independent (i.e., sovereign) duchies have disappeared. Luxembourg, an independent and sovereign nation with a history dating back as far as the 8th century,[5] is the only remaining independent grand duchy, with HRH the Grand Duke
Henri I (dynasty of Luxembourg-Nassau) as its head of state since the year 2000. List of grand duchies[edit] Main article: Grand duchy

Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Luxembourg

(the only grand duchy still existing as a sovereign nation)

Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Baden Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Finland Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Hesse Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Lithuania Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Moscow (called by the Russians Grand Principality
of Moscow) Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Oldenburg Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Tuscany

List of duchies[edit] Kingdom of Spain[edit]

Dukedoms of Spain

Holy Roman Empire[edit] Further information: List of dukes in Europe and Stem duchy

Duchy of Alsace
Duchy of Alsace
(in English also ‘Alsatia’) Duchy of Austria
Duchy of Austria
(later Archduchy of Austria, in German: Erzherzogtum Österreich) Duchy of Bavaria Duchy of Bohemia Duchy of Brabant Duchy of Bremen Duchy of Brunswick Duchy of Carinthia Duchy of Carniola Duchy of Franconia Duchy of Gelders Duchy of Holstein Duchy of Lauenburg Duchy of Limburg Duchy of Upper Lorraine Duchy of Lower Lorraine Duchy of Luxemburg
Duchy of Luxemburg
(a Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
since 1815; see above) Duchy of Magdeburg Duchy of Mecklenburg Duchy of Oldenburg Duchy of Pomerania Duchy of Salzburg Duchy of Savoy Duchy of Saxony Duchy of Schleswig Duchy of Styria Duchy of Swabia Duchy of Thuringia Duchy of Westphalia Duchy of Württemberg

The following duchies were part of the medieval Kingdom of Italy (not to be confused with the modern Kingdom of Italy (1860-1945)), which itself was part of the Holy Roman Empire:

Duchy of Milan Duchy of Mantua Duchy of Sabbioneta Duchy of Montferrat Duchy of Parma Duchy of Guastalla Duchy of Modena and Reggio Duchy of Mirandola Duchy of Florence
Duchy of Florence
then Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Tuscany (1569-1860) Duchy of Massa and Carrara Duchy of Spoleto

Duchies in the Papal States (Holy See)[edit]

Duchy of Ferrara Duchy of Urbino Duchy of Camerino Duchy of Castro

Duchies in Croatia[edit]

Duchy of Pannonian Croatia Duchy of Littoral Croatia Narentine duchy Poljica duchy

Duchies in the Kingdom of Naples[edit]

Duchy of Acerenza Duchy of Apulia Duchy of Sora

Duchies under Danish rule[edit]

Duchy of Schleswig Duchy of Holstein
Duchy of Holstein
(formally part of the Holy Roman Empire)

Duchies in England[edit] Main article: Duchies in England

Duchy of Cornwall Duchy of Lancaster

Duchies in France[edit]

Duchy of Anjou Duchy of Aquitaine Duchy of Berry Duchy of Bourbon Duchy of Brittany Duchy of Burgundy Duchy of Normandy Duchy of Orléans

Duchies in Poland[edit]

Duchy of Prussia Duchy of Warsaw

Duchies in Baltic States[edit]

Duchy of Courland and Semigallia Duchy of Estonia (other) Duchy of Livonia United Baltic Duchy

Duchies in Sweden[edit] All Provinces of Sweden
Provinces of Sweden
are technically considered duchies. Princes and princesses are given dukedoms of one or more of them. The current such royal duchies are:

Västergötland Värmland Gästrikland
and Hälsingland Östergötland Gotland Ångermanland Skåne Södermanland Dalarna

Other current or historical duchies[edit]

Duchy of the Franks Duchy of Gascony Duchy of Limburg Duchy of Livonia Duchy of Rascia Duchy of Vasconia Duchy of Athens Duchy of Pakualaman Duchy of Mangkunegaran

See also[edit]

Constitutional status of Cornwall Duchies in England Grand Duchy

Fictional duchies[edit]

Underland, ruled by Underbeit, on The Venture Brothers Duchy of Atreides from the Dune series by Frank Herbert Soleanna from Sonic the Hedgehog Duchy of Dollet (from Final Fantasy VIII) Duchy of Grand Fenwick Borogravia, Quirm
(from the Discworld
series) The Six Duchies (from The Farseer Trilogy and Tawny Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb) Zeon
(from the Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam
series, also sometimes translated as a Principality, as the Japanese language does not distinguish between the two) Erat, Asturia, Mimbre, Wacune (from the Belgariad series) Crydee, Yabon, Krondor, Olasko, Rillanon, Ran, Rodez, Salador, The Sunset Isles (from the Riftwar
saga) Freid (from The Vision of Escaflowne
The Vision of Escaflowne
series) Cagliostro from Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro Duchy of Nuts from Adventure Time with Finn & Jake Duchy of Harrington from the Honorverse Duchy of Toussaint, from The Witcher
The Witcher
series. Duchy of Urnst, from the Dungeons & Dragons Greyhawk
Campaign Setting. Duchy of Bewcastle [ Duke
of Bewcastle] from Slightly Series (esp. Slightly Dangerous) by Mary Balough

Fictional grand duchies[edit]

The Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Ryn, from the early computer adventure game The Datestones of Ryn Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Jeuno (from Final Fantasy XI) Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Karameikos, from the Dungeons & Dragons Mystara Campaign Setting. Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Geoff, from the Dungeons & Dragons Greyhawk Campaign Setting.


^ Meyers Taschenlexikon Geschichte 1982, vol. 2, p. 319. ^ Meyers Taschenlexikon Geschichte 1982, vol. 1, p. 21. ^ Meyers Taschenlexikon Geschichte 1982, vol. 3, p. 62. ^ The Second War of the Roses ^ Paul Margue, Luxemburg in Mittelalter und Neuzeit, publ. Bourg-Bourger, Luxembourg
1974, p13

External links[edit]

Look up duchy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

The Duchy of Cornwall
official site

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Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

English terms

Common English terms1


Insular area Local government area Protected area Special
area Statistical area

Combined statistical area Metropolitan statistical area Micropolitan statistical area

Urban area




borough Metropolitan borough


Federal capital Imperial capital


state Autonomous city Charter city Independent city Incorporated city Imperial city Free imperial city Royal free city


Autonomous community Residential community


Administrative county Autonomous county Consolidated city-county Metropolitan county




Overseas country


Overseas department


Capital district City
district Congressional district Electoral district Federal district Indian government district Land district Metropolitan district

Non-metropolitan district

Military district Municipal district Police district Regional district Rural district Sanitary district Subdistrict Urban district Special


Census division Police division Subdivision


municipality County

Norway Nova Scotia Regional county municipality

Direct-controlled municipality District
municipality Mountain resort municipality Neutral municipality Regional municipality Resort municipality Rural municipality Specialized municipality


Autonomous prefecture Subprefecture Super-prefecture Praetorian prefecture


Autonomous province Overseas province Roman province


Administrative region Autonomous region Capital region Development region Economic region Mesoregion Microregion Overseas region Planning region Special
administrative region Statistical region Subregion


Biosphere reserve Ecological reserve Game reserve Indian reserve Nature reserve


Federal state Free state Sovereign state


Capital territory

Federal capital territory

Dependent territory Federal territory Military territory Organized incorporated territory Overseas territory Union territory Unorganized territory


Census town Market town


Charter township Civil township Paper township Survey township Urban township


Autonomous territorial unit Local administrative unit Municipal unit Regional unit


Economic zone

Exclusive economic zone Free economic zone Special
economic zone

Free-trade zone Neutral zone Self-administered zone

Other English terms


Alpine resort Bailiwick Banner


Block Cadastre Circle Circuit Colony Commune Condominium Constituency Duchy Eldership Emirate Federal dependency Governorate Hamlet Ilkhanate Indian reservation Manor


Muftiate Neighbourhood Parish Periphery Precinct Principality Protectorate Quarter Regency Autonomous republic Riding Sector


Shire Sultanate Suzerainty Townland Village

Administrative Summer



Agency Barony Burgh Exarchate Hide Hundred Imperial Circle March Monthon Presidency Residency Roman diocese Seat Tenth Tithing

Non-English or loanwords


Amt Bakhsh Barangay Bezirk Regierungsbezirk Comune Frazione Fu Gemeinde Județ Kunta / kommun

Finland Sweden

Län Località Megye Muban Oblast


Okrug Ostān Poblacion Purok Shahrestān Sum Sýsla Tehsil Vingtaine


Commote Gau Heerlijkheid Köping Maalaiskunta Nome

Egypt Greece

Pagus Pargana Plasă Satrapy Socken Subah Syssel Zhou

v t e

terms for country subdivisions


Muhafazah (محافظة governorate) Wilayah (ولاية province) Mintaqah (منطقة region) Mudiriyah (مديرية directorate) Imarah (إمارة emirate) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Shabiyah (شعبية "popularate")

Second / third-level

Mintaqah (منطقة region) Qadaa (قضاء district) Nahiyah (ناحية subdistrict) Markaz (مركز district) Mutamadiyah (معتمدية "delegation") Daerah/Daïra (دائرة circle) Liwa (لواء banner / sanjak)

City / township-level

Amanah (أمانة municipality) Baladiyah (بلدية municipality) Ḥai (حي neighborhood / quarter) Mahallah (محلة) Qarya (قرية) Sheyakhah (شياخة "neighborhood subdivision")

English translations given are those most commonly used.

v t e

French terms for country subdivisions

arrondissement département préfecture subprefectures

v t e

Greek terms for country subdivisions


apokentromenes dioikiseis / geniki dioikisis§ / diamerisma§ / periphereia nomos§ / periphereiaki enotita demos / eparchia§ / koinotita§


archontia/archontaton bandon demos despotaton dioikesis doukaton droungos eparchia exarchaton katepanikion kephalatikion kleisoura meris naukrareia satrapeia strategis thema toparchia tourma

§ signifies a defunct institution

v t e

Portuguese terms for country subdivisions

Regional subdivisions

Estado Distrito federal Província Região Distrito Comarca Capitania

Local subdivisions

Município Concelho Freguesia Comuna Circunscrição


Cidade Vila Aldeia Bairro Lugar

Historical subdivisions in italics.

v t e

Slavic terms for country subdivisions


dzielnica gmina krai kraj krajina / pokrajina městys obec oblast / oblast' / oblasti / oblys / obwód / voblast' okręg okres okrug opština / općina / občina / obshtina osiedle powiat / povit raion selsoviet / silrada sołectwo voivodeship / vojvodina županija


darugha gromada guberniya / gubernia jurydyka khutor obshchina okolia opole pogost prowincja sorok srez starostwo / starostva uyezd volost ziemia župa

v t e

Spanish terms for country subdivisions

National, Federal

Comunidad autónoma Departamento Distrito federal Estado Provincia Región

Regional, Metropolitan

Cantón Comarca Comuna Corregimiento Delegación Distrito Mancomunidad Merindad Municipalidad Municipio Parroquia

Ecuador Spain

Urban, Rural

Aldea Alquería Anteiglesia Asentamiento

Asentamiento informal Pueblos jóvenes

Barrio Campamento Caserío Ciudad

Ciudad autónoma

Colonia Lugar Masía Pedanía Población Ranchería Sitio Vereda Villa Village

Historical subdivisions in italics.

v t e

Turkish terms for country subdivisions


il (province) ilçe (district) şehir (city) kasaba (town) belediye (municipality) belde (community) köy (village) mahalle (neighbourhood/quarter)


ağalık (feudal district) bucak (subdistrict) beylerbeylik (province) kadılık (subprovince) kaza (sub-province) hidivlik (viceroyalty) mutasarrıflık (subprovince) nahiye (nahiyah) paşalık (province) reya (Romanian principalities) sancak (prefecture) vilayet (province) voyvodalık (Romanian provinces)

1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics. See also: Census division, Electoral district, Political division, and List of administrative divisions by country

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