Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gentry

Gentry (origin Old French genterie, from gentil, "high-born, noble", from Latin gentilis, of the same gens or race) denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past. Gentry, in its widest connotation, refers to people of good social position connected to landed estates (see manorialism), upper levels of the clergy, and "gentle" families of long descent who may never have obtained the official right to bear a coat of arms.

In England, the term often refers to the social class of the landed aristocracy or to the minor aristocracy (see landed gentry) whose income derives from their large landholdings.

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