Burgrave, the Eng. form, derived through the Fr. of the Ger. Burggraf and Flem. burg or burch-graeve (med. Lat. burcgravius or burgicomes), i.e. count of a castle or fortified town.
The title is equivalent to that of castellan (Lat. castellanus) or châtelain. In Germany, owing to the peculiar conditions of the Empire, though the office of burgrave had become a sinecure by the end of the 13th century, the title, as borne by feudal nobles having the status of princes of the Empire, obtained a quasi-royal significance.
It was still included among the subsidiary titles of several sovereign princes; and the king of Prussia, whose ancestors were burgraves of Nuremberg for over 200 years, was styled burgrave of Nuremberg.
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01