lænder (OSw) lendr (ON) adj.

The landed man (lænder maþer, lendr maðr, so called because he had been endowed with land from the king) was a local magnate who acted as the king’s highest representative in his district. He was a royal vassal, attached to the king by an oath of fealty and service. He was ranked below an earl, but above a freeholder. With respect to personal rights, his status (in the FrL and GuL) was equal to that of the stallari (q.v.), i.e. twice as high as that of a freeholder. He belonged to the group of the king’s most important advisers. In the king’s retinue (hirð) he was counted among the officers. If the son of a landed man was not endowed with land by the king before he was 40 years old, he was not counted as a landed man.

Men holding this title were called barons after 1277, and they were granted the right to use the title herra (see hærra).

In Sweden the concept of lænder maþer is only known from the VgL, where it was a heritable title. He belonged to the local elite but is difficult to distinguish from the bonde and his functions are unknown.


lænder maþer (OSw) lendr maðr, lendir menn (pl.) (ON)

baron OIce Kab 1 Þjb 3

landed man ONorw EidsL 48.1; 50.1 FrL Intr 1 Mhb 10, 52 Var 43 Leb 8 Rgb 8 LlbA 15 Reb 2 GuL Krb, Kpb, Kvb, Løb, Llb, Arb, Tfb, Mhb, Tjb, Ulb, Leb OIce Js Kdb 3 Mah 7, 29

lenderman OSw YVgL Jb ÄVgL Jb


Andrae 1960, 77 ff.; Bagge 2010, 53, 80, 119, 233; DMA s.v. Scandinavia: Political and legal organization; Helle 2001, 149–52, 154–55, 159–60; Hertzberg s.v. lendr maðr; KLNM s.v.v. baron, befalingsmand, edsformular, hird, jarl, lendmann, stænder, årmann; Lindkvist 2009a, 62−63; Lindkvist 2021, 54 n. 97; Nilsson 2012, 207−09; Robberstad 1981, 378; SL 5, 143; Wærdahl 2011, 51; 2013, 96

  • ‘lænder’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.

  • http://www.dhi.ac.uk/lmnl/nordicheadword/displayPage/3448