Herrschaft (territory)

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For the German trawler captured by the British in 1940, see FV Herrlichkeit.

In the German feudal system, a Herrschaft or Herrlichkeit (equivalent of the French term Seigneurie) was the fiefdom of a lord, who in this area exercised his full feudal rights. A fiefdom of the king or emperor within the Holy Roman Empire was known as a Reichsstandschaft.

If they had become a Graf or a Fürst by purchase or inheritance, they were – unlike the Reichsritter – represented in the Reichstag on the Grafenbank (counts' bench).

An Unterherrschaft or Unterherrlichkeit was a fief whose proprietor, an Unterherr, was more or less independent on his own estate, without however being free.

See also[edit]


  • Hanns Hubert Hofmann: Quellen zum Verfassungsorganismus des Heiligen Römischen Reiches Deutscher Nation 1495–1815, Darmstadt 1976.