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baronets are hereditary knights and at first their elder sons could be knighted on their 21st birthday. The order was instituted by James I in 1611 as a means of raising money for the army in Ulster. Irish baronetcies followed in 1619 and Scottish in 1625. The latter were originally of Nova Scotia since the intention was to support that colony. Baronets remained commoners and were therefore eligible for membership of the House of Commons. Pledges to limit the number granted were soon broken.

J. A. Cannon

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