Ridder (title)

Ridder ([ˈrɪdər]; English: "Knight") is a noble title in Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. Traditionally it denotes the second lowest rank within the nobility, standing below Baron, but above the untitled nobility (Jonkheer) in these countries. "Ridder" is a literal translation of Latin Eques and originally meant "horseman" or "rider". For its historical association with warfare and the landed gentry in the Middle Ages, it can be considered roughly equal to the titles of "Knight" or "Baronet". In the Netherlands and Belgium no female equivalent exists. The collective term for its holders in a certain area as an executive and legislative assembly is named the Ridderschap (e.g. Ridderschap of Holland, Ridderschap of Friesland, etc.).