Burgess

burgess in the Kingdom of Valyria is a subtype of freemann. What distinguishes a burgess from other types of freemann (or “homo liberus” in the Kingdom of Valyria) is that a burgess dwells in a boroughs, which is any non-military settlement that is 25 parcels or larger and possesses a town charter. A burgess does not need to be a landowner in his boroughs, but it is possible he may own a small lot of one or two parcels. Even if he is a landowner, a burgess will not have a coat of arms, which limits him to the freemann class in Valyria. For a Valyrian subject to be identified as a burgess, he does need to be a verified resident of a boroughs, which accounts him as a literal “citizen.” This means he either needs to own a building, to own a boat docked at the port of a boroughs, or to at least be a renter of an apartment or room in a building in a boroughs, the leasing of which entitles him to tenancy by burgage.

Per kingdom law as recorded in the Bill of Rights section of the Great Charter of Valyria, if any colonus establishes verifiable residency in a recognized boroughs in any county of Valyria and maintains it for one Elyrian year (one real life week), he will be excused from any bond of fealty. This right of escape only pertains to coloni and not to subinfeudated vassals of any other social class. This residency can be the rental of a room or apartment in a building owned by another within the boroughs. Unlike the bonded renters of land from country estates, renters in boroughs are free individuals.

The equivalent to a burgess in an incorporated city as opposed to a boroughs is a “citizen.”