"many men of the rank of Baronet?"
Portrait of James I of England, 1603-09
Public DomainPortrait of James I of England, 1603-09 - Credit: Nicholas Hilliard

Baronet is a hereditary title awarded by the British Crown. The practice of awarding baronetcies was originally introduced in England in the 1300s, although it was little used until the 1600s. 

The present hereditary Order of Baronets in England dates from 1611, when King James I granted the first Letters Patent to 200 gentlemen of good birth with an income of at least £1000 a year. The baronets formed the sixth division of the aristocracy, after the five degrees of the peerage, but above the knights.  They paid for the honour – each man had to contribute funds to cover the upkeep of thirty soldiers for three years, which amounted to £1095 (a huge sum in 1611).