What is it?
 How do you make one?
Being a freehold has it's positives and negatives. For instance, as a freehold you will never, no matter how large you become, become a barony or go up in status at all. Your chapter will retain the rights of a shire. You will only be able to give out two orders of any award to any one person. You would not have the right to bestow knighthood, or masterhood or any other Kingdom level honors.
On the upside, you wouldn't have to answer to a kingdom, except the Burning Lands in cases of major infractions.
"Becoming a knight from a freehold is nearly impossible. As a freehold you are not exactly outcasts, but you are restricted to using the Burning Lands Corpora and never advancing past "Shire". You technically don't have a kingdom to hand out any higher awards including titles such as knighthood." -Glenalth