- 1.1British • archaic An inhabitant of a town or borough with full rights of citizenship.More example sentences
- Although it gave no additional powers, it did change the title of inhabitants from burgesses to citizens.
- This placed an onerous tax burden on townsmen (taxation had been extended beyond burgesses to resident non-burgesses).
- In March 1340 he travelled to London on community business, to show proof to the city authorities that Lynn burgesses were exempt from murage exactions there.
- 1.2British • historical A member of Parliament for a borough, corporate town, or university.More example sentences
- The Return of the Names of Every Member… is the basic source for lists of parliamentary burgesses.
- These include the most commonly studied groups: the executive (mayors and bailiffs) and parliamentary burgesses.
- This new borough was also endowed with land, the income from which was used to pay the salaries of two burgesses at parliament.
- 1.3(In the US and also historically in the UK) a magistrate or member of the governing body of a town.More example sentences
- In the 15th century the Yelde Hall was erected and used by the bailiffs and burgesses of the town as a council chamber.
- At Lynn in 1340 John de Swerdestone and Adam de Walsoken were elected collectors of the wool custom by the mayor and burgesses, as specified by the king.
- More than 260 townspeople now belong to the institution and there are four grades; commoner, landholder, assistant burgess and capital burgess.
- 1.4US • historical A member of the assembly of colonial Maryland or Virginia.More example sentences
- Bacon won election to the burgesses, Virginia's upper house, but was arrested when he tried to take his seat.
- As a burgess, "Loudoun" Lee served on committees dealing with "Propositions and Grievances," "encouraging Arts and Manufactures" and "Privileges and Elections."
- He became a burgess, and supported the government during Bacon's Rebellion.
Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French burgeis, from late Latin burgus 'castle, fort' (in medieval Latin 'fortified town'); related to borough.
More definitions of burgessDefinition of burgess in:
- The British & World English dictionary