In English law. A commoner; a freeholder under the rank of gentleman. Cowell. A man who has free land of forty shillings by the year; who was ancientlythereby qualified to serve on juries, vote for knights of the shire, and do any other act,where the law requires one that is probus et legalis homo. 1 Bl. Comm. 400, 407.This term is occasionally used in American law, but without any definite meaning,except In the United States navy, where it designates an appointive petty officer, whohas charge of the stores and supplies in his department of the ship’s economy.
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