Petty constable
Constable Con"sta*ble (k[o^]n"st[.a]*b'l or k[u^]n"st[.a]*b'l), n. [OE. conestable, constable, a constable (in sense 1), OF. conestable, F. conn['e]table, LL. conestabulus, constabularius, comes stabuli, orig., count of the stable, master of the horse, equerry; comes count (L. companion) + L. stabulum stable. See {Count} a nobleman, and {Stable}.] 1. A high officer in the monarchical establishments of the Middle Ages. [1913 Webster]

Note: The constable of France was the first officer of the crown, and had the chief command of the army. It was also his duty to regulate all matters of chivalry. The office was suppressed in 1627. The constable, or lord high constable, of England, was one of the highest officers of the crown, commander in chief of the forces, and keeper of the peace of the nation. He also had judicial cognizance of many important matters. The office was as early as the Conquest, but has been disused (except on great and solemn occasions), since the attainder of Stafford, duke of Buckingham, in the reign of Henry VIII. [1913 Webster]

2. (Law) An officer of the peace having power as a conservator of the public peace, and bound to execute the warrants of judicial officers. --Bouvier. [1913 Webster]

Note: In England, at the present time, the constable is a conservator of the peace within his district, and is also charged by various statutes with other duties, such as serving summons, precepts, warrants, etc. In the United States, constables are town or city officers of the peace, with powers similar to those of the constables of England. In addition to their duties as conservators of the peace, they are invested with others by statute, such as to execute civil as well as criminal process in certain cases, to attend courts, keep juries, etc. In some cities, there are officers called {high constables}, who act as chiefs of the constabulary or police force. In other cities the title of constable, as well as the office, is merged in that of the police officer. [1913 Webster]

{High constable}, a constable having certain duties and powers within a hundred. [Eng.]

{Petty constable}, a conservator of the peace within a parish or tithing; a tithingman. [Eng.]

{Special constable}, a person appointed to act as constable of special occasions.

{To} {overrun the constable}, or {outrun the constable}, to spend more than one's income; to get into debt. [Colloq.] --Smollett. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • petty constable — noun : an officer of a British parish or township formerly appointed to act as keeper of the peace and to perform various minor administrative duties * * * petty constable A parish constable who was under the High Constable • • • Main Entry:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • petty constable — Inferior officers in every town and parish, subordinate to the high constable of the hundred. The office combined the ancient office of head borough, tithingman, or borsholder and the modern office of constable merely. See I Bl Comm 356 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • constable — [ kɔ̃stabl ] n. m. • 1765; mot angl., de l a. fr. conestable → connétable ♦ Dans les pays anglo saxons, Officier de police; sergent de ville. ● constable nom masculin (anglais constable, de l ancien français conestable, connétable) En Grande… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Constable — Con sta*ble (k[o^]n st[.a]*b l or k[u^]n st[.a]*b l), n. [OE. conestable, constable, a constable (in sense 1), OF. conestable, F. conn[ e]table, LL. conestabulus, constabularius, comes stabuli, orig., count of the stable, master of the horse,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Petty — Pet ty, a. [Compar. {Pettier}; superl. {Pettiest}.] [OE. petit, F. petit; probably of Celtic origin, and akin to E. piece. Cf. {Petit}.] Little; trifling; inconsiderable; also, inferior; subordinate; as, a petty fault; a petty prince. Denham.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Petty averages — Petty Pet ty, a. [Compar. {Pettier}; superl. {Pettiest}.] [OE. petit, F. petit; probably of Celtic origin, and akin to E. piece. Cf. {Petit}.] Little; trifling; inconsiderable; also, inferior; subordinate; as, a petty fault; a petty prince.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Petty cash — Petty Pet ty, a. [Compar. {Pettier}; superl. {Pettiest}.] [OE. petit, F. petit; probably of Celtic origin, and akin to E. piece. Cf. {Petit}.] Little; trifling; inconsiderable; also, inferior; subordinate; as, a petty fault; a petty prince.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Petty officer — Petty Pet ty, a. [Compar. {Pettier}; superl. {Pettiest}.] [OE. petit, F. petit; probably of Celtic origin, and akin to E. piece. Cf. {Petit}.] Little; trifling; inconsiderable; also, inferior; subordinate; as, a petty fault; a petty prince.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • petty — Small, minor, of less or inconsiderable importance. The English form of petit, and sometimes used instead of that word in such compounds as petty jury, petty larceny, and petty treason. See misdemeanor petit. As to petty average petty constable… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Constable [1] — Constable (engl., spr. kónnstēbl, ursprünglich verwandt mit dem franz. connétable), Name öffentlicher Sicherheitsbeamten in England. Der Lord High C., einer der obersten Kron und Reichsbeamten des alten England, war dem Connetable von Frankreich… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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