Gentleman

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Gentilhomme. Originally a man, not a nobleman, who was entitled to bear heraldic arms. Long after the word had become in England a mere expression of courtesy given to anyone of good social position, Jersey stood rigidly by the older meaning, and added it to the name as a title, e.g. "Elie Dumaresq, Gent". In the 17th century it was extended to all Seigneurs and Officials of the Court, who did not possess the higher rank of Ecuyer. In the 18th century it became the jealously guarded prerogative of certain leading families.

As late as 1829 the Court decided that Francois Le Montais "had the right to describe himself as Gent., because his family had borne this title from time immemorial". But the number of "Gents" was largely increased, when toward the end of the 18th century all Militia Lieutenants were designated in their commissions as "Gentlemen". The title was also given to the eldest sons of Jurats.

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