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ALDERMAN. An officer, generally appointed or elected in towns corporate, or cities, possessing various powers in different places.
     2. The aldermen of the cities of Pennsylvania, possess all the powers and jurisdictions civil and criminal of justices of the peace. They are besides, in conjunction with the respective mayors or recorders, judges of the mayor's courts.
     3. Among the Saxons there was an officer called the ealderman. ealdorman, or aldernwn, which appellation signified literally elderman. Like the Roman senator, he was so called, not on account of his age, but because of his wisdom and dignity, non propter oetatem sed propter sapientism et dignitatem. He presided with the bishop at the scyregemote, and was, ex officio, a member of the witenagemote. At one time he was a military officer, but afterwards his office was purely judicial.
     4. There were several kinds of aldermen, as king's aldermen, aldermen of all England, aldermen of the county, aldermen of the hundred, &c., to denote difference of rank and jurisdiction.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
'You are going to be married, you say,' pursued the Alderman.
If there is one thing,' said the Alderman, with his self-satisfied smile, 'on which I can be said to have made up my mind more than on another, it is to Put suicide Down.
'And as for you, you dull dog,' said the Alderman, turning with even increased cheerfulness and urbanity to the young smith, 'what are you thinking of being married for?
O, he knew how to banter the common people, Alderman Cute!
Go along with you,' said the Alderman, 'and repent.
The Alderman (a blessing on his head!) had Put THEM Down.
'As you happen to be here,' said the Alderman to Toby, 'you shall carry a letter for me.
The Alderman cut him short by giving him the letter from his pocket.
Then the Alderman gave an arm to each of his friends, and walked off in high feather; but, he immediately came hurrying back alone, as if he had forgotten something.
'She's much too handsome, my man,' repeated the Alderman. 'The chances are, that she'll come to no good, I clearly see.
You've created a Democratic Party within the Democratic Party," said Robert Shaw, a former alderman and Cook County official who's been involved in local politics for more than 40 years.
Alderman ruffled feathers with his pre-Ashes remarks condemning Giles as "a negative trundler" and his claim that "any top order Aussie batsman who gets out to him should hang themselves".