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BURGESS. A magistrate of a borough; generally, the chief officer of the corporation, who performs, within the borough, the same kind of duties which a mayor does in a city. In England, the word is sometimes applied to all the inhabitants of a borough, who are called burgesses sometimes it signifies the representatives of a borough in parliament.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Loyalty to friends of the burgesses and their leaders sometimes lead to trouble.
In future years, the burgesses were more careful how they interpreted oaths of friendship, for instance, the Earl of Huntly, Alexander Seaton's summons for aid in military conflict was politely declined by Provost Richard Kintore in 1463.
As soon as the Virginia House of Burgesses joined her sister colonies in voicing official support for Boston, the royal governor of Virginia again dissolved the assembly.