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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.

References in classic literature ?
Now, you know,' said the Alderman, addressing his two friends, with a self-complacent smile upon his face which was habitual to him, 'I am a plain man, and a practical man; and I go to work in a plain practical way.
You see, my friend,' pursued the Alderman, 'there's a great deal of nonsense talked about Want--"hard up," you know; that's the phrase, isn't it?
said the Alderman, chucking her familiarly under the chin.
Always affable with the working classes, Alderman Cute
Not to get up linen THERE, I suppose,' remarked the Alderman pleasantly
Put THAT down indeed, Alderman, and you'll do something.
Now, I'm going to give you a word or two of good advice, my girl,' said the Alderman, in his nice easy way.
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!
At this crowning insult the sompnour, with a face ashen with rage, raised up a quivering hand and began pouring Latin imprecations upon the angry alderman.