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WATCHMAN. An officer in many cities and towns, whose duty it is to watch during the night and take care of the property of the inhabitants.
     2. He possesses generally the common law authority of a constable (q.v.) to make arrests, where there is reasonable ground to suspect a felony, though there is no proof of a felony having been committed. 1 Chit. Cr. L. 24; 2 Hale, 96; Hawk. B. 2, c. 13, s. 1, &c.; 1 East, P. C. 303; 2 Inst. 52; Com. Dig. Imprisonment, H 4; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.; 3 Taunt. R. 14; 1 B. & A. 227; Peake, R. 89; 1 Moody's Cr. Cas. 334; 1 Esp. R. 294; and vide Peace.
     3. By an act of congress, approved Sept. 30, 1850, the compensation of watchmen in the various departments of government, shall be five hundred dollars per annum.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The injured night watchman was shifted to hospital for treatment and the police after registering a case against unidentified looters have started an investigation.
Squinting through sweat across the glistening lake a faint plume of smoke arose from the distant lodge, and I remembered the counsel of the night watchman. The mirror surface of the lake's expanse concealed what I could not conceive.
"However, when they offered me a job as a night watchman, or indeed a paint signer for boats in the dry dock, I felt I had to refuse.
Out the corner of his left eye, the night watchman saw something green and luminous approach, and he turned - to see a woman's head floating in mid air!
Prasad played his role well as the night watchman and collected 34 runs under his belt.
For example, "The Earth Frog," an image the night watchman remembers from a disturbing dream about his wife, suggests the almost primeval revulsion that the men feel toward their aging wives.
Flower tried to defend England's cautious approach with a later than-expected declaration and the use of a night watchman even though they were pushing for quick runs.
Thanks to the advent of surveillance cameras, the night watchman has gone the way of the milkman.
Night watchman Steve Kirby frustrated the home attack until after lunch but Derbyshire chipped away and wrapped up the win when Graham Wagg took his fourth wicket to reach a notable milestone.
England closed the day 229 runs behind and crucially lost the wickets of skipper Michael Vaughan and night watchman Ryan Sidebottom in the last few overs of the day.
Enter night watchman Sidebottom - but soon caught at second slip off the bespectacled spinner.
Night watchman Irfan Pathan held the early part of the innings together as Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were all dismissed by a rejuvenated Australian attack.