1630s, "owner, by royal grant, of an American colony," probably from proprietary (n.) in this sense. OED describes it as "Anomalously formed and substituted in 17th c. for the etymological word PROPRIETARY." In the general sense of "one who holds something as property, one who has the legal right or exclusive title" to something, it is attested from 1640s. Related: Proprietorship.
"landed proprietor or hereditary estate-holder in Scotland," mid-15c. (mid-13c. as a surname), Scottish and northern England dialectal variant of lord, from Middle English laverd (see lord (n.)). Related: Lairdship.
surname taken as the type of excessive hype and promotion, by 1850s, from circus owner P.T. Barnum (1810-1891), described in OED as "a pushing American show-proprietor." The surname is from the place-name Barnham.
early 13c., "young man who attends a knight," later "member of the landowning class ranking below a knight" (c. 1300), from Old French esquier "squire," literally "shield carrier" (see esquire). Meaning "country gentleman, landed proprietor" is from 1670s; as a general term of address to a gentleman, it is attested from 1828.
c. 1400, "proprietor, one who possesses or holds the title to a thing," also "worldly person, person tied to worldly goods or personal comforts," from noun uses of Old French proprietaire and Medieval Latin proprietarius "of a property owner" (see proprietary (adj.)). From 1630s in reference to the American colonies, "grantee or owner of a colony" (called proprietary colonies in distinction from charter colonies and royal colonies or provinces.
late 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), "one who lets or rents to others, proprietor; one who collects rent," agent noun from rent (v.). Also in Middle English "dwelling place for which rent is paid" (early 15c.). Meaning "lessee, tenant, holder of property by payment of rent" is from 1650s. In early use this was often in reference to estates; later it was more commonly of tenement or apartment lessees.
late 14c., plaunter, "one who sows seeds," agent noun from plant (v.). The mechanical sense of "tool or machine for planting seeds" is by 1850. Figurative sense of "one who introduces, establishes, or sets up" is from 1630s. Meaning "one who owns a plantation, the proprietor of a cultivated estate in West Indies or southern colonies of North America" is from 1640s, hence planter's punch (1890). Meaning "a pot for growing plants" recorded by 1959.
American colony, later U.S. state, 1681, literally "Penn's Woods," a hybrid formed from the surname Penn (Welsh, literally "head") + Latin sylvania (see sylvan). Not named for William Penn, the proprietor, but, on suggestion of Charles II, for Penn's late father, Admiral William Penn (1621-1670), who had lent the king the money that was repaid to the son in the form of land for a Quaker settlement in America. The story goes that the younger Penn wanted to call it New Wales, but the king's secretary, a Welshman of orthodox religion, wouldn't hear of it. Pennsylvania Dutch (adj.) in reference to the German communities of the state, which retained their customs and language, is attested from 1824.