burgess (n.)

c. 1200, burgeis "citizen of a borough, inhabitant of a walled town," from Old French borjois (Modern French bourgeois), from Late Latin burgensis (see bourgeois). Applied from late 15c. to borough representatives in Parliament and used later in Virginia and Maryland to denote members of the legislative body, while in Pennsylvania and Connecticut it meant "member of the governing council of a local municipality."

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