Knight of the shire

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in England, one of the representatives of a county in Parliament, in distinction from the representatives of cities and boroughs.
- Nares.
See under Knight.

See also: Knight, Shire

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
In 1386 he was a member of Parliament, knight of the shire for Kent; but in that year his fortune turned--he lost all his offices at the overthrow of the faction of his patron, Duke John of Gaunt (uncle of the young king, Richard II, who had succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, some years before).
'Truly I know nothing free but only the knight of the shire, nor do I know anything in a parliamentary way that is clear from the height and fullness of tyranny, but only that.'
His ability was also recognised by the electors of Essex, who in the period 1406-33 returned him to six parliaments as a knight of the shire, and by his fellow MPs, who elected him Speaker of the Commons when his third parliament opened in December 1421.
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