A squire was the shield bearer or armour bearer of a knight, and at times squires included a knight's errand runner or servant. Use of the term has evolved over time. In the Middle Ages, squires were trainees to a knight but it later a leader in an English village might be called a squire, and later key public figures such as justice of the peace or Member of Parliament. In contemporary American usage as well, squire is the title given to Justice of the peace or similar local dignitaries.
Squire is a shortened version of the word Esquire, from the Old French escuier (modern French écuyer), itself derived from the Late Latin scutarius ("shield bearer"), in medieval or Old English a scutifer. The Classical Latin equivalent was armiger, "arms bearer".
Famous quotes containing the word squire:
“There now are no Squire Westerns as of old;
And our Sophias are not so emphatic,
But fair as then, or fairer to behold.
We have no accomplishd blackguards, like Tom Jones,
But gentlemen in stays, as stiff as stones.”
—George Gordon Noel Byron (17881824)
“And they both went a walking to Blackberry Fold.”
—Unknown. Squire and Milkmaid; or, Blackberry Fold (l. 20)