Definitions for knights of the shire

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  1. Knights of the Shire

    From the creation of the Parliament of England in mediaeval times each county of England and Wales sent two Knights of the Shire as members of Parliament to represent the interests of the county, until 1826 when the number of knights from Yorkshire was increased to four. With the Great Reform Act of 1832 different counties sent different numbers of knights to Parliament until the abolition of the seats in the Reform Act of 1884. The term is now used informally for English and Welsh members of parliament representing rural rather than urban areas.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Knights of the Shire

    English gentry representing a middle class between the barons and the peasants, acting as members of Parliament for the county they belonged to.

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