field cornet, noun phrase

Forms:
Also field-cornett, and with initial capitals.
Origin:
South African DutchShow more Translation of South African Dutch veld kornet, see veld-kornet.
1. In historical contexts. A civilian official invested with the rank and responsibilities of a military officer and with various judicial powers enabling him to act as a local administrator, magistrate, sheriff, and keeper of the peace in a ward; cornet; veld cornet; veld-kornet sense 1. Also used as a title.
Note:
At the Cape, field cornets were appointed by the government but not directly remunerated for their services; in the Boer republics they were elected. Militarily subordinate to field commandants, in civil and judicial matters field cornets were responsible to landdrosts. They were replaced by justices of the peace in 1916.
1800 G. Yonge in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1898) III. 197Correct Lists of all such Inhabitants as shall have taken out their regular License to kill Game, to be sent to the different Field Cornets in their Districts.
1811 Earl of Caledon in G.W. Eybers Sel. Constit. Doc. (1918) 104The..Publication shall be forthwith transmitted..by the Landdrosts to the Heemraden, Field-Commandants, and Field-Cornets of their Districts, to be by them made known to the Inhabitants at large.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 67Field-cornet is the title given to a magistrate who decides in the first instance little disputes that sometimes arise.
1835 J.W.D. Moodie Ten Yrs in S. Afr. II. 173In the district of Uitenhage..there were only inferior magistrates, called field-cornets, who were formerly empowered to inflict a certain degree of corporal punishment on refractory slaves or Hottentots at their own discretion, on complaint being made by the master.
1852 M.B. Hudson S. Afr. Frontier Life 39Every district throughout the colony has its Field-cornets or Constables. These officers have power to apprehend without warrant; as also to summons special constables. They are Coroners for their district, and the official organs of communication between the authorities and the inhabitants of their divisions.
1877 J. Noble S. Afr. 29One farmer told his Kafir servant, who had been with him for several years ‘I have an instruction from the field-cornet to send you to your own country.’ ‘My own country? This is my own country.’
1880 E.F. Sandeman Eight Months in Ox-Waggon 94On our first trek we met the field cornet, who combines in one the offices of magistrate, sheriff, chief constable, arbitrator, and executioner.
1900 H.C. Hillegas Oom Paul’s People 206As soon as the commandant-general issues an order for the mobilization of the volunteer army the commandants and their assistants, the field-cornets, speedily go from one house to another in their districts and summon the burghers from their homes.
1937 H.C. Armstrong Grey Steel 171Milner had dissolved the commando system, by which each ward was placed under a field-cornet and made responsible for its own police duties.
1972 J. Ball in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. VII. 398From service in the field, mostly against Bushmen, the titles of field-commandant and field-cornet..arose so that these officers could be distinguished from those who remained at home...As early as 1780 such officers are referred to.
1988 Smuts & Alberts Forgotten Highway through Ceres & Bokkeveld 122He bought a farm..in Piketberg, where he became a field cornet.
2. In historical contexts. A rank in the army, equivalent to that of Lieutenant; veld-kornet sense 2.
1950 D. Reed Somewhere S. of Suez 187The Nationalist Afrikaner Minister of Defence in 1948 announced that it (sc. the Defence Force) would be reorganized ‘so that it would become independent of co-operation from sources outside the Union’...In that spirit, apparently, the British military model and nomenclature were done away with and the Boer Commandos revived, with their ranks from Field Cornet to Commandant.
1971 F.A. Van Jaarsveld in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. IV. 488The title of field-cornet disappeared finally as a civil office and was replaced by ‘justice of the peace’. In 1960 the military rank was restored and took the place of lieutenant, to denote an officer of a particular rank in the South African army, but only in the land forces. The former second lieutenant now became assistant field-cornet.
3. A rank in the Voortrekkers (see Voortrekker noun sense 2 b), an Afrikaner youth organization.
1975 J.F.P. Badenhorst in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. XI. 288Membership [of the Voortrekker movement] is open to White boys and girls, officers (‘field cornets’ and ‘commandants’), executive members and ‘lay members’.
A civilian official invested with the rank and responsibilities of a military officer and with various judicial powers enabling him to act as a local administrator, magistrate, sheriff, and keeper of the peace in a ward; cornet; veld cornet; veld-kornet1. Also used as a title.
A rank in the army, equivalent to that of Lieutenant; veld-kornet2.
A rank in the Voortrekkers (see Voortrekkernoun2 b), an Afrikaner youth organization.

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18001988