One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person given land and granted certain manorial privileges under the former Dutch governments of New York and New Jersey.
- ‘At first, the rights of the Dutch were maintained, and many prominent families, such as the De Peysters, who were descendants of Dutch patroons, continued to be a cultural, mercantile, and political force.’
- ‘When the English took over the colony from the Dutch in 1664, the patroon system was continued and, indeed, large manors were allotted to English settlers.’
- ‘Yet the original grants under which the patroons had obtained their power withstood all attempts to remove them.’
- ‘Another mass meeting of tenants resolved to ‘go into a ten-year contest with the patroon or until a redress of grievances is obtained’.’
Mid 17th century: from Dutch.
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