MARSHAL

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MARSHAL (in ancient German, Marschalk) ; derived, according to some, from the ancient German word Mar, a horse of the nobler kind, and Shalk, originally a servant (though at present a cunning fellow) ; hence Marschalk, a man appointed to take care of the horses. Marechal, in French, still designates a farrier, though it also denotes a high dignity. As the word came, in the sequel, to designate high officers of state and wTar, this derivation of the word proved unacceptable to some persons, and it was attempted to derive it from mar, maer, from the Latin major, as in majordomo; but the first derivation is the most. probable, and it is by no means the only instance in which the names of high dignities originated with low employments. A similar instance is the French conne'table, from comes stabulL Marshal signified at first a person intrusted with the charge of twelve horses under the comes stabulL In France, the title sunk still lower, so as to designate, as we have said, every farrier; but in other parts of Europe, it rose in dignity, as horses were 26* highly valued at courts, so that it came to signify the person appointed to the care of all the horses of a prince; and, these persons being at length appointed to high commands in the army, and important posts in the state, the title came to signify one of the highest officers of the court. The marshal of the German empire derived his origin from the Frankish monarchs, and was equivalent to the comes stabuli or connetable. He was bound to keep order at the coronation of the emperor, and to provide lodgings for the persons connected with the ceremony. He was called archmarshal, a dignity belonging to the electorate of Saxony. At the coronation, it was his duty to bring oats, in a silver vessel, from a heap in the open marketplace, and to present the vessel to the emperor. His duties were discharged by a hereditary marshal (Erbmarschall). In France, marSchal de France is the highest military honor: marechal de camp is equal to majorgeneral, in Austria to fieldmarshal. In Prussia, generalfieldmarshal is the highest military honor. In England, fieldmarshal means the commanderinchief of all the forces. It is also given as an honorary rank to general officers who have no immediate command.Marshal was, and in many countries of Germany is, the title of the president of the diet of the estates. His office is sometimes hereditary. Marshal also signifies a person who regulates the ceremonies on certain solemn celebrations. Marshal is also used for some inferior officers in England. The marshal of the king's bench has the custody of the prison called the King's bench. He attends on the court of the same name, and takes into custody all prisoners committed by it. The officers in the U. States' courts, corresponding to the sheriffs in the courts of the several states, have also the name of MARSHAL. Marshal, Earl. (See Earl Marshal.) Marshal, Provost. (See Provost Marshal.)