( Esquires and gentlemen are confounded together by Sir Edward Coke, who observes, that every esquire is a gentleman, and a gentleman is defined to be one qui arma gerit. ... It is indeed a matter somewhat unsettled, what constitutes the distinction, or who is a real esquire; for it is not an estate, however large, that confers this rank upon its owner.
Esquire is neither a profession nor occupation.
Considering the laxity with which the title of Esquire has been used, as is the subject of remark by Sir Thomas Smith, in his days, as to the title of gentleman . . . the Court cannot take upon itself in this case to define, whether it has been improperly assumed.
When a man is asked if he is an Esquire, and he answers that he is an Esquire, the general understanding is that he is a person of no profession or occupation.
The term Esquire has no relation whatever to landed property.
I know of no privileged class of society, and I do not know an Esquire has any privileges a yeoman has not.