I'm reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and wonder what is a district squire, as Mr. Trelawney in the novel.
Squire, as wiki explains:
Beginning in the Middle Ages, a squire was the shield or armour bearer of a knight. At times squires acted as a knight's errand runner or servant. Use of the term evolved over time. Initially, squires were a knight's trainees/apprentices. Later a village leader or a Lord of the Manor might be called a squire, and still later the term applied to key public figures such as justice of the peace or Member of Parliament.
From the novel seems Mr. Trelawney possibly owned a manor, as Dr. Livesey went " to the Hall to dine and pass the evening with the squire".
However, it seems the "squire" title of Mr. Trelawney means not only possession of some real estate, as the wiki page says: "He is associated with civic authority and social power".
What kind of authority and power does a squire have? Mr. Trelawney seems to have the power to order his fellowmen to take a risky trip with him: John Hunter and Richard Joyce are his manservants, while Tom Redruth is his gamekeeper. All three joined the trip as Mr. Trelawney calls, though "old Tom Redruth ... could do nothing but grumble and lament". And, alas, all three died.
Is such authority and power due to Mr. Trelawney's personal charisma? or is it also due to some social hierarchy of then English society?