If any Gentle-woman (which in our laws, is called Nobilis) do marry a husband of no coat-armor (whom also we call ignobilem): her state and title of gentleness, is in suspense, and no man knoweth where it is: but yet the law preserveth the same, until God send her a husband of a better kind: and then it shall appear again.

– From The Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586), p63-4

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