APPARITOR, or Apparator (Latin for a servant of a public official, from apparere, to attend in public), an attendant who executed the orders of a Roman magistrate; hence a beadle in a university, a pursuivant or herald; particularly, in English ecclesiastical courts, the official who serves the processes of the court and causes defendants to appear by summons.
The only other remaining civil jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts was in personal actions where clerks were defendants (Migne, op. cit., s.v.
Sometimes defendants' speeches passed into literature, e.g.
He energetically pressed the Panama prosecution, so much so that he was accused of having put wrongful pressure on the wife of one of the defendants in order to procure evidence.
The defendants were poor smugglers from the Esthonian border marshes, who in the course of their ordinary avocations had carried bales of revolutionary tracts into Russia without troubling as to their contents.
They could sue and be sued in their own name, and although they were able to call in their lords as defendants when proceeded against, there was nothing in law to prevent them from appearing in their own right.