Later, in England, as the lesser ranks of nobility and honour (knights and below) sank into disuse, the term was used to delineate an area of the middle-class who were thought "honourable", without being noble-born. Thus lawyers, bankers and the like, having no professional tag such as born by doctors, surgeons, parsons and so on, were termed "esquires". It is this covert patronage, handed down from the "upper" classes, to which the Thirteenth Amendment of 1810 was directed, prohibiting American citizens from accepting any title of nobility or honor and debarring any such from holding any office.
Peculiarly this amendment, ratified by 12 states prior to the War of 1812, and Virginia in 1891, was later ruled, by judges, not to have been properly ratified, and has never made the Constitution. it is not known how many of the judges and lawyers involved held the honorific of "esquire".
Wisely the Known World has avoided the issue by not using the term. Others may be less fastidious ...
-- by their fruits ye shall know them