E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
One who has an ordinary or regular jurisdiction in his own right, and not by deputation. Thus a judge who has authority to take cognisance of causes in his own right is an ordinary. A bishop is an ordinary
in his own diocese, because he has authority to take cognisance of ecclesiastical matters therein; but an archbishop is the ordinary of his province, having authority in his own right to receive appeals therein from inferior jurisdictions. The chaplain of Newgate was also called the ordinary thereof.