Cog"ni*zance [OF. conissance, conoissance, F. conaissance, LL. cognoscentia, fr. L. cognoscere to know. See Cognition, and cf. Cognoscence, Connoisseur.]
Apprehension by the understanding; perception; observation.
Within the cognizance and lying under the control of their divine Governor.
Who, soon as on that knight his eye did glance,
Eftsoones of him had perfect cognizance.
3. Law (a)
Jurisdiction, or the power given by law to hear and decide controversies.
The hearing a matter judicially.
An acknowledgment of a fine of lands and tenements or confession of a thing done.
A form of defense in the action of replevin, by which the defendant insists that the goods were lawfully taken, as a distress, by defendant, acting as servant for another.
Cowell. Mozley & W.
The distinguishing mark worn by an armed knight, usually upon the helmet, and by his retainers and followers: Hence, in general, a badge worn by a retainer or dependent, to indicate the person or party to which he belonged; a token by which a thing may be known.
Wearing the liveries and cognizance of their master.
This pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate.
© Webster 1913.