Civil magistrates; government functionaries. The word does not appear in
Johnson's 1755 Dictionary, but he
does include the cognate verb, to syndicate:
To judge; to pass judgment on, to censure. An unusual word.
In the Genevan political system, according to the account in the 4th edition of
the Encyclopaedia Brittanica (1797), there were only four
syndics chosen from among the magistrates and these held the greatest
authority in the republic. Geneva's
syndics passed a sentence of exile on Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1762, a time we might suppose
included in Alphonse Frankenstein's "many years." Mary Shelley mentions
the event in History of a Six Weeks' Tour, Letter II.