In the Franciscan order of friars: a guardian or warden of a house or of a subdivision of a province. Now somewhat rare (chiefly historical).
Late Middle English. From (i) Anglo-Norman and Middle French custode guardian, custodian.
In Italian contexts: a guardian, a custodian, especially of a public building.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Mary Berry (1763–1852), author. From Italian custode custode.