Bluegown

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Bluegown One of a class of paupers or pensioners, or licensed beggars, in Scotland, to whim annually on the king's birthday were distributed certain alms, including a blue gown; a beadsman.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n bluegown One of a former order of paupers in Scotland, also called the king's beadsmen, to whom the king annually distributed certain alms on condition of their praying for his welfare. Their number was equal to the number of years the king had lived. The alms consisted of a blue gown or cloak, a purse containing as many shillings Scots (pennies sterling) as the years of the king's age, and a badge bearing the words “Pass and repass,” which protected them from all laws against mendicity. Edie Ochiltree, in Sir W. Scott's novel “The Antiquary,” is a type of the class. The practice of appointing beadsmen was discontinued in 1833.
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Usage

In literature:

There was a Bluegown, or Bedesman, like Edie Ochiltree, who had a son at Edinburgh College.
"Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated" by Sir Walter Scott
Take the beggar, for example, Edie Ochiltree, the old 'bluegown.
"Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.)" by Leslie Stephen
And the bluegown, waving his wand, continued on his journey, while the young man turned his steps, in fear, towards home.
"Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland" by Various
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