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Blue-gowns

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The bedesmen, to whom the kings of Scotland distributed certain alms. Their dress was a cloak or gown of coarse blue cloth, with a pewter badge. The number of these bedesmen was equal to that of the king’s years, so that an extra one was added every returning birthday. These paupers were privileged to ask alms through the whole realm of Scotland. No new member has been added since 1833. (See Gaberlunzie.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Blue Bonnets (The)
Blue Books
Blue Bottle
Blue Caps
Blue-coat School
Blue Devils
Blue-eyed Maid (The)
Blue Fish (The)
Blue Flag
Blue Gown (A)
Blue-gowns
Blue Guards (The)
Blue Hen
Blue-jackets
Blue John (A)
Blue Laws (The)
Blue-light Federalists
Blue-mantle
Blue Monday
Blue Moon
Blue Mould