Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A man employed in praying; especially, one who prays for another. In this sense the word was used in former times at the conclusion of petitions or letters to great men, as we now use “servant” or “humble servant.”
- n. In England, a man who resides in a beadhouse or almshouse, or is supported from its funds.
- n. Formerly, in Scotland, a public almsman; one who received alms from the king, and was expected in return to pray for the royal welfare and that of the state; a privileged or licensed beggar. In this sense usually spelled bedesman.
- n. A petitioner.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A poor man, supported in a beadhouse, and required to pray for the soul of its founder; an almsman.
- n. a person who is paid to pray for the soul of another
“H (oward) ever since Monday sevennight, and not one single word have you received from your humble slave and beadsman ....”
“And so as your poor beadsman I take my leave of you.”
“Wherefore I most lowly and heartily do desire your Highness to give me authority and order in writing from your Majesty or your Council, how to demean myself in this your Highness's service, whereby I shall be the more able to do the same, and also receive comfort and heart's ease to be your Highness's daily beadsman to God for persuasion of your most princely and sovereign estate long to endure to God's honour.”
““As to Madame de S **, I am by no means bound to be her beadsman ” she was always more civil to me in person than during my absence.”
“The gentry, whose family pride would vie with these _nouveaux riches_, exhausted themselves in rival profusion; all crowded to "upstart London," deserting their country mansions, which were now left to the care of "a poor alms-woman, or a bed-rid beadsman.”
“_Antiquary_, the ingenious and abstruse Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck, and the old beadsman Edie Ochiltree, and that preternatural figure of old Edith”
“An old grayheaded beadsman of the family talked to us of a blot in the scutcheon; and we had observed that the field of the arms was green instead of blue, and the lions ramping to the right, contrary to order.”
“small": perhaps he will find that the New Testament, the book of grace, still appeals more to his heart (there is much of the odour of the genuine, tender, stupid beadsman and petty soul in it).”
“As to Madame de S **, I am by no means bound to be her beadsman -- she was always more civil to me in person than during my absence.”
“Keep him alive to be your beadsman, till you cease to provoke heaven by injustice and rebellion. ”
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