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Black Book

A book exposing abuses in Church and State, which furnished much material for political reform in the early part of the present century. (See Black Books.)

Amherst speaks of the Proctor's black book, and tells us that no one can proceed to a degree whose name is found there. (1726.) It also appears that each regiment keeps a black book or record of ill-behaviour.

Black Book of the Admiralty.
An old navy code, said to have been compiled in the reign of Edward III.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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