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Blue Gown

(A). A harlot. Nares cells us that “a blue gown was a dress of ignominy for a harlot in the House of Correction.” (See below.)

Blue-gowns
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 are 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.)

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