Definitions for abraham-men

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word abraham-men

FreebaseRate this definition:(0.00 / 0 votes)

  1. Abraham-men

    The Abraham-men were a class of beggars claiming to be lunatics allowed out of restraint, in the Tudor and Stuart periods in England. The phrase normally refers to the practice of beggars pretending that they were patients discharged from the Abraham ward at Bedlam. The phrase can be traced back as far as 1561, when it was given as one of The Fraternity of Vagabonds, by John Awdeley. It also appears in the taxonomy of rogues given by Thomas Harman, which was copied by later writers of rogue literature. The author of O Per Se O reported that Abram-men made marks on their arms with 'burnt paper, piss and gunpowder' to show they had been in Bedlam Hospital: "some dance, but keep no measure; others leap up and down". The phrase Abraham-men also appears as a disguise for Edgar in King Lear and John Fletcher's Beggar's Bush. They were called anticks or God's minstrels, and later Poor Toms, from the popular song "Tom of Bedlam". John Aubrey, the antiquary, said they were common before the English Civil War, and wore a badge of tin on their left arms, an ox horn around their necks, a long staff and fantastical clothing. However, the badge seems to have been in myth. It may have been convenient theatrical property. Richard Head wrote in The Canting Academy, or Devils Cabinet opened that they

The Nuttall EncyclopediaRate this definition:(0.00 / 0 votes)

  1. Abraham-men

    a class of lunatics allowed out of restraint, at one time, to roam about and beg; a set of impostors who wandered about the country affecting lunacy.

Translation

Find a translation for the abraham-men definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these abraham-men definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Citation

Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"abraham-men." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 6 Mar. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/abraham-men>.

Are we missing a good definition for abraham-men? Don't keep it to yourself...


The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations


A Member Of The STANDS4 Network


Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for abraham-men:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.