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Title: Cocke Lorelles Bote
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cocke Lorelles Bote" ***

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                         COCKE LORELLES BOTE.

                  One Hundred and One Copies Printed,
                      One of which is on Vellum.

                          Cocke Lorelles Bote

                           A SATIRICAL POEM

           _From an unique copy printed by Wynkyn de Worde_

                                 “Come begin;
               And you the judges bear a wary eye.”


                       J. & J. P. EDMOND & SPARK


The singularly interesting fragment of early English literature known as
Cocke Lorelles Bote, is a satirical poem of four hundred and fourteen
lines, in which various classes of society, chiefly of the lower order,
are passed under review in rapid succession. The glimpse we obtain of
each class is only momentary, but the author with some well chosen
phrase, in that short time sketches their failings.

The original from which this poem is reprinted, is in black-letter, and
is preserved in the Garrick Collection, British Museum. It is
considered unique, but unfortunately it is imperfect at the beginning.

It was printed in London, by Wynkyn de Worde, and bears no date, but may
safely be ascribed to the early part of the reign of Henry the Eighth.
The idea of the “Bote,” in which so many different characters are
gathered together, is supposed to have been taken from Sebastian
Brandt’s “Shyp of Folys,” which was translated into English by Alexander
Barclay, and printed by Pynson at the beginning of the sixteenth
century. What gives weight to this suggestion, is the fact that the
wood-cuts with which the original of Cocke Lorell is illustrated, are
similar to those used in the “Ship of Folys.”

The hero of the poem was the leader of a notorious band of robbers which
infested the metropolis, and was probably alive at the time of its
publication. He is mentioned by Samuel Rowlands in “Martin Mark-all,
Beadle of Bridewell, his Defence and Answere to the Belman of London,”
printed in 1610, who describes him in these terms:--“After him,
succeeded by general councell, one Cocke Lorrell, the most notorious
knave that ever lived: by trade he was a tinker, often carrying a panne
and a hammer for show: but when he came to a good booty, he would cast
his profession in a ditch, and play the padder,[1] and then would away,
and as hee past through the toune, crie, ‘Ha you any worke for a
tinker?’ To write of his knaveries it would aske a long time: I referre
you to the old manuscript remayning on record in Maunder’s Hall.[2]
This was he that reduced and brought in forme the Catalogue of
Vagabonds, or Quarterne of Knaves, called the five and twentie Orders of
Knaves: but because it is extant, and in every mans shop, I passe them
over.... This Cocke Lorrell continued among them longer than any of his
predecessors before him, or after him, for he ruled almost two and
twentie yeares, until the yeare An. Dom. 1533, and about the five and
twenty yeare of K. Henry the Eight.”

The “Catalogue of Vagabonds” to which Rowlands alludes in the above
extract as having been written by Cocke Lorell, is a tract printed by
John Awdely in 1565, and of which a second edition was issued by the
same printer in 1575. It is not improbable that Awdely may have himself
been the compiler of the “Catalogue.” A copy of the edition of 1575 is
in the Bodleian Library, the quaint title of which is as follows:--“The
Fraternitye of Vacabondes. As wel of ruflyng Vacabondes, as of beggerly,
of Women as of Men, of Gyrles as of Boyes, with their proper names and
qualities. With a description of the crafty company of Cousoners and
Shifters. Whereunto also is adioyned the XXV Orders of Knaues, otherwyse
called a Quartern of Knaues Confirmed for euer by Cocke Lorell.

       _The Vprightman speaketh._

    Our Brotherhood of Vacabondes,
      If you would know where dwell;
    In graues end Barge which seldome standes,
      The talke wyll shew ryght well.

      _Cocke Lorell aunswereth._

    Some orders of my Knaues also
      In that Barge shall ye fynde;
    For no where shall ye walke I trow,
      But ye shall see their kynde.

Imprinted at London by John Awdely, dwellynge in little Britayne Streete
withoute Aldersgate, 1575.”

Dr. Bliss describes the above mentioned tract at length, in the “British
Bibliographer,” Vol. II., p. 12, and makes further allusion to it in his
edition of Earle’s “Microcosmography,” p. 256, published in 1811.

One of the earliest, if not the earliest, printed mention of the Bote
occurs in Thomas Feylde’s “A contrauersye bytwene a louer and a Jaye.
[Colophon.] Imprynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the
Sonne by Wynkyn de Worde.” The Lover in the preceding verses
apostrophizes Nature regarding his passion for his mistress, at which
the Jay thus expostulates:--

    “Thoughe nature moue,
     And bydde the loue,
     Yet wysdome wolde proue,
       Or it be hote,
     Whan fortune sowre
     Dothe on the lowre,
     Thou getest an ore
       In cocke lorels bote.”

The next mention of Cocke Lorell is in a black-letter poem, preserved in
the Bodleian Library, without date or printer’s name, entitled “Doctour
Double Ale.”

    “I hold you a grota
     Ye wyll rede by rota,
     That ye wete a cota
     In cocke lorels bota.”

The Rev. Charles H. Hartshorne, in “Ancient Metrical Tales,” reprinted
“Doctour Double Ale,” but rendered the last line _cocke losels bota_.

In pointing out this error, Mr. Collier says, that in John Heywood’s
“Epigrams upon three hundred proverbs,” printed in 1566, mention is made
of Cocke Lorelles Bote, under the heading of

               “A BUSY BODY

    He will have an ore in every man’s barge,
    Even in cocke lorels barge, he berth that charge.”

Later on we find that the rascal is not forgotten, for Ben Jonson in his
masque of the “Gypsies Metamorphosed,” has introduced him as feasting
the Evil One, in a song which continued popular for some considerable
time, and was frequently printed as a broadside, copies of which are in
the Pepysian and Ashmolean Collections.

The first verse is as follows:--

    “Cock Lorrell would need have the devil his guest,
       And bid him once into the Peak to dinner,
     Where never the fiend had such a feast
       Provided him yet at the charge of a sinner.”

In 1807, the Rev. William Beloe, in his “Anecdotes of Literature and
Scarce Works,” Vol. I., p. 393, called attention to the following tract,
but unfortunately he changed the title to “Cocke Lorells Vote,” in place
of “Bote.” That this was a misprint may be inferred from the fact, that
in another place in the same work, he makes reference to a passage in
Bishop Percy’s Reliques, where the correct title is given.

Dibdin, who appears never to have seen the work, but says he was
“indebted to Mr. H. Ellis of the British Museum” for specimens “of this
singular performance” has fallen into the droll blunder of writing “of
the licentious and _predatory character_ of its AUTHOR, ... one Cock
Lorell,” whose “popularity has, I believe, escaped the notice of our

The poem was presented to the members of the Roxburghe Club in 1817, by
the Rev. Henry Drury, but the impression was limited to thirty-five
copies, two of which were printed on vellum.

It was again printed at Edinburgh for Stanley and Blake in 1817, from a
transcript made by the Rev. Joseph Stevenson, with an introductory
notice by Mr. James Maidment. This reprint has become almost as rare as
the Roxburghe Club edition, only forty copies having been taken.

The Percy Society, in 1843, issued an edition of the “Bote” to its
members, with a preface by Dr. E. F. Rimbault. The rarity of the two
first mentioned reprints, and the form, apart altogether from the
comparative scarcity of the last, has led to the reprinting once more of
this poem. The writer begs to acknowledge his obligations to both Mr.
Maidment’s and Dr. Rimbault’s editions as supplying the material for the
foregoing notice. While aware that there is little that is new which can
be said about Cocke Lorell, he trusts that this edition may be
favourably received, if for no other reasons than these, that while it
avoids the many inaccuracies of the Edinburgh edition, it omits the
modern punctuation which has been introduced into the Percy Society’s

The present impression is limited to one hundred and one copies, one of
which is printed on vellum.

                                                          J. P. EDMOND.


            *  *  *  *  *  *  *
    She had a desyre ofte to be wedde      B. i. _a._
    And also to lye in an other mannes bedde
    Lytell rought she therfore
    She is as softe as a lamme yf one do her meue
    And lyke to yᵉ deuyll wan a mā dothe her greue
    So well is she sette
    O good condycyon to her housbonde
    Yf he call her calat she calleth hȳ knaue agayne
    She shyll not dye in his dette
    By Saynt Jone sayd Cocke than
    These be fayre vertues in a woman
    Thou shalte be my launder
    To wasshe and kepe clene all my gere
    Our two beddes togyder shall be sette
    Without ony lette
    The nexte that came was a coryar
    And a cobeler his brother
    As ryche as a newe shorne shepe
    They offred Cocke a blechynge pot
    Other Jewelles they had not
    Scant shoes to theyr fete
    The coryer dresseth so well his lether
    That it wolde drynke water in fayre weder
    Therfore he hath many a crystes curse
    And tho cobeler for his cloutynge
    The people blesseth hym with euyll cheuynge
    To knytte faste in his purse
    A shomaker came to these other two
    Bytwene them two was moche a do
    For a pyese of lether
    They togged with theyr teth and gnewe it there      B. i. _b._
    And pulde as it had been grehondes at a hare
    It was a shepes skyne of a wether
    And than they tanned it whan they had done
    To make lether to hym with mennes shone
    And all for theyr auayle
    For as sone as the hemme is tore
    The sho is lost for euer more
    And it is lytell meruayle
    A tanner for euyll tannyng of leder
    They foure with sorowe Cocke dyde set togyder
    And neuer a good without fayle
    Than came one wᵗ two bolddogges at his tayle
    And that was a bocher without fayle
    All be gored in reed blode
    In his hande he bare a flap for flyes
    His hosen gresy vpon his thyes
    That place for magottes was very good
    On his necke he bare a cole tre logge
    He had as moche pyte as a dogge
    And he were ones wrothe
    He loked perysshe and also rowe
    A man wolde take hym for a shrewe I trowe
    And of his company be lothe
    Than came a gonge fermourer
    Other wyse called a masser scourer
    With hym a canyell raker
    Theyr presence made Cocke and his mē to spewe
    For as swete was theyr brethe as henkā or rewe
    To wasshe them they laked water
    On these Irysshe copel I wyll not tare      B. ii. _a._
    Cocke dyde set thē there as knaues sholde be
    Amonge the slouenly sorte
    Than came two false towlers in nexte
    He set them by pykers of the best
    For there sholde they abyde
    But before yᵗ they were plonged in the ryuer
    To searche theyr bodyes fayre and clere
    Therof they had good sporte
    A myller dustypoll than dyde come
    A Ioly felowe with a golden thome
    On his necke a sacke was
    Many sayd that he with reprefe
    Of all craftes was nexte a thefe      B. ii. _b._
    In that Cocke founde no lacke
    He sayd that he touled twys for forgetynge
    And stele floure and put chauke therin
    Be sherewe hym that taught hym that
    Cocke bad hym grynde cherystones and peson
    To make his men brede for a season
    By cause whete was very dere
    Than came a pardoner with his boke
    His quaterage of euery man he toke
    But Cocke wolde theyr names here
    The pardoner sayd I will rede my roll
    And ye shall here the names poll by poll
    There of ye nede not fere
    Here is fyrst Cocke Lorell the knyght
    And symkyn emery mayntenaūce agayne ryght
    With slyngethryfte fleshemonger
    Also fabyane flaterer
    And fesly claterer
    With adam auerus flayle swenger
    And fraūces flaperoche of stewys captayne late
    With gylys vnyeste mayer of newgate
    And lewes vnlusty the lesynge monger
    Here also baude baudyn boller
    And his brother copyn coler
    With mathew marchaunte of shoters hyll
    Crystofer catchepoll a crystes course gaderer
    And wat welbelyne of ludgate Iayler
    With laurence lorell of clerken well
    Here is gylys Iogeler of ayebery
    And hym sougelder of lothe bery      B. iii. _a._
    With wallys the wrangler
    Pers potter of brydge water
    Saunder fely the mustarde maker
    With Ielyan Iangeler
    Here is Ienkyne berwarde of Barwycke
    And tom tombler of warwyke
    With Phyllyp fletcher of fernam
    Here is wyll wyly the myl peker
    And patrycke peuysshe heerbeter
    With lusty hary hange man
    Also mathewe tothe drawer of London
    And sybly sole mylke wyfe of Islyngton
    With davy drawelache of rokyngame
    Here is maryone marchauntes at all gate      B. iii. _b._
    Her husbōde dwelleth at yᵉ sygne of yᵉ cokeldes pate
    Nexte house to Robyn renawaye
    Also hycke crokenec the rope maker
    And steuen mesyll mouthe muskyll taker
    With Iacke basket seler of alwelay
    Here is george of podynge lane carpenter
    And patrycke peuysshe a conynge dyrte dauber
    Worshypfull wardayn of slouens In
    There is maryn peke small fremason
    And pers peuterer that knocketh a basyn
    With gogle eyed tomson shepster of lyn
    Here is glyed wolby of gylforde squyere
    Andrewe of habyngedon apell byer
    With alys esy a gay tale teller
    Also peter paten maker
    With gregory loue good of rayston mayer
    And hary halter seler at tyborn the ayer
    Here is kate with the croked fote
    That is colsys doughter the dronken koke
    A lusty pye baker
    Here is saunder sadeler of froge strete corner
    With Ielyan Ioly at sygne of the bokeler
    And mores moule taker
    Also annys angry with the croked buttocke
    That dwelled at yᵉ sygne of yᵉ dogges hede in yᵉ pot
    By her crafte a breche maker
    Cocke sayd pardoner now ho and sease
    Thou makeste me wery holde thy pease
    A thynge tell thou to me
    What profyte is to take thy pardon      B. iv. _a._
    Shewe vs what mede is to come
    To be in this fraternyte
    Syr this pardon is newe founde
    By syde London brydge in a holy grounde
    Late called the stewes banke
    Ye knowe well all that there was
    Some relygyous women in that place
    To whome men offred many a franke
    And bycause they were so kynde and lyberall
    A merueylous auenture there is be fall
    Yf ye lyst to here how
    There came suche a winde fro wynchester
    That blewe these women ouer the ryuer
    In wherye as I wyll you tell
    Some at saynt Kateryns stroke a grounde
    And many in holborne were founde
    Some at saynt Gyles I trowe
    Also in aue maria aly and at westmenster
    And some in shordyche drewe theder
    With grete lamentacyon
    And by cause they haue lost that fayre place
    They wyll bylde at colman hedge in space
    A nother noble mansyon
    Fayrer and euer the halfe strete was
    For euery house newe paued is with gras
    Shall be full of fayre floures
    The walles shallbe of hauthorne I wote well
    And hanged wᵗ whyte motly yᵗ swete doth smell
    Grene shall be the coloures
    And as for this olde place these wenches holy      B. iv. _b._
    They wyll not haue it called the stewys for foly
    But maketh it a strabery banke
    And there is yet a chapell saue
    Of whiche ye all the pardon haue
    The saynt is of symme trollanke
    I wyll reherse here in generall
    The indulgences that ye haue shall
    Is these that foloweth with more
    At the oure of deth whan ye haue nede
    Ye shall be assoyled of euery good dede
    That you haue done before
    And ye shall be parte taker of as many good dedde
    As is done euery nyght a bedde
    And also ferthermore
    At euery tauerne in the yere
    A solempne dyryge is songe there
    With a grete drynkynge
    At all ale houses trewely
    Ye shall be prayed for hertely
    With a Ioyefull wepynge
    And the pope darlaye hath graūted in his byll
    That euery brother may do what he wyll
    Whyle that they be wakynge
    And the pardone gyueth you that hath the pose
    On your owne sleue to wype your nose
    Without rebuke takynge
    Also pope nycoll graunteth you all in this texte
    The coughe and the colyke the gout and the flyxe
    With the holsome tothe ache
    Also it is graunted by our bulles of lede      B. v. _a._
    That whan ony brother is dede
    To the chyrche dogges shall cary hym
    A ryche pal to ly on yᵉ corse late fro rome is come
    Made of an olde payre of blewe medly popley hosone
    For yᵉ worshyppe of all yᵉ brethrene
    Theyr knylles shall be rōge in yᵉ myddes of tēse hosone      B. v. _b._
    And theyr masse songe at shoters hill amonge the elmes
    With grete deuocyon in dede
    And many thynges elles shall be done
    The resydewe I wyll reherse soone
    For drynke fyrst must I nede
    Than Cocke cast a syde his hede
    And sawe the stretes all ouer sprede
    That to his bote wolde come
    Of all craftes there were one or other
    I wyll shewe how many or I passe ferther
    And reken them one by one
    The fyrst was golde smythes and grote clyppers
    Multyplyers and clothe thyckers
    Called fullers euerychone
    There is taylers tauerners and drapers
    Potycaryes ale brewers and bakers
    Mercers fletchers and sporyers
    Boke prynters peynters bowers
    Myllers carters and botyll makers
    Waxechaundelers clothers and grocers
    Wolle men vynteners and flesshemongers
    Salters Iowelers and habardashers
    Drouers cokes and pulters
    Yermongers pybakers and waferers
    Fruyters chese mongers and mynstrelles
    Talowe chaundelers hostelers and glouers
    Owchers skynners and cutlers
    Blade smythes fosters and sadelers
    Coryers cordwayners and cobelers
    Gyrdelers forborers and webbers      B. vi. _a._
    Quylte makers shermen and armorers
    Borlers tapstry workemakers and dyers
    Brouderers strayners and carpyte makers
    Sponers torners and hatters
    Lyne webbers setters with lyne drapers
    Roke makers coper smythes and lorymers
    Brydel bytters blacke smythes and ferrars
    Bokell smythes horse leches and gold beters
    Fyners plommers and penters
    Bedmakers fedbed makers and wyre drawers
    Founders laten workers and broche makers
    Pauyers bell makers and brasyers
    Pynners nedelers and glasyers
    Bokeler makers dyers and lether sellers
    Whyte tanners galyors and shethers
    Masones male makers and merbelers
    Tylers brycke leyers harde hewers
    Parys plasterers daubers and lyme borners
    Carpenters coupers and ioyners
    Pype makers wode mōgers and orgyn makers
    Coferers carde makers and caruers
    Shyppe wryghtes whele wryghtes and sowers
    Harpe makers leches and vpholsterers
    Porters fesycyens and corsers
    Parchemente makers skynners and plowers
    Barbers boke bynders and lymners
    Repers faners and horners
    Pouche makers belowfarmes and cage sellers
    Lanterners stryngers grynders
    Arowe heders maltemen and corne mongers      B. vi. _b._
    Balancers tynne casters and skryueners
    Stacyoners vestyment swoers and ymagers
    Sylke women pursers and garnysshers
    Table makers sylke dyers and shepsters
    Golde sheres keuerchef launds and rebē makers
    Tankarde berers bouge men and spere planers
    Spynsters carders and cappe knytters
    Sargeauntes katche pollys and somners
    Carryers carters and horskepers
    Courte holders bayles and honters
    Constables hede borowes and katers
    Butlers sterchers and musterde makers
    Harde waremen mole sekers and ratte takers
    Bewardes brycke borners and canel rakers
    Potters brome sellers pedelers
    Shepherdes cowe herdes and swyne kepers
    Broche makers glas blowers cādelstycke casts
    Hedgers dykers and mowers
    Gonners maryners and shypmaysters
    Chymney swepers and costerde mongers
    Lode men and bere brewers
    Fysshers of the see and muskel takers
    Schouyll chepers gardeners and rake fetters
    Players purse cutters money baterers
    Gold washers tomblers Iogelers
    Pardoners kȳges bēche gatherers and lether dyers
    There were theues hores and baudes wᵗ mortherers
    Crakers facers and chylderne quellers
    Spyes lyers and grete sclaunderers
    Cursers chyders and grete vengeaunce cryers      C. i. _a._
    Dyssymulynge beggers hede brekers borders
    Nette makers and harlote takers
    Swerers and outragyous laughers
    Surmowsers yll thynkers and make brasers
    With lollers lordaynes and fagot berers
    Luskes slouens and kechen knaues
    Bargemen whery rowers and dysers
    Tyburne collopes and peny pryckers
    Bowlers mas shoters and quayters
    Flaterers and two face berers
    Sluttes drabbes and counseyll whystelers
    With smoggy colyers and stȳkȳge gōge fermers
    Of euery craft some there was
    Shorte or longe more or lasse
    All these rehersed here before
    In Cockes bote eche man had an ore
    All tho that offyces had
    Some woūde at yᵉ capstayne as Cocke thē bad
    Some stode at yᵉ slȳge some dyde trusse and thrȳge
    Some pulde at the beryll some sprede yᵉ mayne myssyll
    Some howysed the mayne sayle
    Some veryed showte a very slayle
    Some roped yᵉ hoke some yᵉ pōpe and some yᵉ laūce
    Some yᵉ lōge bote dyde laūce some mēde yᵉ corse
    Mayne corfe toke in a refe by force
    And they that were abyll drewe at the cabyll
    Some the anker layde some at the plōpe a sayll swepe
    One kepte yᵉ compas and watched yᵉ our glasse
    Some yᵉ lodysshestōe dyd seke some yᵉ bote dyd
    Some made knottes of lynkes endes      C. i. _b._
    Some the stay rope suerly byndes
    Some a satte borte a stare borde
    Some the standerdes oute dyde brynge
    Some one the shrowedes dyde clyme
    Some couched a hogges heed vnder a hatche
    Some threwe out bayte fysshe to catche
    Some pulled vp the bonauenture
    Some to howes the tope sayle dyde entre
    Some stered at the helme behynde
    Some whysteled after the wynde
    There was non that there was
    But he had an offyce more or lasse
    Than Cocke Lorell dyde his whystele blowe
    That all his men sholde hym knowe
    With that they cryed and made a shoute
    That the water shoke all aboute
    Than men myght here the ores classhe
    And on the water gaue many a dasshe
    They sprede theyr sayles as voyde of sorowe
    Forthe they rowed Saint George to borowe
    For Ioy their trūpettes dyde they blowe
    And some songe heue and howe rombelowe
    They sayled fro garlyke hede to knaues in
    And a pele of gonnes gan they rynge
    Of colman hedge a sight they had
    That made his company very glad
    For there they thought all to play
    Bytwene tyborne and chelsay
    With this man was a lusty company
    For all raskyllers fro them they dyde trye      C. ii. _a._
    They banysshed prayer peas and sadnes
    And toke with them myrthe sporte and gladnes
    They wolde not haue vertu ne yet deuocyon
    But ryotte and reuell with ioly rebellyon      C. ii. _b._
    They songe and daunsed full merely
    With swerynge and starynge heuen hye
    Some said yᵗ they were gētle mē of grete myght
    That ther purses were so lyght
    And some wente in fured gownes and gay shone
    That had no mo faces than had the mone
    Of this daye gladde was many a brothell
    That myght haue an ore with Cocke Lorell
    Thus they daunsed with all theyr myght
    Tyll that phebus had lost his lyght
    But than came lucyna with all her pale hewe
    To take her sporte amonge the cloudes blewe
    And marcury he trewe downe his goldē bemes
    And sperus her syluer stremes
    That in the worlde gaue so grete lyght
    As all the erth had be paued with whyte
    Thā Cocke wayed anker and housed his sayle
    And forthe he rowed without fayle
    They sayled England thorowe and thorowe
    Vyllage towne cyte and borowe
    They blessyd theyr shyppe whan they had done
    And dranke about saynt Iulyans torne
    Than euery man pulled at his ore
    With that I coulde se them no more
    But as they rowed vp the hyll
    The bote swayne blewe his whystell full shryll
    And I wente homwarde to mowe shame stere
    With a company dyde I mete
    As ermytes monkes and freres
    Chanons chartores and inholders      C. iij. _a._
    And many whyte nonnes with whyte vayles
    That was full wanton of theyr tayles
    To meet with Cocke they asked how to do      C. iij. _b._
    And I tolde them he was a go
    Than were they sad euerychone
    And went agayne to theyr home
    But my counseyll I gaue them there
    To mete with Cocke another yere
    No more of Cocke now I wryte
    But mery it is whan knaues done mete
    Cocke had in his hande a grete route
    The thyrde persone of Englande
    Thus of Cocke Lorell I make an ende
    And to heuen god your soules sende
    That redeth this boke ouer all
    Chryst couer you with his mantell perpetuall.


Here endeth Cocke Lorelles bote. Imprynted at London in the Flete strete
at the sygne of the sonne by Wynkyn de Worde.

              Reprinted at ABERDEEN by MILNE & HUTCHISON.


[1] Padder, or Rumpadder, a thief.--SLANG DICTIONARY.

[2] Maunder, a beggar.--SLANG DICTIONARY.

[3] Dibdin’s Ames, Vol. II., p. 352.

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