Definition of beadsman in English:
noun (plural beadsmen)historical
A pensioner provided for by a benefactor in return for prayers, especially one living in an almshouse.
- As late as Shakespeare's plays we find allusions to medieval ‘beadsmen,’ that is, persons pensioned to ‘pray the beads’ on behalf of a benefactor.
- For Alfred society was divided three ways; beadsmen prayed, warriors fought and workmen laboured, each a necessary, distinct class.
- Indeed, texts of the time refer to three distinct types of freemen: labourers, soldiers and beadsmen or clergy.
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