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The Abraham-men were a class of beggars claiming to be lunatics allowed out of restraint, in the Tudor and Stuart periods in England.

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Google previewNew International Encyclopedia (1914)

ABRAHAM-MEN'. A class of sturdy beggars in England who feigned lunacy and wandered about the country in a disorderly manner. They were common in Shakespeare's time and, it would seem, existed even as late as the period of the Civil ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia britannica (1910)

a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information by Hugh Chisholm

ABRAHAM-MEN, the nickname for vagrants who infested England in Tudor times . The phrase is certainly as old as 1561. and was due to these beggars pretending that they were patients discharged from the Abraham ward at Bedlam.

Google previewThe Manual of Dates: a Dictionary of Reference to All the Most Important Events in the History of Mankind to be Found in Authentic Records (1862)

by George Henry TOWNSEND, Frederick W. MARTIN

ABRAHAM-MEN, be gars, who roamed about the country, on t e dissolution of the religious houses in the 16th century.

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