A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 882

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 882

Ga'llowglasses. n.s.

  1. It is worn then likewise of footmen under their shirts of mail, the which footmen call gallowglasses: the which name doth discover them also to be ancient English; for gallogla signifies an English servitor or yeoman. And he being so armed in a long shirt of mail, down to the calf of his leg, with a long broad ax in his hand, was then pedes gravis armaturæ; and was instead of the footman that now weareth a corslet, before the corslet was used, or almost invented. Spenser on Ireland.

  2. [Hanmer, otherwise than Spenser.] Soldiers among the wild Irish, who serve on horseback.

                A puissant and mighty pow'r
    Of gallowglasses and stout kernes,
    Is marching hitherward in proud array.
    Shakes. Henry VI.

Sources: Hanmer, Thomas (11) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Spenser, Edmund (254)

Attributes: Irish (Erse) (11) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Gallowglasses." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 29, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/gallowglasses/.

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