Beefeaters

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Yeomen of the Guard, bodyguard, now ceremonial in function, of the sovereign of England. When the guard was originated by Henry VII in 1485, its members had numerous duties as defenders of the king's person and household functionaries. Until 1743 (the last time a British monarch appeared on the battlefield) they accompanied the king in battle. For a time purchased by civilians, positions in the corps were restricted in 1848 to veterans of the army and marines. Sometimes called the Beefeaters because of their fine physiques, the Yeomen of the Guard still wear the scarlet and gold uniform of the 15th cent. and carry halberds.

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Yeomen of the Guard are a royal bodyguard founded in 1485 for the coronation of Henry VII. They have retained their Tudor uniforms and their duties include searching the cellars of Parliament before a state opening. The Yeomen Warders of the Tower, or Beefeaters, established in Edward VI's reign, have a similar uniform.

J. A. Cannon

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Beefeaters, popular name for the Yeomen of the Guard and for the warders of the Tower of London. Both wear colorful uniforms modeled after those of the Elizabethan period.

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beefeater a Yeoman Warder or Yeoman of the Guard in the Tower of London. The word is recorded from the early 17th century, originally as a derogatory term for a well-fed servant: the current sense dates from the late 17th century.