Beggar's badge

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from the Parish of Montrose, Angus

Postcard of Beggar's badge.
© National Museums Scotland

Beggar's badge

This beggar's badge from the parish of Montrose in Angus was carried by a local character known as 'Singing Willie'. It is made of lead and dates from the late 18th century.

The oval badge is inscribed with the words 'Montrose' and ' Begging Poor', and above, 'No. 10'. Between 'Begging' and 'Poor' is a shield bearing a rose, the emblem of the burgh. The badge has a beaded border and, at the top, two perforations.

'Singing Willie' had the badge attached to a walking stick which was dressed with coloured ribbons.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-002-207-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.KJA 74
Date: Late 18th century
Material: Lead. Inscription: On obverse side: NO. 10 / MONTROSE / BEGGING POOR
Dimensions: 110 mm L x 80 mm W
What: Badge, beggar's
Subject: Badges and insignia (NMAS Classification)
Who: Singing Willie (Owner)
Where: Scotland, Angus, Montrose
Description: Beggar's badge of lead carried by a Montrose character known as "Singing Willie", who had it attached to a walking stick dressed with coloured ribbons
  • Brook, A.J.S. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities of Scotland 21 (1886-7), pp 169-179 
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