Green’s Dictionary of Slang

washman n.

(UK Und.) a criminal mendicant sporting fake sores and wounds. Their superior in the criminal hierarchy, the palliard n., saw them as inferior rivals and would treat them accordingly.

[UK]Awdeley Fraternitye of Vacabondes in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 5: A Washman is called a Palliard, but not of the right making. He vseth to lye in the hye way with lame or sore legs or armes to beg. These men ye right Pilliards wil often times spoile, but they dare not complayn. They be bitten with Spickworts, and somtime with rats bane.