Green’s Dictionary of Slang

palliard n.

[Fr. paille, straw, upon which the beggars slept as they wandered the country, taking nightly refuge in barns or outhouses. The antithesis of the upright man n., palliards dressed in rags and adorned themselves with faked but still convincingly hideous sores and wounds. The term emerged c.1484, alongside its SE definition, ‘a low or dissolute knave; a lewd fellow, a lecher, a debauchee’ (OED)]

1. (UK Und.) a professional beggar, born into a begging family.

[UK]Skelton Speke Parott line 433: He tryhumfythe, he trumpythe [...] With ‘Skyre-galyard, prowde palyard, vaunte-parler, ye prate!’.
[UK]Skelton ‘How the Douty Duke of Albany’ in Henderson Complete Poems (1948) 402: We set not a mite [...] By such a coward knight, / Such a proud palliard.
[UK]Awdeley Fraternitye of Vacabondes in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 4: A Palliard is he that goeth in a patched cloke, and hys Doxy goeth in like apparell.
[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 45: These Palliardes be called also Clapperdogens: these go with patched clokes, and haue their Morts with them, which they cal wiues; and if he goe to one house, to aske his almes, his wife shall goe to a nother: for what they get [...] they sell the same for redy money.
[UK]Greene Defence of Conny-Catching 44: He was thus cossoned by a pallyard.
[UK]Dekker Belman of London (3rd) D1: A Palliard [...] likewise is cal’d a Clapperdugeon [...] caries about him (for feare of the worst) a Certificate (vnder a Ministers hand with the parishes name, which shall be sure to stand farre enough) where this Mort and hee were marryed.
[UK]Fletcher Monsieur Thomas (1639) II ii: No base palliard I do remember yet .
[UK]Dekker Canting Song in Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O3: Dimber Damber fare thee well, Pallyards all thou didst excell.
[UK]Dekker Canters Dict. Eng. Villainies (9th edn).
[UK]Greene & Lodge Lady Alimony II vi: What be these brave Blades That thus accouter you? Are they your Platonicks, Hectors, or Champion-Haxters, Pimps or Palliards, Or your choice Cabinet-Confidents?
[Ire]Head Eng. Rogue I 51: Palliard, One whose Father is a Beggar born.
[Ire]Head Canting Academy (2nd edn) 48: These Palliards [...] are beggars born, who have their Morts in the streets, with children, either of their own, or borrowed ones [...] and in this manner they beg.
[UK]Dryden Hind and Panther in Works (1899) II line 1135: Thieves, panders, palliards, sins of every sort.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Palliards c. the Seaventh Rank of the canting Crew, whose Fathers were Born beggars, and who themselves follow the same Trade, with Sham Sores, making a hideous Noise, Pretending grievous pain, do extort Charity.
[UK]‘Rum-Mort’s Praise of Her Faithless Maunder’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 35: [as cit. 1637].
[UK]‘Canter’s Serenade’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 43: Ye morts and ye dells / Come out of your cells, / And charm all the palliards about ye.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. n.p.: palliards those whose Fathers were Clapperdogeons, or born Beggars, and who themselves follow the same Trade. [...] The Male Palliard, lies begging in the Fields, with Cleymes, or artificial Sores, which he makes by Sperewort, or Arsenick, which draws them into Blisters.
[UK]B.M. Carew ‘The Oath of the Canting Crew’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 51: No whip-jack, palliard, patrico; / No jarkman, be he high or low.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Palliards, are those whose fathers were clapperdogeons, or beggars born, and who themselves follow the same trade; [...] the males make artificial sores on different parts of their bodies, to move compassion.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 170: The palliard, a loathsome tatterdemalion, his dress one heap of rags, and his discoloured skin one mass of artificial leprosy and imposthumes.
[UK]‘A Harassing Painsworth’ in Yates & Brough (eds) Our Miscellany 28: Listen! all you high pads and low pads, rum gills and queer gills, patricos, palliards, priggers, whipjacks, and jackmen, from the arch rogue to the needy mizzler.

2. (UK/US Und.) a beggar-woman who uses a child, either her own or one borrowed for the purpose, to excite the pity of passers-by (this pity often increased by the child’s piteous cries, created by judicious pinches and prods).

[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. n.p.: palliards [...] The Female Sort of these Wretches frequently borrow Children, if they have none of their own, and planting them about them in Straw, draw the greater Pity from the Spectators, screwing their Faces to the moving Postures, and crying at Pleasure, and making the Children also cry by pinching them, or otherwise.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Palliards [...] the female sort beg with a number of children, borrowing them if they have not a sufficient number of their own, and making them cry by pinching, in order to excite charity.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 118: Pallaird [sic], beggars who borrow children, the better to obtain charity.