Green’s Dictionary of Slang

griper n.1

[SE griper, one who grasps]

1. (Irish, also gripper) a bailiff.

[UK]M. Edgeworth Castle Rackrent (1804) 130: The execution came down, and every thing at Castle Rackrent was seized by the gripers, and my son Jason, to his shame be it spoken, among them .
[UK]P. Kavanagh Tarry Flynn (1965) 68: They tell me the grippers were up at Carlins’ again.

2. (UK Und.) a fingernail.

[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 110: My boy, the next time you have an observation to make, do so without using your gripers; by all that’s good you have stuck your nails into my arms.