Green’s Dictionary of Slang

draw-latch n.

also draw-lock
[SE draw-latch, a string hanging on the outside of a door by which a latch is drawn or raised]

1. a thief who enters a house by lifting the latch.

[UK]Cocke Lorelles Bote Biii: With davy drawelatche of tokyngame.
[UK]J. Heywood Proverbs II Ch. viii: I shall follow her will? / To make me John Drawlock, or such a snekebill.
[UK]Hist. of Jacob and Esau II iv: What saist thou drawlatch? come forth, with a mischeef.
[UK]G. Whetstone ‘Ortchard of Repentance’ Rocke of Regard 188: The drawlatch thriv’d, my selfe who helpt to grace / As well as he which bare the proudest face.
[UK]Dekker Belman’s Second Nights Walk B3: They did consist of fiue Squadrons onely 1. Cursitors [...] 4. Draw-latches.
[UK]H. Chettle Tragedy of Hoffman III G: If I pepper him not, say I am not worthy to be cald a Duke, but a drawlatch.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68b: Give me leave to give you the names (as in their Canting Language they call themselves) of all (or most of such) as follow the Vagabond Trade, according to their Regiments or Divisions, as [...] 4. Draw Latches.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Draw-Litches, c. the fourth (old) Order of the Canting Tribe.
[UK]Coles Eng. Dict.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: draw-latches the Fifty-seventh Order of the Canting Tribe of Rogues. This Band of Varlets were formerly the Fourth ancient Order of Villains, and were accustom’d to Plunder and Rob in the Country, where formerly a Latch was the only Fastening to a Door, before the Frequency of this Sort of Robbery, and the Increase of the Villains, who practis’d on the honest Security of the poor Country Farmers, &c. made Bolts, Bars, Chains, &c. hardly sufficient to disappoint their wicked Schemes and Projects.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. n.p.: draw-latchs Robbers of Houses that were fastened only for Latches.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Morn. Post 13 Aug. 3/5: Statutes made in the time of Edward the king’s grandfather, of Roberdsmen and Drawlatches ‘be firmly holden and kept,’ and [...] it should be henceforth be lawful for Justices to take up all such vagabonds’.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 314/1: draw latches, [...] voleurs, qui s’introduisent dans les maisons mal fermées.

2. a loiterer.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 125: drawlatch, a loiterer.
[UK]Sl. Dict.