Green’s Dictionary of Slang

knight of the blade n.

1. [late 17C–early 19C] (also bully of the blade) a bully, a thug.

2. [late 18C–mid-19C] a wandering villain, posing as a soldier and living on his wits.

3. [late 19C] (Aus., also knight of the blades) a shearer.