[ety. unknown; the identity of Mr Beilby is unknown but a number of suggestions exist. The most obvious is that Beilby was a well-known sheriff; a second is that Beilby is a mispronunciation of Old Bailey, the court in which so many villains were sentenced to death. The third, and that espoused by Partridge, is that Beilby refers to the bilbo, a long iron bar, furnished with sliding shackles to confine the ankles of prisoners and a lock by which to fix one end of the bar to the floor or ground. Bilbo comes from the Spanish town of Bilbao, where these fetters were invented]
the reification of judicial hanging.
dance at Beilby’s ball
[mid-18C–early 19C] to be hanged; also ext. with ...where the sheriff plays the music or ...where the sheriff pays the fiddlers.
shake one’s trotters at Beilby’s ball
(alsoshake one’s trotters at Bilby’s ball, shiver… ) [trotter n. (1)]