Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bess o’ Bedlam.

 Bess.Bess of Hardwicke. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Bess o’ Bedlam.
 
A female lunatic vagrant. Bedlam is a common name for a madhouse, and Bess is a national name for a woman, especially of the lower order. The male lunatic is a Tom o’ Bedlam.   1
 


 Bess.Bess of Hardwicke. 

 
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