E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Britomart [sweet maid] (see below).
Daughter of King Ryence of Wales, whose desire was to be a heroine. She is the impersonation of saintly chastity and purity of mind. She encounters the savage, fierce bandit and mountaineer without injury; is assiled by hag and unlaid ghost, goblin, and swart fairy of the mine, but dashes their brute violence into sudden adoration and blank awe. Britomart is not the impersonation of celibacy, as she is in love with an unknown hero, but of virgin purity. (Spenser: Faërie Queene, book iii. Her marriage, book v. 6.)