Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > King’s Keys.

 King’s Evil.King’s Men. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
King’s Keys.
 
The crow-bars, hatchets, and hammers used by sheriffs’ officers to force doors and locks. (Law phrase.)   1
        “The door, framed to withstand attacks from exciseman, constables, and other personages, considered to use the king’s keys … set his efforts at defiance.”—Sir W. Scott: Redgauntlet, chap. xix.
 


 King’s Evil.King’s Men. 

 
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