Beggars, a term first applied to the 300 Protestant deputies under Henri de Brederode and Louis de Nassau, who protested agaist the establishment of the Inquisition in Holland, in April, 1566. The Dutch patriots assumed this designation when they rebelled against Spain in 1572.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Accidentally Begging in London, 2001

ah, the begging...when I left hospital in London 2001 after my renal failure and a fortnight courtesy of St Mary's Hospital Paddington ( to whom I literally owe my life- as well as a few other people - but that was the main one then ) I was released from hospital with a sackful of tablets and our Dept of Employment decided I was owed £35 for a fortnight...( in London, where you have capital city tax, like I suspect the rest of the world suffers - whatever was 75p elsewhere was £1.15 in London.)

I still looked quite rough ( as you can imagine ) hadn't had a shave and was quite scruffy cos none of my clothes fitted me anymore.

I walked up through Portobello Market to the Local Tesco, but just near the door I went really hot and thought I was going to keel over...I took my woolly hat off and squatted just off from the doorway of the Tesco.

I'd been there about 30 seconds, and on the way out of the shop a kind lady dropped a pound coin into my hat.

First of all I was quite miffed ("I'm no bloody trampy beggar!") and whilst I never said "help the homeless" - ( 'cos I wasn't) I just watched 10 or so people drop varying amounts of change into my hat...people are quite generous, I think, plus I must have looked effing rough anyway.

10 minutes passed and no coins dropped in. With my heart now steadily bumping with adrenaline, I took a deep breath and squeaked out "spare some change please?"

It worked. I started asking more confidently, shook off the insults that came along with the money and sat there for about 4 hours.

I'd made about £60 quid and some copper...I couldn't believe it.

Thing is, I never went back to do it again. It felt like you were only allowed one go, and nobody likes people who take the piss after all.

There you go. I begged in London by accident...

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