Fagot, a bundle of sticks or small branches of trees bound together. In times of religious persecution, the fagot was a badge worn on the sleeve of the upper garment of such person as had abjured heresy, being put on after the person had publicly carried a fagot to some appointed place, by way of penance. To leave off the wearing of this badge was sometimes regarded as a sign of apostasy. Among military men in England, fagots were persons hired by officers whose companies were not full, to hide the deficiencies of the company. Fagot votes, in English politics, were votes created by the partitioning of an estate into numerous small tenements, which were let to persons at an almost nominal rent, upon condition of voting at elections, according to the dictates of the lessor.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.