Black Tom

The Earl of Ormonde, Lord Deputy of Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth; so called from his ungracious ways and “black looks.”

“He being very stately in apparel, and erect in port, despite his great age, yet with a dark, dour, and menacing look upon his face, so that all who met his gaze seemed to quake before the same.” —Hon. Emily Lawless: With Essex in Ireland, p. 105.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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