Blacks

Mutes at funerals, who wore a black cloak; sometimes called the Black Guards.

I do pray ye
To give me leave to live a little longer.
You stand about me like my Blacks.

Beaumont and Fletcher: Mons. Thomas, iii. 1.

Blacks

(The ), or “The 7th Dragoon Guards,” or “The Princess Royal's D. G” Called blacks from their facings. Nicknames: “The Virgin Mary's Guard,” “Straw boots,” “Lingoniers,” etc.

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