Red-breasts to Red Snow

Red-breasts Bow Street runners, who wore a scarlet waistcoat.

“The Bow Street runners ceased out of the land soon after the introduction of the new police. I remember them very well as standing about the door of the office in Bow Street. They had no other uniform than a blue dress-coat, brass buttons ... and a bright red cloth waistcoat ... The slang name for them was `Red-breasts.”'- Dickens: Letters, vol. ii. p. 178.
Red Button (A). A mandarin of the first class, whose badge of honour is a red button in his cap.

“An interview was granted to the admiral [Elliot] by Kishen, the imperial commissioner, the third man in the empire, a mandarin of first class and red button.”- Howitt: History of England, 1841, p. 471.
Red Cap (Mother). An old nurse “at the Hungerford Stairs.” Dame Ursley or Ursula, another nurse, says of her rival-

“She may do very well for skipper's wives, chandlers' daughters, and such like, but nobody shall wait on pretty Mistress Margaret ... excepting and saving myself.”- Sir Walter Scott: Fortunes of Nigel.
Red Coats in fox-hunting (or scarlet) is a badge of royal livery, fox-hunting being ordained by Henry II. a royal sport.

Red Cock The red cock will crow in his house. His house will be set on fire.

“`We'll see if the red cock craw not in his bonnie barn-yard ae morning.' `What does she mean?' said Mannering ... `Fire-raising,' answered the ... domine.”- Sir Walter Scott: Guy Mannering, chap. iii.
Red Comyn Sir John Comyn of Badenoch, son of Marjory, sister of King John Balliol; so called from his ruddy complexion and red hair, to distinguish him from his kinsman “Black Comyn,” whose complexion was swarthy and hair black. He was stabbed by Sir Robert Bruce in the church of the Minorites at Dumfries, and afterwards dispatched by Lindesay and Kirkpatrick.

Red Cross (The). The badge of the royal banner of England till those of St. Patrick and St. Andrew were added.

“The fall of Rouen (1419) was the fall of the whole province ... and the red cross of England waved on all the towers of Normandy.”- Howitt: History of England, vol. i. p. 545.
Red Cross Knight in Spenser's Faërie Queene, is the impersonation of holiness, or rather the spirit of Christianity. Politically he typifies the Church of England. The knight is sent forth by the queen to slay a dragon which ravaged the kingdom of Una's father. Having achieved this feat, he marries Una (q.v.). (Book i.)

Red Feathers (The). The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. They cut to pieces General Wayne's brigade in the American War, and the Americans vowed to give them no quarter. So they mounted red feathers that no others might be subjected to this threat. They still wear red puggarees on Indian service. (See Lacedaemonians .)

Red Flag (A). (i) In the Roman empire it signified war and a call to arms.
   (ii) Hoisted by British seamen, it indicates that no concession will be made.
   As a railway signal, it intimates danger, and warns the engine- driver to stop.
   (iii) In France, since 1791, it has been the symbol of insurrection and terrorism.
   (iv) It is a synonym of Radicalism and Anarchy.

“Mr. Chamberlain sticks to the red flag, and apparently believes in its ultimate success.”- Newspaper paragraph, January, 1886.
Red Hand of Ulster In an ancient expedition to Ireland, it was given out that whoever first touched the shore should possess the territory which he touched; O'Neill, seeing another boat likely to outstrip his own, cut off his left hand and threw it on the coast. From this O'Neill the princes of Ulster were descended, and the motto of the O'Neills is to this day “Lamh dearg Eirin” (red hand of Erin). (See Hand .)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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