(952 words)

1. Early modern term and job description

Originally, a beadle (Old English bydel  from beodan, 'to proclaim'; Old High German poto, putil; Middle High German Bütel; Middle Low German bodel, boddel, Modern German Büttel) was a herald, then a warrant officer in secular administration. As a translation of the German term "Büttel", a beadle was a court bailiff in the Holy Roman Empire. In English, the word "…

Cite this page
Bendlage, Andrea, “Beadle”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 February 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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