Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Maiden Assize (A).

 Maiden.Maiden King (The). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Maiden Assize (A).
One in which there is no person to be brought to trial. We have also the expressions maiden tree, one never lopped; maiden fortress, one never taken; maiden speech; etc. In a maiden assize, the sheriff of the county presents the judge with a pair of white gloves. White gloves symbolise innocence. Maiden primarily means unspotted, unpolluted, innocent; thus Hubert says to the king—   1
“This hand of mine
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand.
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.”
Shakespeare: King John, iv. 2.

 Maiden.Maiden King (The). 


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