Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Gendarmes.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
“Men at arms,” the armed police of France. The term was first applied to those who marched in the train of knights; subsequently to the calvary; in the time of Louis XIV. to a body of horse charged with the preservation of order; after the revolution to a military police chosen from old soldiers of good character; now it is applied to the ordinary police, whose costume is half civil and half military.   1



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