So they would have stood forever, if the beefeater hadn't come in and commanded them, in the queen's name, to drop their weapons.
The beefeater before the door of the Lady Mary's lodgings spat upon the ground when he had passed.
"warder of the Tower of London," 1670s, a contemptuous reference to well-fed servants of the royal household; the notion is of "one who eats another's beef" (cf. Old English hlaf-æta "servant," literally "loaf-eater").
An Englishman; limey
[1600s+; fr the preeminence of beef, esp roast beef, in the traditional English diet]