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See also: ticket of leave


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ticket-of-leave (plural tickets-of-leave)

  1. A permit once granted to convicts allowing them to leave prison under certain circumstances; used especially of convicts transported to the British colonies
    • 1893:The prosecutrix was the wife of a ticket-of-leave man, named Daniel Jackson, and she was also separated from her husband, and lived for some time with a man named Clarke, who died on the day before the alleged robbery was committed. Clarke left a will bequeathing all his property to the prosecutrix, who, immediately on his death, possessed herself of sixty pound in money which was in his box, which she rolled up and placed in her bosom. Prosecutrix shortly after missed the money but could not account how it had parted from her, and the warrant for £30, and bank-note for £20, laid in the indictment, was part of the money so lost. The prosecutrix admitted, that both before, at the time, and some time after she missed the money, she was overcome with grief and brandy, but she could not say which of these acted most strongly. R v Smith. [1]
    • 1938, P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters
      And as they sat snuggled up together at the far end of the table, talking to one another in low voices, and staring at me from time to time as if I had been a ticket-of-leave man who had got in by crashing the gate and might be expected, unless carefully watched, to pocket a spoon or two, it was not long before I, too, left.