“A beadle was a minor officer employed to communicate orders and execute them, and can be found in a wide range of eighteenth-century institutions. In terms of policing, beadles carried out an important role in the City of London and Westminster…Beadles also appear frequently…as parish officers, responsible for summoning Coroners’ Inquests and carrying out the orders of churchwardens and overseers of the poor, and as officers of Bridewell Hospital, implementing the orders of the Court of Governors. Within the City, beadles were long-established wardofficers. The office was a full-time job with a salary, and many served in the post for years, sometimes also acting as constables. Many had subordinates, called warders, who acted as their assistants. Their responsibilities included a range of policing activities: organising and supervising the night watch; controlling crowds; prohibiting the sale of goods on Sundays; prosecuting nuisances; arresting and prosecuting prostitutes, beggars and vagrants; and even arresting men and women on more serious charges…from 1785, however, beadles lost the power to make commitments on their own.” — from <http://www.londonlives.org/static/Policing.jsp> which contains much of interest — and further documents the deep interconnection between ecclesiastic and civil authorities and offices, conceptually and frequently literally, of which the Verger’s history is a part.