"he was a beadle"
Mr. Bumble, the Beadle (Dickens' 'Oliver Twist') - a different kind of 'beadle' from the one who told Virginia Woolf's 'narrator' to keep off the grass.
Public DomainMr. Bumble, the Beadle (Dickens' 'Oliver Twist') - a different kind of 'beadle' from the one who told Virginia Woolf's 'narrator' to keep off the grass. - Credit: George Cruikshank

The word beadle has a variety of meanings in English. It is still used in some of the older British Universities (such as Oxford, Cambridge and Durham) as the title of a staff member (usually uniformed) who is responsible for security and other practical aspects of day-to-day University life.