In the Middle Ages, a palmer (Latin: palmarius or palmerius) was a Christian Pilgrim, normally from Western Europe, who had visited the holy places in Palestine, and who, as a token of his visit, brought back a palm leaf, or a palm leaf folded into a cross (The word is frequently used as synonymous with "pilgrim").
One of the most prominent literary characters to have been a palmer was Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the protagonist of the eponymous book by Sir Walter Scott. A palmer also plays a significant role representing Reason in Book II of Edmund Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene. 
- Cummings, Michael J. (2010) , Ivanhoe, Cummings Study Guide
- Woodhouse, A. S. P. (1949), Nature and Grace in the Faerie Queene, The Johns Hopkins University Press