Antedating of "Working Class"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 20 12:57:15 UTC 2005

working class (OED 1789)

1757 Postlethwayt, Malachy. Britain's commercial interest explained and
improved. 26 (Eighteenth Century Collections Online)  If the produce
cannot be encreased one half, nor, perhaps, hardly one fourth, would not
absolute necessity oblige the working class to give their labour as cheap
as possible, that they may supply their wants as far as they can.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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