boroughmonger (n.), spat (v) -- antedatings

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Oct 22 19:39:48 UTC 2011

(1)  "borough-monger" (n) 1768: antedates OED2  1809-.  Possibly
coined by John Wilkes?

The Extraordinary North Briton.
By W___ M___.
Number XI. ... Saturday, July 23d, 1768. [Price Three Pence.  [GBooks]
Page 64.

... honours and preferments, due only to the meritorious, have been
conferred on the undeserving, on paultry time-servers, without either
character or reputation, unless it be for having connections with
some venal borough monger, and to fill up the measure of ministerial iniquity.

(2)  "borough-monger" (n) 1773: somewhat different sense -- not the
person, but the act?
       "spat" (v), sense 1, 1773: antedates OED2 1809-.  From
England, not the U.S.

The Town and Country Magazine, or Universal Repository of Knowledge,
Instruction, and Entertainment.
Vol. V, for April 1773.  [GBooks]
Page 181, col. 2.

The late king, who was very fond of lord Chesterfield, could not
help, however, now and then spatting with him. He brought his Majesty
a patent that was to be filled up, and recommended from the duke of
Newcastle, for a certain candidate, who had great borough
interest.  The king had in some degree promised it to the countess of
Yarmouth for one of her creatures. His lordship expostulated and
endeavored to shew the ill effects of giving it to any other than the
duke's friend; when the king cried in a pet, "Give it to the devil if
you will." Upon which his lordship immediately filled up the blank
with the devil, and then read, "George the IId. by the grace of God,
&c. to h[i]s trusty and well-beloved friend the devil, greeting."
This put the king into such a humour, that he readily consented the
borough-monger should be provided for.


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