"Earl Grey's mixture" (tea) antedated (?) to 1884 (cf. OED Appeals, citing 1891)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Oct 13 13:15:13 UTC 2012

The British Newspaper Archive has "Earl Grey's mixture" in seven advertisements for tea, all from 1884.
They are only OCR snippets, but the eight tend to confirm one another as the same text in the London Standard and the [London] Morning Post. Here is the earliest, 19 June 1884:

"...TEA, EARL GREY'S MIXTURE. This choice Tea can only be obtained of the Introducers and Sole Proprietors, CHARLTON and CO., 20, Jermyn-street, near Regent-street."


Just as speculation, might this tea be named not for the second Earl Grey, Charles (1764-1845), as various contradictory stories have it, but his now less famous son, the third Earl Grey, Henry (1802-1894)?

Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list