"jail fever", 1720

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed May 8 17:43:01 UTC 2013

This will obviously be discovered by the OED minions when they reach
this entry -- provided they are aware enough to look for "goal" :-)
-- but anyhoo ...

"Our common Prisons afford us an Instance of this, in which very few
escape, what they call the Goal Fever, which is always attended with
a Degree of Malignity in proportion to the Closeness and Stench of the Place."

Richard Mead. "A Short Discourse Concerning Pestilential Contagion,
and the Methods to be used to Prevent it."  The Fourth
Edition.  London: Printed for Sam. Buckley, 1720.

[Despite this being the 4th ed., I don't think there are any editions
of an earlier year.  However, if "they" already call it the Goal
Fever, perhaps it will turn up earlier, such as in the Burney
newspaper collection.]

Antedates OED2 "jail fever", [1750]--..


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