[Ads-l] Antedating welching, welcher (1854)

dave@wilton.net dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Jul 28 09:51:11 EDT 2021

OED has 1860, Green's 1857.
“The Present State of the Ring.” The Era (London), 11 June 1854, 4. Gale Primary Sources: British Library Newspapers.

Elbow to elbow is the soi-disant proprietor of a Metropolitan betting office, who unlike a few of his honest confrères, was but too glad to emerge, under the “Act for the Suppression of Betting Offices,” from his mahogany-polished desk after the victimization of thousands of unwary clerks and apprentices in distant parts of the provinces. Yonder, with a frantic howl of delight, in the pursuit of his inveigling policy, steps the now retired hell-keeper, with his attendant imps, the croupier and the bonnett—the enlarged coachman, who was once the pride of the road and the pink of the whip club, ere the mighty iron highway had driven him to the subterfuge and welching of the betting enclosure—and scores of other questionables, cum multis aliis, that crowd and bully in the precincts which Fuller Andrews is set especially to guard.
“Racing on the Continent.” Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 31 December 1854, 54. Gale Primary Sources: Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals.
We wish to instruct our pupil brother in all the better parts of our national hobby, but at the same time preclude, if possible, the vices which have assailed it in England. At present the “genus” Tont, Nobbler, Welcher, is not known upon the Continent, although somewhat of that “baleful influence” has of late intruded itself upon the unsuspecting members of the Turf.
“Rochester and Chatham Races.” Sunday Times (London), 9 September 1855, 7. Gale Primary Sources: Sunday Times Historical Archive.
On returning to scale the owner of Frindsbury objected that both Spider and the others had gone wrong. This the other denied, and a scene of confusion ensued. A number of scamps, chiefly of the Welching fraternity, who had “stood the field,” took possession of the weighing stand, and a most disgraceful row took place before the place was cleared of them. The race, which was a wretched exhibition altogether, is in dispute.

“The Coming Season.” The Racing Times (London), 3 March 1856, 5. Gale Primary Sources: Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals.
The season opened under a right and cheerless sky at Lincoln, and the six shilling railway fare brought at least a hundred new faces into the ring, many of them of a very welching hue.
“Extraordinary Circumstance.” Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 6 April 1856, 4. Gale Primary Sources: Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals.
“WELCHERS BEWARE!”—At the late Catterick Meeting, the clerk of the course had the above notice conspicuously posted in the Ring. In addition he also provided several able-bodied labourers, with a barrel of tar and a sack of feathers, so that any one found “welching” might be summarily chastised and branded for their offences.

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