conspire = "contrive"

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Mar 19 11:58:43 UTC 2007

In 1670 William Penn and William Mede were being criminally tried for unlawful speaking and assembly in front of a London meeting house, which had been closed by the crown. In one of the many returns, Penn was found guilty of conspiracy but Mead not-guilty. Said Penn, "[I]t consequently follows, that I am clear since you have indicted us of a Conspiracy, and I could not possibly conspire alone" (_The Peoples Antient and Just Liberties Asserted_ [1670], 19).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 15:54:28 -0700
>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>Subject: conspire = "contrive"

> OED "Conspire," v. def 1.b.:
>  "Said of a single person (the notion of combination being lost sight of): To plot secretly, contrive. Obs. [1393-1606]"
>  Well, it's back after 400 years:
>  2007 _SparkNotes: The Merchant of Venice_[ ] In Shylock’s very first appearance...he conspires to harm Antonio.
>  JL

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