"conspiracy theory" antedating

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Tue Oct 27 16:55:50 UTC 2009

1) "than the conspiracy theory of Charles Reade" below, may refer to that
author's book [Very] Hard Cash, 1863.

2) FWIW, "theory of Conspiracy," so far, appears older, e.g. 1838 in Google B.
full view

Report of the trial of Thomas Hunter, Peter Hacket, Richard M'Neil, James ...?
- Page 289-90
Archibald Swinton - Edinburgh, 1838
... the prosecutor is driven to infer the guilt of the prisoners from a theory
of Conspiracy which he has chosen to set up, a supposed hidden connection
between them, and a supposed hidden hidden power, which no person ever
saw, and
which no person dared to name....


Quoting Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu>:

> OK, earlier. Google snippet says the following is v. 16 1871, bu it's really
> April, 1870
> The Medico-Psychological Association: The Report of a Quarterly
> Meeting of the
> Medico-Psychological Association, held in London, at the Royal
> Medico-Chirurgical Society, by permission of the President and
> Council, on the
> 27th January, 1870
> Journal of Mental Science, Apr 1870; 16: 134 - 142. p. 141
> Psychological News
> He [the President] had read with great regret and indignation an
> article in the
> _Lancet_ of this week on the "Treatment of Lunatics," written, he should
> imagine, by some rejected candidate for the superintendentship of one of the
> county asylums....
> The theory of Dr. Sankey as to the manner in which these injuries to
> the chest
> occurred in asylums deserved our careful attention. It was at least more
> plausible that the conspiracy theory of Mr. Charles Reade, and the
> precautionary measure suggested by Dr. Sankey of using a padded waistcoat in
> recent cases of mania with general paralysis--in which mental
> condition nearly
> all these cases under discussion were--seemed to him of practical value.
> Stephen Goranson
> http://www.duke.edu/~goranson

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

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