[Ads-l] "Hush money" [Antedating to 1692]

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 23 15:02:54 UTC 2018

The OED shares as its earliest a usage from 1709.

Here are two slightly earlier ones, the first (1692) describing issues
leading to a nasty divorce between Henry Howard, the 7th Duke of Norfolk,
and his then-wife, Mary Mordaunt, who was accused of having an affair with
a Mr. Germain(e).

(It's possible this has been discussed on the list before, but I've not
been able to find it in the archive. I'm afraid the search function doesn't
always work for me.)

-- Bonnie


THOMAS Foster saith, that he was Coachman to Mr. Germaine, and carried the
Dutchess of Norfolk often, about two Years since in his Coach, and brought
her home, and the Footmen have had four Half-Crowns given them, and Martin
a Dutchman his helper, called it Hush-Money. It was by Night against a
Light, that he saw her Face in the Coach, it was about Seven or Eight of
the Clock at Night, about this Time a Year he hath seen her Face once in
the Day-time, she looking out of a Sash-Window two Stories high in
Germain's House in Park-Street, he knows her Face well enough; he hath seen
her before, and since she was Married.

[Henry Howard, Duke of Norfolk, _His Grace the Duke of Norfolk's charge
against the Dutchess before the House of Lords, and the Dutchesses answer_,
1692, p. 11.]


Who are in Places we may find out, but God knows who have Pensions, yet
every man that made the least observation can remember that some who opened
loudly at the behinning [sic] of the last Sessions, who came up as eager as
is possible for Reformation, had their Mouths soon stopped with Hush-money.
It has been of some time whispered, that if this will not at first
preingage to do what will be exacted at their Hands, we shall have a new

[Charlwood Lawton, _A short state of our condition, with relation to the
present Parliament_, 1693, p. 4.]

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

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