1. an inferior officer of a debtor’s prison.
|New and Choise Characters n.p.: His Yeoman is the Hangar that a sargeant weares by his side [...] This counter-rat hath a tayle as long as his fellowes, but [...] hath not his full halfe share of the booty.|
|Counter-Rat E1: No, these are no Rats with foure legs, but only two; [...] they run but into two Rat-traps, that’s to say, The Compters of Wood-street and the Poultry, and for that cause are called Compter-Rats.|
|Wit in a Constable V i: They’le take him for a Rat ith’ Counter.|
2. a criminal inmate of a debtor’s prison.
|Hudibras Redivivus II:6 8: In piss-burnt Wigs, and flapping Hats, / Looking as rough as Counter Rats.|