HOBSON'S CHOICE, i.e. " this or nothing," an expression that arose from the fact that the Cambridge-London carrier, Thomas Hobson (1544-1630), refused, when letting his horses on hire, to allow any animal to leave the stable out of its turn. Among other bequests made by Hobson, and commemorated by Milton, was a conduit for the Cambridge market-place, for which he provided the perpetual maintenance'. See Spectator, No. 509 (14th of October 1712).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)