E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Losing a Ship for a Haporth o Tar.
Suffering a great loss out of stinginess. By mean savings, or from want of some necessary outlay, to lose the entire article. For example, to save the expense of a nail and lose the horse-shoe as the first result, then to lame the horse, and finally perhaps kill it.