E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Friend at Court
properly means a friend in a court of law who watches the trial, and tells the judge if he can nose out an error; but the term is more generally applied to a friend in the royal court, who will whisper a good word for you to the sovereign at the proper place and season. (See AMICUS CURIÆ.)