E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A bribe, a perquisite; so called from the ancient custom of presenting a pair of gloves to a person who undertook a cause for you. Mrs. Croaker presented Sir Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor, with a pair of gloves lined with forty pounds in angels, as a token. Sir Thomas kept the gloves, but returned the lining. (See above.)