A patent medicine given to children troubled with colic. Gray says it was used by the lower orders to “prevent the crying of children in pain” when in want of proper nourishment. It consists of sassafras, opium in some form, brandy or rectified spirit, caraway seed, and treacle. There are seven or eight different preparations. Named after Thomas Godfrey of Hunsdon, in Hertfordshire, in the first quarter of the eighteenth century.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894