E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Miss, Mistress, Mrs.
(masteress, lady-master). Miss used to be written Mis, and is the first syllable of Mistress; Mrs. is the contraction of mistress, called Misess. Even in the reign of George II. unmarried ladies used to be styled Mrs.; as, Mrs. Lepel, Mrs. Bellenden, Mrs. Blount, all unmarried ladies. (See Popes Letters.)
Early in Charles II.s reign, Evelyn tells us that lewd women began to be styled Misse; now Mistress is more frequently applied to them. (See LAD.)