E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
for multitude is not an Americanism, but good Old English. Thus, in Morte dArthur, the word is not unfrequently so employed; and the high-born dame, Juliana Berners, lady prioress in the fifteenth century of Sopwell nunnery, speaks of a bomynable syght of monkes (a large number of friars).
Where is so huge a syght of mony.Pulsgrave: Acolastus (1540).