"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults
1755, "commission with jurisdiction over a port or river," from Latin conservant-, present participle stem of conservare (see conserve) + -cy. Earlier was conservacy (mid-15c., Anglo-French conservacie). Meaning "official preservation of undeveloped land" dates from 1859 (first reference is to protection of bo trees in Ceylon).