1) The primary sense is ‘one who lays down money in a joint undertaking with others’ (OED).

In early examples a ‘fellow’ was often a business partner or comrade, as in the will of Ralph Snaith: 1472 And because I had my Felas with me beyond se [sea] that is to say, William Armestede, John Tatirsall and William Parkour, ilkone of thame to have a yong Cow and a kalfe, Pontefract. In 1493, Richard Eycrode wrote: I will that Edwarde Myreell my fellowe haue … a grene jaket and ij paire hoses .

places Pontefract
dates 1472 1493

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