(In the following, the noun corn denotes a small, painful area of thickened skin on the foot, especially on the toes, caused by pressure.)
The phrase hell hath no fury like a woman’s corns, and its variants, pun on hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, which originated in the following passage from The Mourning Bride (1697), by the English playwright William Congreve (1670-1729):
Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.
The earliest occurrence of the phrase that I have found is from The Chronicle and Munster Advertiser (Waterford, County Waterford, Ireland) of Saturday 20th December 1845—here, the adjective corned means having corns:
ERRORS OF THE PRESS.
Typography plays strange tricks with manuscript. This is the latest intelligence. The line
“Hell has no fury like a woman scorned,”
was made to read—
“Hell has no fury like a woman corned.”
The second-earliest occurrence of the phrase that I have found is from American Items, published in The Witney Express, Oxfordshire and Midland Counties Herald (Witney, Oxfordshire, England) of Thursday 23rd September 1875:
A leading chiropodist has this legend over his door on Broadway: “Hell has no fury like a woman’s corn.”
Several versions of this joke followed. This one is from Miscellaneous, published in The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post (Bristol, Bristol, England) of Saturday 19th October 1878:
An American chiropodist is having this legend inscribed over his doorway: “Hell has no fury like a woman’s corn.”
This version is from The Sporting Times (London, England) of Saturday 2nd November 1878:
Barney was once a chiropodist. Over his establishment he had the inscription, “Hell has no fury like woman’s corn.”
And this version is from Scraps, published in The Evening News and Star (Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland) of Friday 7th February 1879:
A Market-Street chiropodist is having this legend inscribed over his doorway—“Hell has no fury like a woman’s corn.”
A variant of the phrase occurs in this paragraph, published in The Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) of Monday 8th December 1879:
According to the observations of a famous British divorce Judge, Sir Creswell Creswell, of the women who petition to his court nearly all are blue-eyed, while the naughty respondents almost always are light-gray or black-eyed. Oh yes; “naughty respondents,” of course! That is about the best a poor devil of a man can get when a woman starts a fight. But the black-eye part of the statement gives it all away. Who gave them black eyes? Old What’s-his-name was right when he said hell had no fury like a woman with corns.
The phrase was used in this advertisement, published in The Concordia Republican (Concordia, Kansas) of Thursday 29th March 1883:
“Hell hath no fury like a woman(s)” corns. Ladies, to guard against these pests buy good, easy fitting shoes at the Iron Clad Shoe Store.
Buckingham & Marshall.