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Glossary of terms

Here you can browse though the glossary of terms and their meanings.  The sources used for the definitions which are referred to are listed in Background.




Admission to land: process of a new tenant being 'admitted' to it, i.e. taking up a new tenancy. Such admissions were recorded in manorial Court Rolls.

Age of majority

The age at which a person was deemed to be an adult with all the rights and powers associated with that condition. In the seventeenth century the age of majority was twenty one and a person was deemed to achieve full age on the day preceding their twenty-first birthday (Jowitt, under ‘Full age’).

Ambury (Ambry, Aumbury, Amborey)

A cupboard used for keeping food (Watson). A more general meaning was a cupboard, often for the storage of books or papers (O.E.D.)

Andiron (End iron, End plate)

i) Horizontal bar, one of a pair, on short feet, placed at each side of the hearth to support burning wood (S.O.E.D.); ii) moveable iron plates used to contract the fire area in a grate (Bristow); iii) iron bars with hooked brackets for supporting roasting spit  (Bristow).


A grant, allowance of investment that yielded an amount of money every year (O.E.D). It is common in wills for annuities to be bequeathed.

Anvil clogg

Possibly the hard wood log or large timber buried several feet into the floor of the forge shop floor to which an anvil would be fastened, before cast iron anvil bases became available.  See also Clog.



Ark (Arke)

A large wooden chest, often used for storing meal in. Oats were the principal Pennine grain. Oatmeal was put in the ark and compacted by trampling, to exclude air so the meal kept better (Brears, 2000, p.37).


See Harrow.


A carpenter's tool for boring holes in wood, etc., having a long shank with a cutting edge and a screw point, and a handle fixed at right angles to the top of the shank, by means of which the tool is turned round by hand (S.O.E.D.).



Broad leather strap or chain which passes over a cart saddle and supports the shafts of a vehicle (S.O.E.D.).


Possibly 'bakestool', by analogy with 'cakestool', a small wooden frame for drying oatcakes (Brears, 1987, p.68).


A hawker, especially of provisions (O.E.D.).

Bakebread (Backboard, Backbread, Backbriede, Baking board)

A thin square wooden board used in making thin reeled oatcakes, one side of which was incised with diagonal grooves to make a diaper pattern. The batter was poured on and the board agitated, causing the batter to spread out into a thin sheet before it was transferred to the bakstone for baking. (Brears, 1987, pp.65-68).

Bakestone (Baking stone, Bakstone, Baxton)

A flat stone for baking oatcakes on. They were made of a type of mudstone or shale, which could be rendered heat-resistant by firing. An important place of manufacture was at Delph in Saddleworth. From at least as early as the seventeenth century bakestones were being made from iron (Brears, 1987, pp. 61-63; Wrigley, pp. 191-203).

Baking speld

Possibly a scraper to thin out batter on a backstone.  The dialect word 'spaulder' means 'to sprawl, or spread out' (Kellett).

Baking spittle

See Spittle.

Barkham (Barfan)

Collar of a working horse (Kellett, 1994; E.D.D. under Bargham).

Barren (Barin)

Of animals; not pregnant at the usual season (S.O.E.D.)

Baulk (Balk)

Beam, for example across a barn or a fireplace; in the plural, the loft in the barn, often over the mistal, where hay was stored (Kellett, 1994, O.E.D.).


See Bakestone.

Beast gate

See Cow Gate.

Bed cords

Cords which stretched across the bed-frame (bed stocks) and supported the mattress (Millward, 1986).

Bed pan

Either a chamber utensil for use in bed, or a Warming pan (S.O.E.D.).


As in 'turbary and bedding', the right to collect animal bedding, e.g. heather, bracken, from common land (or, as in Marsden, from moorland pastures).

Bedding (Beden)

When in, for example, 'Bed stocks and Bedding', bedding includes the mattress.


The head or foot of a bedstead, hence bedstocks were usually listed in pairs (O.E.D.) Bed frames were often threaded with cords to form the base for a mattress.

Bellis (Bellas, Bellies)

Bellows, used to furnish a strong draught of air to blow a fire.


A bill hook, used for pruning hedges (O.E.D.). One Marsden inventory has a 'bill' listed with fire furniture, possibly the equivalent of the Nidderdale 'beak', meaning a fire crane (Hartley and Ingilby, 1968).


An axe or chopper (Easther, 1883).


Usually a loose board, for example a floor board. Sometimes however it meant a table. 'Hand boards' might be cards for wool carding. Often the context will help to determine which is intended (O.E.D.).


An article round which thread or yarn is would for use in weaving, sewing etc. (S.O.E.D.) In weaving it is placed in the loom shuttle.

Bobbin wheel

A wheel used for winding weft thread onto bobbins, which would then be placed in the loom for weaving.

Body of the church

Nave, part of church from west end to choir or Chancel.


Cast-iron boilers were installed at one side of the hearth (in Marsden from 1832 onwards), and were an integral part of later cast iron ranges.

Bolster (Boulster)

A long pillow (O.E.D.).


A written obligation, usually to pay a sum of money (Jowitt).


In Marsden, the term Booth in wills (e.g. Lingards Wood Booth) means one of seven divisions of Marsden land, originating at the time when the land was used as grazing for cattle, and perhaps stemming from 'booth' as a temporary shelter for cattle and cow-herds.


Gimlet or auger (S.O.E.D.), see Auger.

Box iron

A hollow iron used for pressing clothes, into which was placed a Heater, a small block of iron previously heated on the fire.

Branded (Brinded, Brand)

Adjective applied to cattle, meaning a tawny or brownish colour mixed with streaks of another colour (E.D.D.; O.E.D.).


An iron framework used to support vessels when cooking over or in front of the fire. A brandreth was supported on three or four legs (E.D.D.).

Bread creel

A wooden frame, with wooden rails or ropes, suspended from the ceiling, on which oatcakes were dried and stored (Brears, 1987).  Bread fleike is another term for the same thing.

Bread iron

Unknown, perhaps an iron Bakestone.

Bread reel

Probably the same as a Bread creel, perhaps one which can be wound up and down - 'reeled' - from the ceiling.

Breast plough

Agricultural implement with a wide cross-handle, held to the chest, and a long handle held at an angle to the ground; used to pare turf. or plough furrows.


A short length of cloth, usually left over or faulty (Kellett, 1994).

Briggs (Brigs, Bricses, Bridges)

‘Irons to set over the fire’ which were used for cooking (Collier,1775; (E.D.D.).


Brimstone  Sulphur: a component of gunpowder: used domestically to fumigate casks and barrels and to treat skin conditions in animals and humans (Cox & Dannehl 2007).


See Branded.


A brush (O.E.D.).  However, the 'two pair of Brishes' found in a list of a man's clothes are probably breeches.

Broad loom

A loom on which broadcloth could be woven, of two yards or more in width. Before the invention of the flying shuttle, it was operated by two weavers, each with their own set of treadles, pulleys and heddle-harnesses, though manipulating together a single shuttle, a time-consuming process (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).

Broad piece of gold

A broad was a denomination of gold coin, worth twenty shillings (£1), minted under Cromwell in 1656  (Bristow, 2001).


A low stool (E.D.D.).  In later 18th and 19th century inventories, a 'corner buffet' might be a cupboard or side-table (S.O.E.D.).


Picking small irregularities and knots out of cloth, by hand.

Burling table

A sloping table used for burling, over which the cloth was passed.


A measure of capacity containing eight gallons for corn (O.E.D.).


A room for storing provisions (O.E.D.); in Marsden, however, often did contain equipment for making butter.



A rough woollen covering, quilt or blanket (E.D.D.;O.E.D.).

Calf crow (Caff croo)

Possibly a lever used with a rope to assist in difficult calving.

Calf gate (Chalf gate)

Perhaps a gate high enough to keep a calf from its mother, to wean it.

Calf muzzle (Chalf muzil)

Probably a muzzle placed on a calf, to prevent it suckling.


Vessel for holding liquids, usually cylindrical with a handle over the top (S.O.E.D.).

Candle box

A rectangular or cylindrical box with a hinged lid and a shaped back, pierced with holes or fitted with loops to allow the box to hang horizontally on a wall. Although originally made of wood, by the eighteenth century most were of metal (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).


Possibly a reflecting mirror placed behind a candle to enhance the light it gives.

Capital(l) messuage

The messuage occupied by a person who had several messuages (O.E.D.). See Messuage.


A wooden board, with a handle, onto which was fixed a strip of leather with rows of short fine iron wires inserted to form a surface like a wire brush. Cards were used in pairs, one in each hand, to untangle the fibres of raw wool and produce a roving which could be spun (English, 1969). One card might be fixed to a card stock. See Card Stock.

Card stock (Cardstock, Cardstocke)

A large wool card, fastened to a stock or support. In this method of carding the cvarder only held the upper card, and was able to card more rapidly than with a pair of hand cards (English, 1969).

Cart Fellows (Felloes)

Felloes are the curved pieces of wood which, joined, form the rim of a wheel (for a cart in this case) (S.O.E.D., 1983).


A shelf or cupboard (E.D.D.).  In Marsden inventories 'pewter cases' are succeeded by 'delph cases' and finally 'pot cases'.

Cattle gate

See Cow gate.

Ceild (Cield, Cieled, Seiled)

Ceiling was framing and panelling, or wainscoting (Chinnery, 1979; O.E.D., 1933).

Ceild (Cieled, Sield) chair

Probably a chair made with a framed panet as the back, a type which has sometimes been known as a wainscot chair (Chinnery, 1979, pp. 221, 240-255; O.E.D.).

Ceild (Seild) bed

Probably a bed made with framing and panelling at the head and possibly the foot (Chinnery, 1979, pp. 116 and 339-390; O.E.D.).

Chaff bed

A bed stuffed with chaff (cut hay or straw) instead of feather, or in some cases simply a chaff-filled mattress (O.E.D.).

Chafing (Chaffing) dish(e)

A fire-basket containing burning peat or charcoal, over which food could be cooked, often on a bakestone (Brears, 1987, p.79).

Chais bed

Probably a chaise-longue.


Where this term occurs in Pennine inventories in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and its position can be determined, it always seems to have been a room on the upper floor of a house. Similarly, in Marsden inventories of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, chambers are often 'above the parlour' or 'above the house'.  This meaning appears to have been the common northern usage (E.D.D.).


The eastern part of a church, appropriated to the use of the officiating clergy (S.O.E.D., 1983) In Marsden second chapel, the chancel was very small.


A place of Christian worship, not being a parish or cathedral church (S.O.E.D., 1983) Marsden was until the late 19th century a chapelry under the parish and Vicar of Almondbury.


A merchant, trader, dealer; an itinerant dealer (S.O.E.D.).

Chaving riddle

A riddle is a large coarse-meshed sieve, used among other things to separate chaff from corn (S.O.E.D.), and this is probably the meaning here.


An implement for toasting or melting cheese.



Chist (Chisse)


Chister drawers

Chest of drawers.

Cistern (Sistron)

Often 'oil cistern' in Marsden inventories (oil was used to treat wool, or could have been for lighting).  See also Lead.

Cloaths (Cloth, Cloths, Close) press

In Marsden, where there seems to have been little or no cloth finishing, this term means a large cupboard for clothes.  See also Cloth press, from which it must be distinguished.


Block of wood; the familiar meaning is a wooden-soled shoe. See also Anvil clogg.

Close of land

A close was a hedged, fenced or walled piece of land (Bristow, 2001).

Close press

See Cloaths Press.

Close Stool

Commode, a chair containing a chamber pot (O.E.D.).


A small room; in a church or chapel, an enclosed box, with a door at its entrance, containing pews.

Cloth dresser

One who finished cloth; for example, for woollen cloth, by raising the nap and shearing it smooth.

Cloth press

A device incorporating a screw press in which cloth was pressed. The cloth was carefully folded or cuttled with thick pieces of paper placed between each fold, and the screw tightened. After some hours under pressure a smooth finish was imparted to the cloth. (J. G. Jenkins, 1969, p.87.)  See also Cloaths Press, from which it must be distinguished.


One engaged in the cloth trade, a maker of woollen cloth (O.E.D.). The clothier owned the materials and end-product rather than simply, like a weaver, being paid a wage for work done; however, the small clothier might work on his own materials.

Cloths press

See Cloaths Press.


A ravine or steep-sided valley.  In the South Pennines, many streams in small cloughs run down from the moorland into the valleys, providing ready sources of water for farming and the domestic textile industry.

Coach chair

See Couch chair.

Coal rake (Coalrake)

A tool used for raking the ashes out of a fire or oven (O.E.D.). In Marsden, sometimes a variant spelling of Coul rake.




One meaning is a tap (O.E.D.), e.g. in 'bras cock'.


Milward (1986) states a stang is a 'long pole on which two men carried hay (i.e. a haycock) between them.  However, Bristow (2001) states that a cockstang was a hand barrow for carrying hay etc., carried by two men, like a sedan chair.


A chest used for keeping valuables and money in. Randle Holme suggested that a coffer was distinguished not only by its use but also its appearance, having a round topped lid (E.D.D; Alcock and Cox, 2000, Book III, Chapter 14).

Colts (Coults) chair

Unknown, possibly a Couch Chair.


Combs were used in pairs for combing wool. This process makes the fibres straight and parallel and separates the long staple fibres (tops) from the short (noils). In the worsted trade, which was extensive in the Halifax district by the seventeenth century, only the tops are spun, the noils being sold on to the woollen trade (English, 1969, p.184).

Comb stock (Combstock)

A stock or support on to which a comb for combing wool was fastened (O.E.D. under ‘stock-card’).


A large vessel in which water was heated (O.E.D.).

Copyhold land

Land held from the lord of the manor by a form of tenure which originally involved the tenant in various services and required his attendance at the manor court. However by the sixteenth century the services had been commuted into a money rent. Legally the lord of the manor was held to retain the freehold of the land but the copyholder was not simply a tenant subject to the whim of the lord for he had security of tenure by virtue of the copy of the court roll by which it was granted (Jowitt).


A shoe maker (O.E.D.).


e.g. in the phrase 'Corn and Hay', a generic term for any grain, and perhaps also including pulses like beans and peas.  However, the term was often applied locally to the  corn most commonly grown in the district - oats in the case of the South Pennines (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).

Corn factor

A dealer in corn.

Corn in the straw

Corn which has been cut but not yet threshed to separate the grain from the straw.


Shed or stall, for storage or shelter.


Listed with other fireside goods, these may have been pans for boiling (from 'coddle', S.O.E.D.), or scuttles, or possibly 'coddles' (pillows or cushions, Easther, 1883).

Couch chair (Couchchair, Coach chair)

‘A north country term for a panel backed settle’ (Gilbert, 1991, p.267). The Bolton Supplement to the London Book of Cabinet Piece Prices, Bolton, Gardner, 1802, had a section headed ‘Couch Chairs’ and proceeded to give prices ‘For a plain Couch chair, 6 feet long and under, with four square panels and plain Marlbro’ legs  0  13  0’. See also Longsettle.

Coul rake (Coulrake)

A rake used to scrape together mud or manure. Used also to rake out muck from a cart. (E.D.D.; Hartley and Ingleby, 1986, pp. 30-31 with illustration). In Marsden, sometimes variant spelling of Coal rake.


Counter  In the Academy of Armory Randle Holme illustrated a goldsmith standing behind his ‘counter or counting table’, which makes it clear that he associated the term with the counting out of coin and other valuable items. Where it is possible to locate counters in the Sowerby and Soyland documents they are to be found in the housbody, kitchen or parlour, one is described as a ‘round counter table’ (see below p.13) (O.E.D; Alcock and Cox, 2000, Book III, Chapter 5). In Marsden, counters are only found in shops.

Court roll

Records of proceedings of the manor courts, so-called because originally written on sheets of parchment which were tied together and then rolled for storage. If a document was 'enrolled', this meant it had been recorded in the court roll.

Cow gate (Cowgate)

Right of pasture on the common for one animal (of cattle) (Bristow, 2001). In Marsden the terms 'cow gate', 'cattle gate' and 'beast gate' seem to have been synonymous, and applied to cows; such 'gates' were attached to holdings of copyhold land adjacent to the moorland pasture concerned. This was a method of 'stinting' i.e. limiting the grazing to preserve the pasturage. See also Sheep gate.

Cow Pasture

In Marsden, certain areas of surrounding moorland were set aside for rough grazing, stinted with gates (see Cow gate, Sheep gate).  Two of them were named Cow Pasture (Lingards Moor Cow Pasture and Shaw Hey Cow Pasture) but we do not know if or how they differed from the other moorland grazing areas such as Holme Moor, Pule Moss etc.


Perhaps a variant spelling of Coulrake; perhaps a rack for holding fodder for cows.


A creel is a framework (S.O.E.D.); creels associated in inventories with a warping wough hold bobbins containing warp thread, which is then transferred to the warping wough. See also Bread creel.

Crimping machine

In chamber in 1842 inventory of Marsden shop-keeper: presumably a crimper, for crimping or fluting hair or cloth (S.O.E.D.).


A small piece of enclosed ground near to or attached to a house (E.D.D.).


Listed after sacks, and of low value, in a Marsden inventory: perhaps 'cruppers or cropers: leather straps securing a saddle or load to a horse's back' (O.E.D.)


Crowbar (S.O.E.D.).

Crow rake (Crowlake)

Found in Marsden inventories in the mistal; possibly a variant spelling of Coulrake, or perhaps of Cowrake.


From the verb 'cruddle', to congeal or curdle (Kellett, 1994). Listed with a churn in a Marsden inventory, this may be a 'cruddle-staff' which will have operated a plunger or paddle in a churn, as described in Crump, 1949, p.32.


Colander, a vessel, usually of metal, closely perforated at the bottom with small holes, and used as a drainer in cookery (S.O.E.D.).

Customary tenant

One whose tenure of land was defined and protected by the customs of the manor and was therefore not at the will of the lord. Importantly, a customary tenant had the absolute right to demise his land (i.e. give, grant, convey or transfer by will or by lease), granting it by legal conveyance and also surrendering it at the manor curt for the new tenant to be admitted there (Jowitt).


Daywork (Day's work)

The area of land which could be worked in a day (S.O.E.D.); or the crops on this area (Milward, 1986). In the nineteenth century, the Halifax 'day's work' was a standard area of two roods and twenty-three perches, i.e. about 0.64 acres (Davies, Senior and Petford, 2011).


Timber made from the wood of pine or fir (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).

Delf (Delft, Delph)

Delf ware was tin-enamelled earthenware with an opaque white finish, made in England from the mid-sixteenth century, but acquiring the name of delf ware in the seventeenth century, by which time the town of Delf in Holland was a famous pottery centre (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).

Delf case (Delft case, Delph case)

A case for storing pottery or china: probably often the plate rack above a dresser.

Delfing (Delphing)

Digging or quarrying, as in 'delfing tools'.


Quarryman (Kellett, 1994).

Deshon (Deashon)

As listed in Marsden inventories with churns, it is probably the vertical plunger used in a dash churn. However, docion (doshan, dozin, doussan, doshinge, dashin, dosion) is a Derbyshire term for a vessel in which oatmeal is prepared (Milward,1986).

Desk (Writing desk)

Note that a desk or writing desk could be the historic equivalent of a lap-top computer: a box, perhaps with a sloped writing surface and space to contain letters and writing materials, used on lap or table.

Dock fork

Fork with two long tines set in a Y shape, used for weeding. - perhaps the dock leaves were then used for the traditional West Yorkshire delicacy of dock pudding, made from the leaves of the Passion dock, polygonum bistorta (Brears, 1987, p.124).


A large plate or dish (O.E.D.).

Doublet (Dublit)

A close-fitting jacket, with or without sleeves, worn by men (O.E.D.).


The portion of a man's estate which was allowed to his widow for her maintenance during her life (O.E.D.); under common law, a third of her husband's freehold land during her life (Erickson, 1993, p.25).


Possibly a sled or harrow.  However, a 'muck drag' is a fork used as a rake for manure: it has two or three prongs fixed at the right angles to the handle, for pulling manure out of a cart. (O.E.D.).


As in 'pillows with drawers to them', a drawer is a pillow-case.


An early name for a chest of drawers.

Dredging box

Box with perforated lid for sprinkling flour (Milward,1986).

Drum sled

Drum sled  Unknown, perhaps a sled running on rollers.  See Sled.


See Doublet.


Dust  The husk of grain, especially of oats, another word for chaff. (E.D.D.). Dust from milling was not wasted, as it could be fed to cattle.

Dutch oven

1. A tall, broad tube, to stand in front of the fire, and open on the fire-ward side, with shelves or a hook from which to suspend a roast; heat was reflected off its inner surfaces onto the food. A common item of kitchen equipment only after 1700:  2. A thick-walled cooking-pot, sometimes with legs, to place over open fire (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).

Dyking spade

See Graving spade.


End irons (Ends, Iron ends)

See Andirons.

End plates

See Andirons


Writing desk, bureau (S.O.E.D., 1983).


Fancy cloth weaver

A weaver of patterned cloth, which required more skill in the weaver.

Fancy maker

Perhaps the same as Fancy cloth weaver.

Fat (Fatt)

Vat; often 'salting fatt', used for salting meat, also 'dying fatt', used for dyeing wool or cloth.

Fee Simple

Absolute title to land, free of any other claims against the title, which one can sell or pass to another by will or inheritance.

Feighing rakes (Feaing rakes)

'Fay, feigh' means to cleanse, polish, clear away (S.O.E.D., 1983).  Found with muck forks in one inventory, these are probably manure rakes, see also Coulrakes.

Fellows (Felloes)

Felloes are the curved pieces of wood which, joined, form the rim of a wheel (S.O.E.D., 1983).


Felloes are the curved pieces of wood which, joined, form the rim of a wheel (S.O.E.D., 1983).


As in 'in fest that this is my last will and testatment': obsolete form of ‘fast’, from O.E. faestan, of which one meaning is ‘to confirm (a covenant); to pledge (faith etc.)’ Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

Finched (Fincht)

Of cattle; streaked with white along the back (S.O.E.D., 1933).


In the context of copyhold tenancy, the entrance fine is the payment, usually set at a year's rent, made by a new tenant.

Fire iron

An iron or steel for striking a light (O.E.D., 1933).  But 'fire irons' may also simply refer to all the ironware around the fire e.g. racks, spits etc.

Fire pot (poit, pote)

A poker (E.D.D.).

Fire potter

A poker. Another version of Fire pot. E.D.D. makes it clear that this is a West Riding usage.


Term often found in phrase 'fire irons and fixtures', hence part of the fire-grate and surrounding fixed apparatus.


Flacket  Either i) a flask or bottle: now, a barrel-shaped vessel for holding liquor (S.O.E.D., 1983) or ii) variant spelling of Flaskett.


An instrument consisting of a long staff of wood joined by a leather thong to a shorter piece of wood, used for threshing corn (O.E.D., 1933).


Open woollen fabric of loose texture, usually without nap (Bristow, 2001).

Flaskett (Flasket)

This may have been a long shallow basket with a handle at each end. However a particularly northern usage, after the seventeenth century, was to mean a shallow tub often used to wet weft bobbins in or for sizing warps (E.D.D.).


Variant spelling of Flesh, meaning meat.


See Fleike.

Flearing spade (Fleeing spade)

Appearing in a few Marsden inventories, this may have been the same as a Calder Valley 'flaights spade', used to remove the surface slice of peat (Crump, 1949, p.49).

Fleike (Fleak)

A frame or rack for storing provisions (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Flesh (Flasse)



There appear to have been two distinct meanings of flocks. 1) Coarse tufts and pieces of wool from the fleece, often used for stuffing beds and mattresses. 2) Waste woollen fibres produced by the following processes i) Fulling or milling cloth produced a quantity of waste wool, which was known as mill flocks, ii) Raising the nap of the cloth with teazle combs caused wool to be caught in the teazles, this was cleaned out so that they could be re-used. This waste wool was known as preemings  iii) Wool clippings produced in the process of cropping cloth, which were called shear flocks. All these types of flocks were used to increase the volume and sometimes to improve the quality of some types of woollen cloth (Crump, 1931, pp.15-16; O.E.D; Smail, 2002, p.xviii).

Flour (Flower, Flowr)

Whereas 'meal' in South Pennine inventories is likely to be oatmeal, the less common 'flour' may be wheat flour.

Fold (Foldstead)

A pen or enclosure for domestic animals (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Form (Farme)

A long seat without a back, a bench (O.E.D., 1933).


One who casts metal, or makes articles of cast metal (S.O.E.D., 1983) e.g. iron founder, brass founder.


In the mistal, ropes or chains round a cow's neck were fastened to a pole: a 'framble' or 'fram'le' is the sliding ring on the pole which enables the cow to move her head up and down (Crump, 1949 p.36). See also Seale.


The widow's right, under the custom of the manor, to a proportion of her deceased husband's copyhold land for the duration of her life (S.O.E.D., 1983; Erickson, 1993, pp.24-25).

Freehold land

Originally land held by a freeman by free tenure. By the seventeenth century freehold land was distinguished from copyhold by the fact that it was held heritably, descending to the heirs either generally or in a specifically defined manner (Walker 1980,  p.479).


Besides its common meaning of moveable articles in a house, furniture could also mean accessories, appliances or appendages in a more general sense (O.E.D., 1933). See also Gear.



See Gavelock.


Pony or small horse, not necessarily from Galloway in Scotland.

Garden stead

A plot of land used as a garden (O.E.D., 1933).


A room on the top floor of a house, wholly or partly within the roof space (O.E.D., 1933).


Girth for horse saddle (Milward, 1986).


Variously i) moveable barrier in opening in wall ii) a way, road or path iii) a grazing right, see Cow gate, Sheep Gate.

Gavelock (Gafflock)

An iron crowbar (E.D.D.).

Gear (s)

Appliances, tackle, tools (S.O.E.D., 1983), for example Husbandry gear, cart gears.  See also Furniture.

Gears (belonging to a looim)

The healds or heddles on a loom (Ponting, 1970), p.154). See Heald.

Gelding (Geldenes)

A castrated horse (O.E.D.,1933).


A young female sheep  (Crump, 1949, p.65).  The S.O.E.D. (1983) states that a gimmer is a ewe between first and second shearings.  However Crump calls this a 'gimmer hog' and says that a ewe between its second and third shearings is a 'gimmer shearling'.  Crump may be better informed about South Pennine usage.


See Spinning Jenny.

Graving spade

Spade with a curved cross-bar handle and a flat, semi-circular blade, used with a Hack to break in rough land (Crump, 1949, pp.41-45).

Greasehorn (Greashorn)

Possibly a cows horn filled with grease, for greasing cart axles etc.  Crump (1949, p.58) mentions a greasehorn as part of a mower's equipment; grease and sand were used to whet the scythe.

Ground sled

Perhaps so-called to distinguish it from a Wheel sled or Drum sled. See also Sled.


An English gold coin, first struck in 1663 with the nominal value of 20s., but from 1717 current as legal tender at the rate of 21s. (S.O.E.D., 1983).



A tool used with a Graving Spade for breaking up the ground; it is a mattock or a pick axe. (Crump, 1949, pp.41-45).

Hackney saddle

A riding saddle, as opposed to a Pack saddle (E.D.D.).

Hair Tems

A fine seive made with hair, perhaps for brewing.

Half hoop

A measuring vessel for corn. In Yorkshire a hoop appears to have been equal to a peck (E.D.D.).

Half-headed bed

A bed with a headboard rising only a little above the pillows. This was in contrast to a bed with a full height headboard that could support a tester allowing the bed to be curtained.


Probably a misspelling or abbreviation of 'hand saw'.

Hand mill

A mill for grinding small quantities of flour or malt by hand.


Unknown: 'Saddle garth and hang' in one Marsden inventory.

Hanged bacon

Bacon hung up to cure, having been salted (O.E.D.).

Hanged beef

Beef hung up to dry and cure (O.E.D, 1933), sometimes in a 'beef loft' in the chimney.  Beef was often salted to preserve it.

Hangers (Hingers)

e.g. 'bed with beding and hingers': perhaps bed hangings, perhaps the fittings from which they would be hung.


Curtains for a bed (O.E.D., 1933).

Harden (Harding)

A coarse cloth made from the refuse or 'hards' of flax or hemp; a type of sack cloth (E.D.D.).

Harrow (Arrow)

A heavy frame of iron or timber set with teeth, which is dragged across land (S.O.E.D., 1983) for various purposes, e.g. breaking up clods, spreading manure.

Hastener (Hastor)

A semi-circular tin screen placed behind meat in roasting before the fire, to keep the cold air off and hasten the cooking by reflective heat (Bristow, 2001).


See Hastener.

Hay mow

A haystack, or a heap of hay in a barn (Milward) or the area holding it in the barn (Crump, 1949, p.38 ).  

Hay mow

A load or stack of hay, or the part of the barn where it was kept (Crump,  1949, p.36, Kellett 1994).

Heald (Held, Yeld)

The warp threads on a loom were threaded through the heald so they could be raised and create a shed through which the shuttle could be passed during the operation of weaving. They were made of cord, and latterly of wire, with a ring in the middle through which the weft end was passed. They were fixed both at the top and the bottom to pieces of wood known as staves and these in turn were attached to the mechanism which raised and lowered them. An alternative name for a heald is a heddle (Ponting, 1970, p.154)..


A small block of iron which was heated up and then placed in a box iron to enable it to press clothes, or perhaps woollen cloth (O.E.D., 1933).


Rack or railings e.g. to hold fodder; loose board placed at back of cart; contrivance by which yarn or thread is guided to a reel, in spinning or warping (S.O.E.D., 1983). A 'briar heck', listed with a clock in a Marsden inventory, might be a pipe rack.


In the Pennines, a hedge might be a 'stone hedge', i.e. a dry stone wall.


A young cow which has not yet had a calf (O.E.D., 1933).


A feudal service, later a render of the best live beast or dead chattel of a deceased tenant, due by legal custom to the lord of the manor. In Marsden, it appears that the jury might instead set a cash payment.

Hewen chair

Perhaps a chair made by hewing with a side axe or adze and finished with a draw knife as opposed to being made with wood turned on a lathe or with the aid of saws and planes (Bebb, 2007, p. 68).


See Hangers.

Hit churn

Possibly a dash churn (See Deshon).

Hog (Hogg)

Pig kept for slaughter (O.E.D., 1933); also, commonly in Marsden, a sheep between first and second shearing (Crump, 1949, p.65), although S.O.E.D., 1983) states a hog is a young sheep that has not yet been shorn: Crump is probably more accurate about South Pennine usage.  The inventory value of a pig was much higher (10s or more) than that of a sheep and should help distinguish which was meant.

Holy Day coat

Probably what, in the first half of the 20th century, was called 'Sunday best' clothing.


A vessel which contained a hoop of goods. A hoop was a measure of capacity which varied in different parts of the country but which in Yorkshire contained a peck, or two gallons dry measure (E.D.D.).

Hop sieve

A sieve used in brewing.

Hop tems

Hop tems  A sieve (tems)used in brewing: see Tems.


An inverted cone through which grain passes into a mill (S.O.E.D., 1983), for example in the phrase 'malt mill and hopper'.


An article of clothing for the leg, sometimes also covering the foot: occasionally meaning breeches or drawers, as in 'doublet and hose': modern use of term is for stockings (S.O.E.D., 1983). 


A device for measuring time, consisting of a glass vessel with conical ends connected by a constricted neck, through which a quantity of sand runs in exactly an hour (O.E.D.,1933).


The main living room, perhaps a short form of Housebody (E.D.D.). In Marsden probate documents 'house' is the usual term.


The main living room of a house (E.D.D.).


In some parts of the country, a husbandman was a small farmer; in Marsden, where all farming was on a very small scale, the word may denote a farmer who held his land leasehold.

Husbandry gear

Tools used in the course of a man’s occupation. Hence they could be associated with agriculture, trade or industry (O.E.D. (1933). In Marsden, they can often be assumed to be farming tools.

Hustlement (Husslement, Husselment)

Odds and end, lumber (E.D.D.)


Impeachment of Waste

A term meaning that a person, who is in possession of property only as a tenant or life tenant, is restrained from 'waste' [wast], that is abuse, destruction or permanent change to that property.


The state of not having made a will; a person who has not made a will (S.O.E.D. 1983).

Iron Ends

See Andirons.



1. A device for turning a spit when roasting meat over or in front of a fire (O.E.D., 1933). 2. Any labour-saving device (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Jenny (Jinney, Ginney)

See Spinning Jenny.


Annuity paid to a widow from land bought with her 'portion' on entering marriage; this had to be arranged in a pre-marital agreement (Erickson, 1993, p.25).


The Latin word for having been sworn. 'Jurat' was often written by the side of the names of witnesses to a will, and is also to be found written above a name within the text of a will. It indicates that the person concerned had sworn that the will was indeed the last will of the deceased, or had been sworn in as an executor.



A furnace or oven for burning, baking or drying (S.O.E.D., 1983) A kiln could used for drying grain (e.g. oats, which are difficult to grind until they have been dried to make the husk brittle (Crump, 1949, p.71; Fenton, 1976, pp.95-99), for brewing (Bristow, 2001) and also by clothiers for drying cloth.

Kine (Kyne)

Cattle (E.D.D.)


A chest, box or coffer (S.O.E.D., 1983).


The early kitchen might be used for washing, brewing and dairying, but cooking took place at the fireplace in the House (Housebody) which often contained the only hearth in the dwelling.


A wooden vessel, often used for milk and like a half barrel with one stave protruding to act as a handle (E.D.D.).

Knead kitt (Kneiding kit, Needkit)

A tub used for mixing the batter for oat-cake (E.D.D.). It might also be used to knead salt into butter for better keeping (Bristow, 2001).



In many cases this was not the ordinary ladder used to ascend or descend from a height but a ladder which was fixed on to the body of a cart (or sled) to increase its carrying capacity. The context will often help to determine the type of ladder in question (Jenkins, 1961, pp.103-104).

Laithe (Laith)

A barn (O.E.D. 1933).

Lang sackle

Perhaps a misspelling of Langsaddle or Langsettle.


Depending on context, could be a Langsettle, or perhaps (for example when listed after a pillion) a long saddle which could carry a pillion.


Depending on context, could be a Langsettle, or perhaps (for example when listed after pillion) a long saddle which could carry a pillion.


See Longsettle.

Lanthorn (Lanthron)

A lantern (O.E.D., 1933).


A vessel for dyeing. Originally a lead was a vessel made from lead but quite early on it came to mean any large vessel, so we find in the fourteenth century ‘a lead of brass’. It is from this more general sense of a large vessel that the northern usage of lead to mean a dyeing vat derives, for, of course a dye vat actually made of lead would have melted (O.E.D., 1933).

Leighing rake

Since a 'laisin' or 'lazin' or 'layings' were the name for an armful of hay, corn etc in the Upper Calder Valley, it is possible that a leighing rake is a hay-rake.  Crump (1949, p.59) describes how the rake, reversed, is run down a windrow of hay until a good armful of hay can be lifted with rake and hand; five or six such 'laisins' make a burden, tied with a hay-rope and carried.

Line wheel (Line weel)

A wheel for spinning linen. Line was a form of the word linen (E.D.D.).

Livery cupboard

A cupboard used for storing food and drink. It is likely that usage defined the term livery, although there is the suggestion that by the seventeenth century livery cupboards were quite ornamental. (Chinnery, 1979, pp.319-322).

Load saddle

See Pack saddle (O.E.D., 1933).

Longsettle (Langsettle, Longsaddle, Langsaddle)

A long bench with arms and a back (Chinnery, 1979, p.235).


A single loom is invariably referred to as 'looms' or 'a pair of looms'.  This is because 'looms' formerly described the two beams (rollers) of a loom i.e. the warp beam and the cloth beam.



Clothes horse; might also be used to dry oatcakes, as in 'baking board and wood maiden'.


Variant spelling of Meal.

Mainor (Mainer, Meanor)



Grain in which germination has been initiated by steeping in water. Germination is then arrested by heating in a kiln. Malt is the main ingredient in beer (Encyclopædia Britannica, under Malt).

Malt mill (Malt miln)

Malted barley needs to be milled or crushed to break apart the kernels and expose the cotyledon, which contains the majority of the carbohydrates and sugars; this makes it easier to extract the sugars during mashing.  Mills for this task might be small and kept in the home for home brewing of ale.


Either a mantle (overcoat) or possibly a 'mantua' - a woman's close-fitting gown, which emerged in the early 18th century.


In the West Riding cloth industry, alternative term for Clothier, especially for one working on a larger scale; in the nineteenth century, one who employed others to carry out all or most of the manufacturing processes in mills.


A female horse (O.E.D., 1933).


An agricultural tool, used to break up land. It consists of a long shaft on which is mounted a metal head rather similar to an adze (O.E.D., 1933).

Maul (Mall)

Heavy hammer or mallet (S.O.E.D., 1983).


This would usually be oatmeal in South Pennine inventories: 'oatmeal' appears in many of the Marsden inventories, and 'wheat meal' in just one.


A dwelling house with outbuildings and curtilage, and any adjacent land assigned to its use (Jowitt).

Middle wool

Probably middle quality wool, as appears in inventories next to 'best wool'.

Mil rake

Probably contraction of 'mistal rake' i.e. a manure rake used in the mistal.

Milch cow (Milk cow)

A cow currently in (giving) milk.

Milk cellar

Clearly a place to store milk, it appears in some inventories as moveable property: perhaps simply a container which could be filled with or placed in water to keep milk cool.


Like Milk cellar, this features as moveable property in inventories: perhaps it was a cupboard, like the 'milk ambry' found in one inventory, to keep milk in, or possibly it was a portable milking-shed to take to distant fields.

Mill pick

A hammer with two chisel heads, used for deepening the grooves of the millstones (Bristow, 2001).


Can sometimes mean the milling of cloth, i.e. shrinking and felting it by rolling or beating in water: another term for this is 'fulling'.






Cow-house (Kellett, 1994) usually part of the barn in the South Pennines.  Crump (1949, p.36) suggests that it is named from mis-stall, i.e. muck-stall.


Blinkers to prevent horse from seeing sideways (Kellett, 1994).

Moor fuel

Fuel taken from the moor i.e. peat, and perhaps other vegetation as kindling.


Customary payment to the incumbent of a parish from the estate of a deceased parishioner (S.O.E.D., 1983)

Moss crook


Mould rake

Mould is broken soil, so this might be a garden rake.

Moulter (Mouter)

Toll of grain or flour, paid to the corn miller by the person taking corn to be ground (Bristow, 2001).

Moulter (Mouter) dish

Round concave wooden dish about seven inches in diameter (Bristow, 2001), presumably used for measuring the Moulter.


A load or stack of hay, or the part of the barn where it was kept (Crump,  1949, p.36, Kellett 1994). As Hay Mow.



Muck drag

A fork used as a rake for manure: it has two or three prongs fixed at the right angles to the handle, for pulling manure out of a cart. (O.E.D.)

Muck fork

Fork with crooked prongs for spreading manure (Milward, 1986).


The offspring of a male donkey and a mare.

Mustard ball

Heavy lead ball, used to grind mustard-seed to make mustard (Bristow, 2001).


Nar (Narr)

Northern dialect forms of 'near'.

Narrow Loom

Loom of an appropriate width to be worked by one man, throwing the shuttle from one hand to the other (before invention of flying shuttle); the term is rarely used unless to distinguish from a broad loom in the same inventory.  See also Broad Loom.

Natural child

Child born out of wedlock.

Nest of drawers

A set or series of drawers contained within a case or nest.  In the 17th to 18th centuries it was usually a case of small drawers, but during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the term came to be applied to a group of drawers on a writing desk or dressing table (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).

Night chair

Commode (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Nose crook (Nos crook)

Probably a crook with a round, 'nose'-shaped end.

Nuncupative will

A will made orally to witnesses, who then testify as to the deceased's words concerning the disposal of his estate: legal until 1837.


Out pasture (Outpasture)

Area of unimproved moorland grazing, as distinct from in pasture, which was enclosed and improved.


Outbuilding or one-storey annexe, adjoining a house (Milward, 1986).


Bull, castrated to make it docile and fit for farm service e.g. for pulling ploughs (Bristow, 2001).


Plural of Oxe.


Pack cloth

A stout coarse cloth used to wrap round loads being carried on a pack horse (O.E.D. 1933).

Pack saddle

A saddle designed to carry a load on a pack-horse (O.E.D., 1933).

Pack sheet

A sheet of material for covering and protecting a load or 'pack' (O.E.D., 1933).

Pair of looms

This means one loom, looms being the former word for the two beams, the warp and cloth beams.

Pan metal (Panmetal)

Unknown, Possibly the same as Pott mettle, i.e. an alloy of lead and copper from which pots were cast (O.E.D., 1933), although pans might perhaps have been made out of beaten sheets of metal.

Parlour (Parler, Parlor)

A room, more private than the hall or housebody and set apart from it. In Marsden, furnishing would vary, some having tables and chests, and some also having beds


An overshoe consisting of a wooden sole mounted on an iron ringed sole, which lifts the foot out of the mud (S.O.E.D, 1983).


Peas, probably dried when listed with other food stores e.g. 'in malt wheat & pease'.

Peat (Peate)

Used extensively for fuel in the South Pennines, peat was cut on the moors in the spring. The peats were then dried on the moor before being brought in and stacked in the peat cote or peat house. (Brears, 1987, pp.42-43 and p.68; Crump, 1949, pp.45 and 48).


A vessel having a capacity of one peck which is two gallons, dry measure (O.E.D., 1933).


A washing dolly, i.e. a small four-legged stool with a long handle used to agitate washing in a tub (Kellett, 1994).


A fortieth of a rood, which is itself a quarter of an acre.

Personal estate

That part of a person's estate not consisting of land and buildings; comprises portable goods, money, credits etc.

Pewter (Pewther)

An alloy of tin and lead, and sometimes other metals (S.O.E.D., 1983), used for domestic vessels.


Piece of cloth ready either to be finished or ready for sale (E.D.D.).

Piece in the loom

Cloth still being woven.

Piggin (Piggon)

A small wooden pail, with one stave higher than the rest forming a handle (E.D.D.).

Pillion seat

A seat attached to an ordinary saddle so that a second person could ride the horse (O.E.D. ,1933).


Small enclosure where straying animals were impounded until their owners had been prosecuted and paid a fine.


When mentioned as a category of goods in wills, denotes domestic utensils made of metal, not necessarily of gold or silver (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Plate back

As in 'dresser and plate back', probably the shelves holding plates above a dresser.


When listed together with range, oven etc, these could be hot-plates; or they might be end-plates to regulate the size of the grate - see Andiron.

Portion (of child)

In wills, refers to the share of parental wealth passed to a son or daughter, either at the parent's death, or earlier as a start in life.

Pott mettle

An alloy of lead and copper from which pots were cast (O.E.D., 1933).


See Press (Praiser, Presse).

Press (Praiser, Presse)

A cupboard, especially one for clothes (O.E.D., 1933).

Press (Presse)

A device in which cloth was pressed. Pressing cloth was an important part of the process of finishing woollen cloth, improving both its appearance and texture. The cloth was cuttled (carefully folded in short lengths, from one side to the other, thus forming a pile). Thick pieces of paper were then placed between each fold and pressure was applied. This was done either by tightening a screw or by pulling a lever which actuated a cam. These two different types of press were known respectively as a screw press and a stang press. Pressing was done first in a hot press where the cloth was pressed for a couple of hours before the cloth was turned and pressed again for the same length of time. The hot press had a small fire under it and heated metal plates were placed between each piece of cloth. Hot pressing imparted a smooth finish to the cloth. This finish was made more permanent by the process of cold pressing which ‘set’ the smooth finish achieved by the hot press, making it more durable. Cold pressing was a much longer process than hot pressing and cloth typically might remain in the cold press for twelve hours. (Jenkins,1969, p.87; also information obtained in person from the National Woollen Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, Cardiganshire, Wales).

Press bed

Either a free-standing bed fully enclosed with wood and curtains: or a folding bed made to pack into a concealing press or cupboard (A to Z Glossary of Antique Terms).

Prig (Prigge)

A little metal pan (E.D.D.).

Promissory note

A signed document containing a written promise to pay a stated sum to a particular person (or the bearer), either at a date specified, or on demand. (S.O.E.D., 1983).


Food, especially corn, hay or other dry cattle food (E.D.D.).


See Salt pye.


Quishion (Quishon)

Cushions (E.D.D.).



This word often occurs in connection with spits by the fire. In this context racks are the pair of iron supports with bars on, placed at either side of the fire, on which the spit was placed (O.E.D., 1933).




In early inventories, the word for a fireplace, with or without a hob-grate; in later inventories, listed with oven and/or boiler, it means an iron hob-grate; only in the later nineteenth century does it mean an entire cast iron range.


In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a slender, sharply pointed sword designed for thrusting attacks.

Real Estate

That part of a person's estate which consists of lands and buildings.

Reckon (Recon, Recontree)

Exact interpretations of this word differ, but it clearly refers to arrangements for suspending pots over a fireplace. Kellett (1994) states that a reckan is an iron bar attached to a beam across the fireplace, drilled with holes to take hooks for hanging kettles etc., and is sometimes a kind of crane (which allowed a cooking pot to be swung over the fire).


See Reckon.


A coarse sieve, usually formed of wire mesh in a circular wooden frame, often used for separating corn from chaff (O.E.D., 1933). See also Chaving riddle.


A quarter of an acre.

Rugg (Rugge)

A piece of coarse woollen cloth which could be used as a bed or table covering (O.E.D., 1933).



A ventilated chest or cupboard for the storage of food (O.E.D., 1933).


A salt is a salt cellar.

Salt pye

A box in which to keep salt (E.D.D.). These were often hung on the wall near the fireplace, to keep the salt dry.


A dealer in salt or a drysalter i.e. a dealer in dyes and other chemicals, such as alum, used in the textile industry (O.E.D., 1933).

Salting fat (fatt, vatt)

A vat for salting meat or butter to preserve them. See Fat.

Saplin tree

Sapling, young tree.

Saws tin

Probably a saucepan.

Schimming dish

See Skimming dish.


Listed with other fire-side goods in a 1795 inventory, this is probably a coal-scuttle.

Scrog (Scrogg)

Shrubs, bushes and underwood growing together: the land where they grow; little wood (E.D.D.).


As in 'one rapier, & one scucher & a brasse pistol': to 'scutch' is to strike, especially with a thin stick or whip (Kellett, 1994), so in context this could be a stick used for fighting.  Alternatively, it might be a shield or buckler for use with the rapier (scutcheon is a variant of escutcheon, one meaning of which is 'shield with heraldic bearings' (S.O.E.D., 1983).


A fire shovel (E.D.D.).


An implement for mowing grass or other crops, having a long thin curving blade fastened at an angle with the handle and wielded with both hands with a long sweeping stroke (S.O.E.D., 1983). Scythes were used to cut oats.

Seale (Soule, Soole)

The ropes or chains round a cow's neck, used in the mistal, fastened to a pole; a 'sealing place' is a cow-stall (Crump, 1949,  p.36). See also Frammold.


See Serge.

Seeing glass

A looking glass (O.E.D., 1933).

Seild bed

See Ceild bed.

Serge (Searge)

A very durable twilled cloth, either all worsted, or with worsted warp and woollen weft, used mainly for clothing (Bristow, 2001).

Set (Sit)

In examples like 'breadiron and set' or 'tea-tongs and sit', the set or sit is probably a stand or framework where the articles are hung and replaced after use

Set pot

Large metal utensil for boiling water, fixed in a stone or brick framework, under which a fire could be lit (Kellett, 1994, pp.163-4 with illustration).


A sheep between its second and third clippings (Crump, 1949, p.65).  S.O.E.D., 1983) differs, saying it is a sheep that has been shorn once; Crump, basing his writing on the Upper Calder valley, is probably more accurate about South Pennine nomenclature.

Sheep gate

Right of pasture on the common for one animal (Bristow, 2001), in this case one sheep.  In Marsden the sheep gates were on different moorland pastures from cow, cattle or beast gates.  See also Cow Gate


A work shop (O.E.D, 1933).  In some later Marsden inventories of shopkeepers, a retail shop.


Knee-breeches or small-clothes (S.O.E.D., 1983), for example, '3 shorts' in an eighteenth century list of a man's clothing.

Shrog (Shrogg)

'Shrubs, bushes and underwood growing together', or a little wood (E.D.D.)


Agricultural implement with a handle set an an angle to a short curved blade, used to cut corn.


Strainer or sieve, especially one for milk (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Sirke (Stirke, Sturk)

The O.E.D. (1933) defines a stirk as ‘a young bullock or heifer, usually between one and two years old’ but Collier (1775) more specifically has it as ‘a heifer of a year old’. 


Variant spelling of 'cistern'.


See Set.

Skep (Skip, Skipe)

A hamper or basket (Haigh, 1928).


A shallow utensil, usually perforated, employed in skimming liquids (O.E.D., 1933).

Skimming dish (Schimming dish)

A dish used for skimming with, especially one used in skimming milk or in cheese-making (S.O.E.D. 1983).


Hide of an animal; the inventory of a Marsden badger included '17 skins' of low value.


See Sley.


A wooden frame with or without runners that could be dragged along the ground. Much used in the past, being well suited to the steep hillsides in upland areas. Sleds continued to be used on farms in the upper Calder valley into the twentieth century (Crump, 1949, pp.58-60).

Sled gaps (Sledgaps)

A route for sleds, probably through a gap left between fields as a lane for this purpose.  Sleds were used, among other purposes, to fetch peat from the moors.


Possibly another word for sled, although in some South Pennine inventories, 'sleges' and sleighs are listed in the same inventory as sleds, so it is clear that for those apprisers at least, there was a clear distinction between these three types of vehicle.

Sley (Slay)

The part of the loom, also known as the reed, which was used to beat up the cloth. The slay or sley ran across the width of the loom, all the warp threads ran through it and it was moved backwards and forwards to compact the weft and make a tight weave (O.E.D., 1933); Yates, 1947, p.88).

Slipper, wagon

See Wagon slipper.

Slumbering chair

Possibly a chaise longue.


Possibly, in the context of a shopkeeper's will, this is a variant spelling of 'smelt' - a small salt-water fish, eaten in Victorian times.

Snap table

Table with top which folds down over the supporting pillar.


Possibly a variant spelling of Soule, a shovel. It is also a variant spelling of Seale, the rope which fastened the cow's neck to a pole in the stall (Crump, 1949,  p.36).


A shovel (O.E.D., 1933).  Also a variant spelling of Seale.


See Baking Speld

Spenged (Spanged)

Spenged cattle are pied in colour, especially red and white (Kellett, 1994).

Spig poles

Unknown: listed in Marsden inventory together with horse harness, gate staves etc.

Spinning jenny (jinny, ginney)

Patented by James Hargreaves in 1770, it was a multi-spindle frame, worked by hand, for spinning, and far more productive than the spinning wheel.

Spit (Spitt)

A thin iron bar on which meat was roasted in front of the fire (O.E.D., 1933).

Spittle (Baking spittle)

A smooth wooden board with a handle and a metal edge, used to transfer thrown oatcakes from the backbread to the bakestone (Brears, 1987, p.67).

Spool wheel

A type of spinning wheel used to wind yarn onto a bobbin (O.E.D., 1933), see also Bobbin wheel.


Wooden settle or couch, usually with upholstered seat (Milward, 1986); thick or soft cushion, especially one serving to cover the seat of a chair or sofa' (S.O.E.D., 1983).


A coarse woollen cloth or linsey-woolsey, usually died red: a stammel is an undergarment of this, worn by ascetics (S.O.E.D.) It was used for making breeches, petticoats and gowns in the seventeenth century. coarse woollen cloth or linsey-woolsey, usually died red: a stammel is an undergarment of this, worn by ascetics (S.O.E.D.) It was used for making breeches, petticoats and gowns in the seventeenth century (Montgomery, 1985).

Stand bed

A bed with posts (Bristow, 2001).


Pole or stake (S.O.E.D., 1983).


Pole or stake (S.O.E.D., 1983).


Young bull, usually castrated.

Steward of the Manor

The steward of the manor was employed by the Lord of the manor to oversee his business. He attended court, but the jury, composed of copyholders, made decisions.

Stirk (Stirke, Sturk)

The O.E.D. (1933) defines it as ‘a young bullock or heifer, usually between one and two years old’ but Collier (1775) more specifically has it as ‘a heifer of a year old’.

Stirpes, per

This is a legal term; stirps (singular) means a branch of the family, or the person who with his descendants forms a branch of the family (S.O.E.D., 1983). Thus inheritance per stirpes means per branch of the family.


A measure of fourteen pounds in weight (O.E.D.,1933).

Stone map

Probably a mop for mopping a stone floor: 'map' is a variant spelling of 'mop' as in John Houghton's Husbandry and Trade Improv'd, cited by Cox and Dannehl (2007).

Stove grate

A cast-iron fire grate in a  parlour or upstairs room (Eveleigh, 1983).

Straw, surrender with

When a copyhold tenant wished to convey his land to someone else he had to surrender it to the lord of the manor before the new tenant could be admitted to the land. In some manors, such as the Manor of Marsden, and the Manor of Wakefield, this surrender involved the use of a straw to symbolise the land, hence the phrase sometimes encountered in the documents, ‘surrendered and given up with a straw’ (O'Regan, 1994, p.36).

Strike (Stroke, Stryke)

A measure of oats equal to two bushels in the West Riding, although it could vary from half a bushel to four bushels in other districts (E.D.D.).

Strufre measure

A 'strough' is a trough (Milward, 1986), so this could this be a utensil for measuring animal feed into troughs.


A woollen fabric (S.O.E.D.): a coarse fabric, more especially of worsted,  see Wilmott, Elvira (1989) Occupations in Eighteenth Century Bradford, The Bradford Antiquary, (the journal of the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society), 3rd series, Vol 4, pp 67-77


A weaver of Stuff, a woollen fabric

Suddler (Suddle, Sudler)

This item is usually found in association with tubs, so it may be a utensil to create suds and agitate clothes in them.

Sugar nippers

An implement for cutting loaf sugar into lumps; or a pair of sugar tongs (Cox and Dannehl, 2007).

Sun parlour (Sun chamber, Sun aisle, Sun gallery)

Room or part of a building facing south and receiving the most sun.

Surcingle (Swisingle)

A large girth or strap, passing over a sheet, pack etc. and keeping it in place on the horse's back (O.E.D., 1933, Cox and Dannehl, 2007).


The process of a copyhold tenant yielding up his land to the Lord of the Manor, before a new tenant was admitted to the land.  This was necessary even if the land was bequeathed, given or sold by the original tenant to the new tenant.

Swinging sleigh

Perhaps a sley, suspended so that it could swing back and forth to compact the weft.  See Sley.

Swingle tree

A crossbar pivoted in the centre, to the ends of which traces were fastened when using beasts of burden to pull a harrow, plough or other agricultural implement (O.E.D., 1933).


Possibly, variant spelling of Surcingle.



A strong lightweight worsted cloth. It was of plain weave and often coloured. In the eighteenth century Tammies were made with a worsted weft and a cotton warp. (Montgomery, 1985, p.360; Ponting, 1970, p.164).

Tems (Temse)

A fine hair sieve often used for sifting flour (E.D.D.).

Tenter (Tentor, Teantor)

A long wooden frame of posts and horizontal beams on which cloth was stretched and dried after it had been fulled. The cloth was attached to the frame by means of small iron tenter hooks, and the lower horizontal  bar, which was adjustable, was moved down over a period of time in order to stretch the cloth which had shrunk during the fulling process (Heaton, 1965, pp.97 and 343-344; Jenkins, 1961, p.87).


Possibly the lower, adjustable bar of the tenter.


Person who has made a last will and testament.


Division of a person's 'moveable' goods. Up to the early eighteenth century, ecclesiastical law decreed how men could leave their goods, the widow and the children each being entitled to a third (Erickson, 1993).

Tithe (Tythe)

Originally, tithes were payments in kind (crops, wool, milk etc.) comprising an agreed proportion of the yearly profits from farming, and made by parishioners for the support of their parish church and its clergy. It was common, but by no means universal, for the great tithes (usually corn, grain, hay and wood) to be payable to the rector and the small tithes (the rest) to the vicar of the parish.  During the dissolution of the monasteries, much church land - and in many cases also the accompanying rectorial tithes - passed into the hands of lay impropriators.  From early times money payments began to be substituted for payments in kind. After the Tithe Act of 1836, all tithes were commuted to money payments. (The National Archives, The History of Tithes,

Tongs (Tongues)

Fire tongs for handling peat or coal.


Variant spelling of 'tool'.


A pair of chains, leather straps or ropes used to link the collar of a draught animal with the Swingle tree, thus enabling it to draw an implement (O.E.D., 1933).

Treacle (Tracle)

Commonly used as a sweetener, e.g. for porridge, treacle might be kept in a treacle mug or can, and placed near the fire where it would keep warm and fluid (Brears, 1987, p.76).


A large dish of wood (E.D.D.). It might be square in shape.


A bench, stool or Trestle (E.D.D.).


Randell Holme said of stools ‘if these be made long, then they are termed, either a Bench, a Forme, or a Tressell’.  Equally he also wrote that ‘The Table or Tressell, is a thick plank set on four short strong feet.  It is therefore difficult to determine, unless the context makes it clear, whether a trestle was a table, the support for a table or a form. (Alcock and Cox, 2000, Book III, Chapters 14 and 20; Chinnery, 1979, pp.283-287).

Tridder bed

Probably a Truckle bed.


A northern word for Trestle (E.D.D.).

Truckle bed

A low bed running on small wheels or castors, usually pushed beneath a higher bed when not in use.




A northern word for Trestle (E.D.D.).


Wooden dish or shallow vessel with tube at bottom, forming a funnel: any funnel (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Tunnel (Tunil, Tunnil)

Often 'tin tunnel' in Marsden inventories.  Possibly a funnel  (see Tundish):  perhaps sometimes a Turnell.

Turf (Turfs)

Peat cut and dried for fuel: peat cut from the surface, containing roots (Kellett, 1994) - one term for the latter being 'flaights' or 'flaughts' (Crump, 1949, p.48).

Turf cote

Small shed for storing turf or peat.

Turn chair

Possibly a chair with turned legs, as opposed to a Hewen chair.

Turn up bed

Probably a bed which folded up against the wall or into a cupboard when not in use.

Turn up board

Probably a board used as table or shelf which folded up against the wall when not in use.


A large oval tub, especially one used for salting meal, kneading bread or putting under a cheese press (Bristow, 2001).

Turnpike road

A road on which turnpikes (barriers or toll-gates) were erected for the collection of tolls on passing vehicles and animals, which paid for the building and maintenance of the road (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Twining mill

Found in several late eighteenth century Marsden inventories, this is possibly a machine for twisting together strands of yarn.


Vitiller dish

Probably a dish for victuals (food): 'vittels', 'vittles', are older forms of 'victuals' (S.O.E.D., 1983).


A large open basket such as a clothes basket (E.D.D.).


Wagon slipper

A  slipper is a form of skid used to retard the speed of a vehicle (in this case, a wagon) in descending a hill (S.O.E.D., 1983).


Wanty (Wanto)

A rope or band to fasten a pack (Bristow, 2001).

Warming pan

A long-handled covered pan of metal (usually of brass) to contain live coals, etc., and used for warming beds (S,O.E.D. 1983).


The threads which run from the front to the back on the loom and which therefore run lengthwise down a piece of cloth. Warps were packaged ready for the loom on a warping frame or Warping wough (O.E.D.,1933).


The preparation of a warp for weaving (O.E.D.,1933).

Warping wough (woaf, ough)

A warping frame, used to lay out the warp threads for sizing and package them ready to be put on to the loom. Woofe or woagh was a dialect word for a wall (Collier, 1775, Glossary), and warping was often, and perhaps originally, carried out in the open air using a field wall. An alternative, perhaps later, way of warping was to set up a wooden frame up on an internal wall of a house and it appears that the old name of warping woagh continued to be applied to the indoor warping frame. The latter consisted of vertical pieces of wood attached to a wall, with holes bored at intervals into which pins (also known as broaches and perhaps rings) could be inserted and their positions varied to suit the size of cloth being produced; the yarn was wound round the pins and then wound on to the beam of the loom. (Davies, Petford and Senior, 2011, pp.63-65; Wrigley, 1912, pp.122-123 and 133).



Weather glass (Wether glass)

Barometer (Kellett, 1994).


A person with the occupation of 'weaver' wove cloth for wages, but did not own the materials or the finished cloth.

Web (Webb)

A warp (O.E.D., 1933).



Weigh baulk (Wey boke)

A pair of weighing scales (E.D.D.); the beam of such a set of scales (S.O.E.D., 1983).

Weighs (Weys)

Pair of scales, a balance (S.O.E.D., 1983).


Welsh, e.g. 'Welsh galloway'.


Male sheep, usually castrated.


See Weighs.


When listed with other textile equipment, this is probably a hand-operated Spinning Wheel. If the term is 'wheels', one of the wheels might be a Bobbin Wheel, used to wind bobbins of yarn for weaving.

Wheel sled (Weel sled)

Found in Marsden inventories; possibly a sled with wheels, or trolley.

Whitening tub

Listed in a 1794 Marsden inventory alongside dairy equipment, this could be tub for skimming off cream (thus whitening the milk), or a whitewash tub.

Why (Whye, Wye)

A heifer, i.e. a young cow  that has not yet had a calf (E.D.D. under Quey; O.E.D., 1933).

Width edge

In Marsden inventory of a stone mason: tool, perhaps a rule, or a tool with an edge like a chisel.


Found  in 1794 inventory of Marsden clothier as 'willow and brush', in the barn. Possibly this could be a tool for willeying, i.e. preparing raw wool by shaking out dirt and loosening fibres before scouring (Kellett, 1994). It is less likely to be a 'willey', a revolving machine of a conical or cylindrical shape armed internally with spikes for opening and cleaning wool, cotton or flax (S.O.E.D, 1983), although the first willowing machines appeared at the end of the 18th century.


An auger or gimlet (O.E.D., 1933).

Winterhedge (Winter edge)

A clothes-horse (Haigh, 1928, p.150). The term is still used in the Halifax district.

Wossing real

Found in the 1767 inventory of a Marsden gentleman, in the chamber; probably an apparatus used to hang washing.

Wough (Ough, Woaf)

See Warping wough.

Writing desk

Note that a desk or writing desk could be the historic equivalent of a lap-top computer: a box, perhaps with a sloped writing surface and space to contain letters and writing materials, used on lap or table.


Yarn (Yearne)

Textile fibre after it has been spun (O.E.D., 1933).


See Heald.


Specifically, a freeholder under the rank of gentleman; but a term generally applied to any respectable commoner or countryman, especially one who cultivated his own land (O.E.D., 1933). In Marsden, the term was certainly applied to copyholders.

Yoke of oxen

A pair of oxen, which could be yoked together to a plough.