Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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A well known culinary vegetable; a cultivated variety of Brassica oleracea, the unexpanded leaves of which form a globular heart or head. Originally, a cabbage was the head thus formed while the plant was called a 'cabbage cole' or 'COLEWORT'. Now the term is often extended to the whole species or genus, whether they have a heart or not. By the mid eighteenth century, an array of different cabbages was grown, and as one anonymous writer put it: 'There various Kinds of this Plant are endless to describe_' He went on to instruct his readers that the types most commonly cultivated were 'The common White Cabbage, Sugarloaf, Pontefract, Battersea, Red Cabbage, and the green and White Savoy Cabbage' [Anon (1744)].
13 GEO3 C32 shows that the commercial cultivation of cabbages by 1773 was sufficiently important to make it a criminal offence to steal or damage growing crops of this sort. Smith claimed the price had been halved since the 1730s, presumably as a result of commercialized, large-scale growing [Smith (1758, facs. 1994)]. Cabbage was used to make RAGOUT, PUDDING, for example with VEAL and SUET of BEEF, and was stuffed with MEAT or warmed in MILK to make cabbage CREAM that was left to mature before being presented on fashionable dinner tables in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries [Washington (1749-99, 1981 ed.)]. Cabbage was also made and sold as a PICKLE. It is found in this form in newspaper advertisements of the period that also advertise the sale of cabbage SEED, where it was defined as flat sided, green savoy, hellow (probably a misprint for yellow) red, Russia, sugar loaf, turnip, yellow savoy and Yorkshire.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates, Recipes, Tradecards.
References: Anon (1744, 1983 ed.), 13-7, Evelyn (1699, 1996 ed.), 21, Glasse (1747, 1983 ed.), 57, 100, Smith (1758, 1994 ed.), 113, 134, 164, Washington (1749-99, 1981 ed.), 142-3.
Not located in the OED as such, but as chain cable it is defined as the CABLE attached to the ANCHOR but made of CHAIN rather than ROPE. Although not noted in the OED until 1830, it seems to have the same meaning as the term found in the Dictionary Archive.
HEMP rope was used for most of the period for mooring, but it is heavy and awkward to handle, very susceptible to damage by abrasion and from wet rot. The advantage of a metal chain is obvious, even if making CHAIN of a strength to control the weight of a vessel is challenging. Early cable chains had a twist in each link in the mistaken belief that this would afford some flexibility similar to that found in hemp rope. By the early nineteenth century, this had been found unnecessary [Tomlinson (1854)].
Caddy was a variant of CADDIS and of CADDOW; hence entries like 'one ould Bolster stuffed wth fflockes & an ould Caddy' [Inventories (1607)]. It was also apparently a corruption of 'catty', the Maly weight 'kati' equivalent to just over one LB. In Britain a caddy was a small BOX or similar container sometimes with an inner receptacle for holding TEA.
The earliest form of tea caddy had no provision for a spoon being vase-shaped with a narrow top. By the mid-eighteenth century some caddies were made with handles on the side from which a small ladle-shaped spoon could be hung. It was also at about this time that tea caddies evolved into a container with a wider top and special spoons began to be made - a short handled spoon with a slightly elongated bowl, that could fit inside. Although from the evidence of hallmarks it is thought that few silver caddy spoons, made specifically for the purpose, were made before the 1770s, they were common enough by the late 1780s, for them to be included among the SILVERWARE not exempted from stamping [Acts (1790)]. The caddy spoon was made in a variety of shapes, some of the earliest being shell-shaped to mimic the escallop shells that had originally come with the package of tea for measuring. Other spoons were shaped and engraved with the design of tea leaves. They might have holes in the bowl and be used as a tea strainer. Some spoons continued to be made with the handle rising vertically from the bowl like a ladle and the two terms, caddy spoon and caddy ladle, seem to have been interchangeable. While metal, in particular silver, were the most fashionable material for caddy ladles other materials were used; for example, at the china works at Worcester they made in PORCELAIN [Hughes (1951)]; [Delieb (1960)]. The advertisement of one retailer indicates the range on offer listing 'Pierced and Plain Caddy Ladles in Tortoishell, Ivory, Bone & Wood' [Tradecards (1794)].
Cagliari is a town on the coast of Sardinia, in modern times noted for its dried and salted tunny fish eggs. Probably it was this that BURGESS & Sons called Cagliari paste in their promotional literature [Tradecards (18c.)]. The other example in the Dictionary Archive [Tradecards (1800)] is more contentious. Skill's Cagliari was listed after VERMICELLI under the heading MACARONI. Possibly it was the same product as the one stocked by Burgess & Co, and was listed thus by Skill with the other Italian goods he stocked.
Commonly a name given to various gourds or pumpkins the shell of which are used for holding liquids. However, Calabash was included among unrated DRUGS [Acts (1704)] and probably applied to the edible fruit of the sweet calabash, Passiflora maliformis. It was not in the mid-eighteenth century Materia Medica [Pemberton (1746)].
The name was used by English herbalists for the dried or CANDIED rhizomes of the SWEET FLAG, ACORUS calamus, often in former times called the root; hence entries like 'Rad Calom arum' [Inventories (1730)]. This flag is a reed-like plant, otherwise known as sweet sedge, and common along riverbanks in England. It has a sweet, aromatic scent and a bitter taste. It was used in medicine for treating ague and generally for digestive disturbances [Wren (1941)]. Its leaves were used for strewing on the ground before floor mats became common, and as an ingredient of SOAP and WASHBALLs [Recipes (Nott)].
The LEATHER produced by processing CALF SKIN. It was of superior quality and used in BOOK binding, to make GLOVES and for the upper part of a SHOE. Judging by the number of CALF SKINs noted, calf leather must have been common, even if only occasionally recorded.
The term is derived from Calicut, the name of the Indian city on the coast of Malabar (now called Calcutta). Next to Goa, Calicut was the principal outlet for the trade to Europe. It is not clear how the name became corrupted to 'calico'.
Calico was the generic name given to all kinds of COTTON fabrics imported from India and the Far East; by the eighteenth century it was also home produced, sometimes with a LINEN warp. The term covered a wide range of TEXTILES, PLAIN woven and PATTERNED, particularly FLOWERED, with the thinner grades classified as MUSLIN. From the time of its first imports, this popular fabric was seen as a threat to the British LINEN and WOOLLEN manufacture and attracted heavy duties. Listed as a linen, calico found a place in the 1582 Book of Rates, a classification that was long maintained. Samuel Pepys recorded in 1664 a dispute in which the East India Company claimed unsuccessfully that calico was made from COTTON WOOL rather than from FLAX or HEMP, which the Company argued should be exempt from the heavy duties incurred by linens [Diaries (Pepys)]. It is a good example of the difficulties experienced by both trading communities and governments in accommodating new commodities.
The arrival of eastern cottons provoked great interest in England. As early as 1563, a Coventry mercer had some calico in his shop [Inventories (1563)], by the 1580s it has been noted for sale in Worcester and in the next decade on the Isle of Wight and even in the Warwickshire village of Hillmorton. After 1600 it is almost commonplace to find some in large shops. One mercer, Thomas Cowcher of Worcester, had no less than seven varieties [Inventories (1643)]. In the latter half of the seventeenth century a large range of apparel and furnishings made of calico have been noted in the Dictionary Archive, including COIFs and other headwear, WAISCOATs and BREECHES, STOCKINGS, FROCKs and GOWNs, TABLECLOTHs, CURTAINs and QUILTs.
The trade in calicoes was seen as a threat to British industry, perhaps not without cause; in 1664 alone, the East India Company imported over a quarter of a million pieces. Opposition was intensified by the perceived threat to the British balance of payments in that the import of calicoes was not offset by an equivalent export of home produced goods. As a result it was widely felt that the East Indian trade must be regulated and restrained. In 1678 the notorious act was passed requiring the burial of the dead in woollens followed in 1689 by an unsuccessful attempt to force the living to wear wool for six months of the year. In 1696 a further unsuccessful bill proposed the total ban on 'all wrought silks, Bengalls, dyed, printed or stained calicoes of the product of India, Persia or any place within the charter of the East India Company imported into this kingdom'. Four years later the opposition finally achieved its objective; the wearing of all imported PRINTED, PAINTED and DYED calicoes was banned [Acts (1700)]. Subsequent legislation tightened the regulations and closed loopholes. The definition was extended to include fabrics that were CHECKERED, FLOWERED, STITCHED or STRIPED 'in foreign parts' and included in the ban the YARN from which calicoes were made [Acts (1700)]. This was an important addition to the prohibitions given the difficulty British weavers had in producing a strong, even yarn. The prohibitions were extended yet further by forbidding the use of decorative calicoes to make soft furnishings such as CURTAINs and CUSHION covers [Acts (1720)]. However the importation of COARSE calicoes continued to furnish the export trade to Africa.
Although the importation of Indian textiles was undoubtedly reduced, the effect of these acts did not lead to the hoped-for return to the use of British woollens; on the contrary, they merely encouraged the home manufacture of calicoes, first of all in printing in imitation of Indian products. Although a petition for a patent to protect a dyeing process was unsuccessful in 1676, it is clear from it that there was already established a commercial dye-works for cottons. In c1685 the business of Jacob Stampe, a calico printer of London, was apparently sufficiently well established to justify the printing of an elaborate trade card to advertise his trade [Tradecards (1685)]. Commercial printing developed so rapidly that the calico printers of Britain already produced about a million yards of printed calico by 1711 [Lemire (1991)]. However, it may be that home produced goods were not of the same quality for some time to come. For example, in 1704/5 Valentine Enys found experimentally that the DYED calicoes from the Far East were more satisfactory than those from HOLLAND since the dyes were fast [Enys (1997)]. It is probable that the same would have been true of British wares. Towards the end of the eighteenth century there was a spate of patents for new processes in printing and finishing that reflect not only the growing technical competence of British manufacturers but also the importance of the business.
The manufacture in England of fabrics made entirely from cotton made slow progress. According to Eric Kerridge, some Lancashire weavers were moving from linen-cotton unions to pure cotton before the end of the seventeenth century [Kerridge (1985)]. By 1711 weavers in Weymouth and district had been weaving calicoes, chiefly in checks, from West Indian cotton and shortly after similar goods were being produced in Stepney. By [Acts (1774)] British manufacture of COTTON goods similar to calico was so advanced that it was decreed that three blue stripes should be woven into the warp and of British goods and the term calico be restricted to FOREIGN products. However, it was not until the invention of Crompton's spinning mule in the 1770s that the problem of producing a strong, even warp thread was fully resolved.
Found described as ASH COLOURed, BLACK, BLUE, BRITISH, BROAD, buff grounded, CARNATION, CHINTZ, COARSE, cold, COLOURED, DYED, FINE, FLOWERED FOREIGN, GINGHAM, GLAZED, GREEN, IN GRAIN, India chink, India dyed, INDIAN, IRISH, JAPAN, mixed with SILVER, NARROW, PAINTED, PINK, PLAIN - WHITE, PRINTED, PURPLE, RED, RUSSEL slicken [see GLAZED], SPOTTED, STAMPED, STITCHED, WORKED, YELLOW Found describing CHENEY, DIMITY, MUSLIN, WRAPPER Found used to make APRON, BED GOWN, BREECHES, CAP, CAUL, COAT, COIF, COUNTERPANE, COVERLET, CUPBOARD CLOTH, CURTAIN, FROCK, GOWN, head cloth, HEAD ROLL, HOOD, LINING, MANTUA, NECK CLOTH, NIGHT GOWN, PETTICOAT, PILLOW BERE, POLONAISE, QUILT, SHEET, SHIFT, SHIRT, STOCKINGS, SUIT, TABLE CLOTH, TESTER, VALANCE, WAISTCOAT (for women and children), WINDOW CURTAIN
Found measured in the shops by ELL, PIECE, YARD Found rated by the PARCEL
See also CALICO BUCKRAM, CALICO CLOTH, CALICO LAWN, CALICO LINING, CALICO PEPPER, CALICO QUILT, CHINTZ, EAST INDIA GOODS.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Rates, Recipes, Tradecards.
References: Enys (1997), Kerridge (1985), Lemire (1991), Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996).
A TEXTILE in the form of a fine quality of CALICO. Possibly it was so defined as it was imported from India, or in that style, unlike most LAWN, which was distinctively FRENCH. It was defined as a MUSLIN in [Acts (1700)].
A decorative QUILT imported from CALCUTTA (or INDIA) or made in the style of INDIA QUILTING. These quilts were not necessarily made with the top surface of CALICO, since SILK was often preferred. THE importation of Indian TEXTILEs was seen as a threat to British industry and was banned by a series of Acts dating from 1696. However, quilts in the style remained fashionable; if small numbers of genuine ones were smuggled in, other imitations were made in this country. It appears that sometimes a calico quilt and matching CRADLE QUILT were offered for sale as in one Calico quilt & Cradle quilt [Inventories (1706)].
According to the OED, it came from the Latin, meaning 'warm' or 'tepid' or 'hot'. In medicine it may have had the meaning of 'warming'. On the other hand, Blount gave meanings towards the more extreme end of 'hot, warm, burning, fierce and hasty' [Blount (1656, facs 1972)].
Little is known abut this Indian TEXTILE, which has been noted neither in the dictionaries nor in the authorities on textiles. It was imported, according to Milburn, from Madras and the coast and included by him among INDIAN - PIECE GOODS [Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996)]. It was presumably made of COTTON or SILK. The importation of calloway pores was seen as a threat to British manufacture, and they were therefore banned for home use, though import and re-export to Africa continued. They were listed among the 'India goods for Africa' in the 1760s [Acts (1766)]. Like many imports from India, callaway pores seems to have been a name that was deemed unacceptable to the buying public, so that if and when it was offered for sale in the shops during the seventeenth century, it must have been under a generic name such as CALICO.