Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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A close fitting body garment, with or without sleeves, worn by men from the fourteenth century to the eighteenth, also rarely applied to a similar garment worn by women, for example [Diaries (Pepys)]. Originally a QUILTED garment, worn under the hauberk, which passed from military to civil costume and became an outer garment. From the fourteenth century it was a waist-length or hip-length garment with padded body, worn over the SHIRT. The HOSE were laced to it with a DOUBLET LACE, sometimes under the 'skirt', and armour could be anchored to it, again by suitably placed LACES. In the sixteenth century and up to the middle of the seventeenth it was laced or buttoned at the front (hence DOUBLET BUTTONS and DOUBLET LACE) and worn by all men; the shape and trimmings changed, but its basic character remained unaltered. As 'doublet and hose' it was the typical masculine attire. It was also a sort of undress, or dress for active pursuits, implying an absence of the CLOAK (worn for warmth and protection), or of the GOWN, COAT, or CASSOCK (worn to befit age or dignity). They were by no means always plain garments; for example, one was described as a 'fustian dublet wth' silk and gold lace' [Inventories (1621)]. Most, however, were plainer, and most commonly made of FUSTIAN according to an act of 1495 passed to prevent a new method of shearing the fustian. This innovation, it was claimed, reduced the longevity of the garment, so that 'Formerly doublets of fustian would last 2 years or more, now scarcely 4 months' [Acts (1495)]. Like the WAISTCOAT much later, the pieces of doublets were occasionally for sale to be made up at home; hence 'iiij dublet bodyes' [Inventories (1555)].
Found described as BEST, BLACK, CRIMSON, GREEN, NEW, OLD, QUILTED, TAWNY Found made of CAFFA, CAMLET, CANVAS, DEVONSHIRE CLOTH, DURANCE, FUSTIAN, KERSEY, LEATHER, MOCKADO, SACKING, SATIN, SILK, STUFF, VELVET, WORSTED
Found rated by the PIECE
BUTTONS designed to fasten a DOUBLET. In the only extensive list of such buttons found in the Dictionary Archive the term was shortened to 'doublets', although the context made the meaning clear [Inventories (1751)].
Possibly an alternative term for a dough trough, which was a trough or vessel into which dough was placed to rise. It consisted of a covered water-tight receptical with a perforated shelf across the centre on which the dough was placed covered by a cloth. Warm water was then poured into the lower part and the dough left to rise [Lloyd (1895)]. However, those found in the Dictionary Archive are more likely to have been simple TUBs, distinctive only because they were used exclusively for making bread.
In the early modern period, the term was probably applied to any member of the PIGEON family. They were domesticated and used for food, although in cookery books the label of 'pigeon' seems to have been preferred. Doves evoked various favourable connotations, and were therefore used at times in shop signs; for example 'Mary Cartwright' could be found at the 'Dove & Olive branch' [Tradecards (18c.)]. One retailer, advertising an extensive list of CHILDRENS TOYs, included 'Doves in Boxes' [Tradecards (1794)], though it is not clear what the attraction of these was. Possibly they were a form of jack-in-the-box.
According to John Houghton 'In Holland they use dove-coal, that is made of peat almost burnt out' [Houghton]. This suggests that a form of coking was applied to the peat. Apart from the one entry in Houghton, dove coal has not been noted in the Dictionary Archive.
Sometimes abbreviated to DOVETAIL, as in '5 payre of large dufftayles' [Inventories (1660)], there is potential for confusion between 'dovetail joint' and hinge, but the context should indicate which was intended.
It is a HINGE where the outer edges of the leaves are wider that the hinging edges or, as Randle Holme put it, ''broad at the ends like a Dove or Pigeons Tail'. He further said, 'It is used for all small Doors of Wainscot, Cubbards, Boxes and Trunks; where nailing may be on both sides' [Holme (2000)]. Notice that he assumed that the hinge would be attached with NAILs, and not with screws as is the common practice today.
A term used by joiners or CABINET makers for a JOINT that consisted of one member having an end cut into the shape of a dove's tail or an open fan, with a corresponding slot in the other. It was a method of making so-called JOINED furniture, in particular a DRAWER introduced in the seventeenth century [Gloag (1952, revised 1991)]. It required skill and expertise on the part of the maker, and so dovetail joints were used only on the better quality pieces. The term was occasionally abbreviated to DOVETAIL, but most examples in the Dictionary Archive so shortened applied to the DOVETAIL HINGE, rather than to the joint. To complicate matters further, since JOINT was a common name for a HINGE, some examples of dovetail joints, may be hinges rather than wood prepared for making a mortice and tenon joint.
Named from Daoulas or Doulis, a town south-east of Brest in Brittany, dowlas was a coarse kind of LINEN CLOTH much used in sixteenth century and the seventeenth, and is now applied to a strong CALICO made in imitation of this. Attempts to regulate its length and breadth appear to have failed and [Acts (1529)] was replaced by [Acts (1536)] requiring each piece to be marked clearly with its dimensions, rather than a universal standard imposed as in 1529. Nevertheless, the Books of Rates, with the exception of the one for 1582, consistently gave a standard length of 106 ELL.
Dowlas was one of the most common linens found throughout the period. Where it is possible to make comparisons, it was regarded as of less value than HOLLAND and DIAPER, but more than CANVAS, for example [Inventories (1626)] had 3 pair of Holland SHEETs, 8 of dowlas and 17 of canvas. He also had both diaper and dowlas table NAPKINs. It was frequently associated with LOCKRAM and valuations varied considerably, but in the sixteenth century were generally over 12d per yard, and rather more per ell, which was the more usual unit of measure. After 1700 valuations had fallen somewhat with some valued at less than 12d the ell, but the best still commanding up to 2s the ell.
Found described as BLUE, BROAD, COARSE, COMMON, CREST, FINE, HAMBURG, IRISH, LOOM, MIDDLE, NARROW, ROUGH, SLICKED, three quarter broad, two-third broad, WASHED, WHITE, WRAPPER, YARD WIDE Found used to make BOARD CLOTH, FROCK, NAPKIN, PILLOW BERE, PILLOW TIE, SHEET, TOWEL
Found measured in the shops by double PIECE, ELL, HALF PIECE, PIECE, YARD Found rated by the PIECE containing 100 ELL, 106 ell
The English version of the Latin term DUODENI denoting twelve. Its primary meaning is of a measure of quantity, usually 12, but the saying 'a baker's dozen' (meaning 13) warns against taking too dogmatic a stance. For example, Nicholas Blundell cited an instance when BALL SOAP was offered for sale by the dozen each of which consisted of eight balls that weighed in all 2 ½ LB [Diaries (Blundell)]. The term was also used elliptically with a secondary unit of measure understood, as a Dozen of BEER, ALE, WINE, (meaning a Dozen POTs or BOTTLEs) or a Dozen of CANDLEs (meaning a Dozen LB).
It was not uncommon for retailers to encourage large orders from customers by offering price reductions for larger units. For example, Burgess offered his PORTABLE SOUP at 10d LB, but reduced the price to 7s when bought by the dozen LB [Tradecards (18c.)].
The use of this unit of measure is both general in that most small objects and commodities for sale that could be counted can be found listed by the dozen, however, there are some for which a dozen was the standard measure.
Commodities generally measured in dozens include BONE, BOTTLE, BUTTON, CADDIS, FILLETING, HAT, INKLE, LEMON, NAPKIN, NECKCLOTH, PENCIL, RIBBON, TAPE, THREAD, TRENCHER, WASH BALL
Found meaning twelve LB of CANDLE SOAP, SUGAR Found meaning twelve PAIR of GLOVE, HOSE, SHOE, STOCKING
DOZENS was a name for those types of KERSEY that were 12 YARD or thereabouts in length, as its name suggests. There was a tendency, much resisted by the authorities, for the length to stretch unless controlled by legislation, such as [Acts (1572)] and [Acts (1593)].
It was not a term used in retail outlets and has only been noted in the official records in the Dictionary Archive, ACTS and RATES. It has not been noted in sources of the Dictionary Archive such as INVEARLY, INVMID, INVLATE, or TRADECARDS. In these the alternative name of 'kersey' was commonplace.