Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
This free content was born digital. All rights reserved.
A term with several meanings, best known today applied to the swimming bird, particularly the domestic variety developed from the wild Mallard. Alive, ducks are noted in the probate inventories during the early part of the period when domestic FOWL were recorded, usually with other fowl as in 'duckes & hens' [Inventories (1609)], or with their DRAKE as in 'duckes & j dracke' [Inventories (1563)]. Alterations in the practice of recording meant that they are not found in that source after 1660. The result is that thereafter, only occasional reference appears, even though they were a popular source of meat. For example, one bill of fare for Christmas 1789 listed 13 Duck, 90 Wild Duck and 14 Ducklings [Tradecards (1790)]. It appears that ducks dressed for the table were available not only from butchers, since one Manchester retailer who advertised in 1790 that he continued 'to sell fine Teas, Coffee, Chocolate &c', but also 'Dressed Fowls, Ducks, &c on short Notice' [Newspapers (1790)]. Ducks were fattened for the table throughout the year, by penning them and providing them with a diet of CORN and water. This took about a fortnight. Their EGGs were also eaten. Already by the late eighteenth century selective breeding had led to the development of breeds specifically for the table, like the Aylesbury Duck [Mason and Brown (1999)].
The meanings of other examples in the Dictionary Archive remains obscure. 'Ducks Cook Earth pans and Gotch' together worth 18d have been noted among kitchen ware [Inventories (1783)], and the 'thre ducks & frying pan' suggests a similar use [Inventories (1718)]. The 'duck thrid and cards' may have been a mis-transcription or mis-spelling of DUTCH [Inventories (1700)].
See also DRAKE, HOLLAND DUCK, PADDUCK, RAVENS DUCK, SAIL DUCK, SHELDRAKE.
Sources: Diaries, Inventories (early), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Tradecards.
References: Mason and Brown (1999).
A type of FUR not found in the Books of Rates after 1582 [Rates (1582)], although it appears in the Scottish book for 1612 as 'Furres called ... Dockers rated by the timber contening fourty skins' [Halyburton (1867)]. Most skins measured by the TIMBER were relatively small. It has not been noted in the shops.
Ducks bill wheat
Named after Duffel, a town between Antwerp and Mechlin in the Low Countries, this was a COARSE - WOOLLEN CLOTH having a thick nap or frieze, used for making BLANKETs, etc., many of which were exported, in which case BLUE was a favoured colour. Confusingly, one quotation in the OED, dated c1695, included duffels among INDIA goods along with SHIRTs; possibly the author intended to suggest they were for the indigenous Americans rather than from India. Although primarily made for export, duffels were also used to make winter wear in England.
A TEXTILE, but one not found in the OED or in the authorities on fabrics. The contexts of the two examples found in the Dictionary Archive, suggest it was not a variant of DUFFLE, but a quality WOOLLEN CLOTH.
A piece of FURNITURE for use in the DINING ROOM that was designed to dispense with the services of a human waiter at table. In its typical form, it consisted of an upright pole bearing one or more revolving trays or shelves. On these were placed dishes and other table requisites, which could thus readily be got at as required. Other simpler forms have also been used. 'Silent Waiter' appears to have been an alternative name [Inventories (1733)].
Originally a variety of GROUND - MUSTARD made at Durham as early as the 1590s from seed grown in the locality. The product was so called as it was popularized by a Durham woman, a Mrs Clements, who used the recently introduced MUSTARD MILL, which could grind the FLOWER OF MUSTARD much more finely. She added the further refinement of sifting out all traces of the husk. This made practical the commercial exploitation of a fine flour of mustard [Simmonds (1906)], and a more refined product than the coarse MUSTARD BALLs available previously. Durham mustard is said to have made a small fortune for its inventor. By 1834, still under the same name, the mustard used was largely grown round and manufactured in York. Although Durham mustard was always ground it has been noted for sale as 'Durham flower of mustard' [Newspapers (1760)].
A lightweight WORSTED, akin to SERGE and TAMMY, and not the same as CORDUROY. Serge duroys were being made in Norwich by 1675, possibly introduced by the Hugenots. Early the next century they were made in the west country. Duroys were widely made in various colours and patterns, but they were never highly fashionable. The anonymous author of the pamphlet, A short essay upon trade (1741), wished that the Royal family would wear such TEXTILEs on at least one day in the year, and that gentlemen would wear duroy in the summer. This would not only make them fashionable, but would improve exports. There is no evidence that his pleas were granted. For example, they rarely appear advertised in tradecards and were not common in the shops.
Not necessarily just from what is now the Netherlands, the term could be used to describe goods from anywhere on the west German plain, particularly those that came to England via AMSTERDAM or other Dutch ports. To some extent Dutch was synonymous with HOLLAND and used as a descriptor, but there are important exceptions such as DUTCH METAL and HOLLAND METAL, which are noted under the relevant entries.
The perceived or real superiority of Dutch goods is reflected in the enormous variety of goods that came into England from that area, or had originated there. Dutch florists and seedsmen were particularly skilful, and adverisements such as that in [Newspapers (1750)] were quick to use such phrases as 'exceeding good tulips of the best dutch breeders'. Patentees were also quick to claim their products as good as those manufactured by the Dutch, for example [Patents (1685)] and [Patents (1777)].
Found describing BALL, BARRAS, BRANDY, CANDLESTICK, CANVAS, CARD, CHEESE, CHECK, COAT, COFFEE POT, CONSERVE pot, CRADLE, CURB, DISH, DRAWING PAPER, ELM BOARD, FELT, HAT, HERRING, Iris, JEAN, KETTLE, LANTHORN, LENTIL, MANTUA, MAT, OAK, OAK BOARD, OAK LEAF, OAK PLANK, PICKLED HERRING, RAW LINEN YARN, RAPPEE SNUFF, SALMON, SAY, SEALING WAX, SHALLOON, SLATE TABLE, TEA KETTLE, TONGUE, UNGUENT pot, VELVET
See also DUTCH BABY, DUTCH BEEF, DUTCH CHAIR, DUTCH FLAX, DUTCH FUSTIAN, DUTCH MATTING, DUTCH METAL, DUTCH MUG, DUTCH SEALING WAX, DUTCH SERGE, DUTCH TABLE, DUTCH THREAD, DUTCH TOY, DUTCH YARN.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Rates, Tradecards.
Dutch babies were occasionally found in the shops. By the second half of the nineteenth century, they were brightly-painted and jointed wooden DOLLs, though that may not be their form earlier. They were very cheap being valued at 1s DOZEN.
Dutch BEEF, or DRIED BEEF as it was also known, was usually made from the flank, buttock or leg. John Houghton described a method of making it, which he said he got from 'an extraordinary housewife.' The MEAT was first soaked in BRINE for 10-4 days, then dry-salted using BAY SALT, ROCK SALT, and PETRE SALT. Finally it was to be wrapped in several layers of BROWN PAPER if SEA COAL was to be used and hung in the chimney to dry in a moderate heat [Houghton]. That Houghton apparently assumed many households would be using fossil fuel is an interesting addition to the evidence of the spread of coal for domestic purposes [Cox (2000a)].
It is not clear whether this term was applied to brushes of a particular type that originated in the Low Countries, or merely to brushes imported from that area. It seems to the editors to be most likely that the former was intended.
Found in other sources, but not the Dictionary Archive, as HOLLAND - CHAIR. Whatever it was called, this article of FURNITURE was probably either one with a rush seat and a ladder back or with a circular caned seat, a semi-circular back and cabriole legs imported via Holland from the East Indies [Gloag (1952, revised 1991)]. This style became popular in the Low Countries during the seventeenth century, and Holland or Dutch chairs were imported into this country in large numbers. The style was probable imitated by English chair makers, so that the designation does not necessarily mean an imported chair, but could merely be one in the style.
In his dictionary, Simmonds defined a Dutch cheese in 1858 as 'a small round cheese made on the continent from skimmed milk' [Simmonds (1858), quoted OED, Dutch]. This is almost certainly too general a definition, since by the beginning of the nineteenth century century J. le Francq van Berkhey [in Dutch] gave precise descriptions of the major types of Dutch cheese such as Leyden, Gouda, Edam and green sheep cheese from the island of Texel. Britain imported huge quantities; for example in 1793 over two million pounds came into English ports from Rotterdam alone. From early-twentieth century descriptions, The type of Dutch cheese described above seems similar to a modern Gouda [Simmonds (1906)].