Imperial tea - Implements of husbandry

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.


Table of contents

Imperial tea


Also known as Pearl tea, the term denotes a GREEN TEA that, according to Simmonds, consisted of large leaves, usually tightly rolled, and of a green, bluish green or silver-green colour. What came to England was rather coarser in flavour than GUNPOWDER TEA, but the best was probably not exported. According to one late-nineteenth-century tea dealer, Imperial tea was flavoured with Olea fragrans [Simmonds (1906)].

OED earliest date of use: 1712 under Pekoe

Found in units of TUB containing up to 69 LB

Sources: Inventories (late).
References: Simmonds (1906).

Implements of household

[impliments about the howse; implem'ts of howshold; implem'ts of houshold; implements necessary for houshold; implements necessary for household; implements belonging to the housse; implementes in & about ye house]

This term is not defined by the OED, but in the Dictionary Archive it appears with several nuances of meaning beyond the obvious. In its basic sense, the term was used to refer to the UTENSILs and TOOLs used in the household, while phrases such as 'Implements necessary for Houshold' suggest that it included only items thought of as necessary. A useful list of household implements, mostly of metal but some of wood, may be found in list of belongings deemed essential for emigrants to the New World, as drawn up by John Josselyn in 1673, which unsurprisingly did not include household tools like the SKIMMER and TOASTING FORK [Diaries (Josselyn)]. A similar but more inclusive meaning is suggested in phrases like 'pewter and all other implements belonging to the housse' [Inventories (1630)]. Sometimes the term household implements was contrasted with other categories of household equipment as in the phrase 'houshold stuffe and implements of houshold', at other times it seems to have been a general term similar in meaning to HOUSEHOLD STUFF or HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

An opinion on the households of the better off was expressed by a foreign visitor in the 1790s who noted that 'even the most basic of household utensils are not only useful, but elegant and pleasing to the eye' [Diaries (Schopenhauer)]. The comment suggests, firstly, that by the end of the eighteenth century ideas of gentility and elegance may have been extended as far as the kitchen and to its equipment, and secondly, that even the kitchen could be shown off to visitors as a manifestation of the owner's refinement.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Acts, Diaries, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period).

Implements of husbandry

[implem'ts of household; implements of houshold; implementes a bout the house]

This term was quite common in areas where agriculture was the main occupation. It was used in the rubric at the head of probate inventories, where it was juxtaposed to stock and stored grain and applied to all agricultural equipment, and in the main body of the inventories themselves, where the heavy equipment was often listed first, as in 'Waines Cartes Plowes yokes Chaines and all Implements of husbandry [Trinder and Cox (1980)] and 'a wayne and other ymplementes of husbandrye' [Inventories (1621)]. For the poorer workers, or for those for whom agriculture was of only minor importance, the term was more likely to have referred only to HUSBANDRY TOOLS. For example, entries like '1 Shovel spade fork & other impleme'ts of Husbandry' valued at a mere 3s are not unusual [Inventories (1733)].

OED online earliest date of use: 1663 under Stocking

Found described as OLD

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).