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.
Translated into English, the term means 'milk of SULPHUR', because of its white colour. It was in fact a POWDER and not a liquid. The Latin name indicates its use in APOTHECARY. If powdered, ROLL BRIMSTONE is boiled with 'milk of LIME' and dissolves into what the early alchemists called 'theion hudor' or the 'divine water'. When this solution is acidified with dilute hydrochloric acid, known then as 'Spirit of salt', it precipitates out as Lac sulphuris [Partington (1953)]. By the Dispensatory of 1746, the name had been changed officially to Sulphur praecipitatum or Precipitated sulphur, with a slightly different recipe using a weak SPIRIT OF VITRIOL in place of the 'Spirit of Salt' [Pemberton (1746)].
During the second half of the eighteenth century innovators found ways of modifying the STOCKING FRAME so as to be able to make LACE. In 1768 a stocking weaver of Nottingham named Hammond made a simple net in imitation of the ground of BRUSSELS LACE with his so-called 'Pin machine'. Further improvements followed. The 'Warp frame' was introduced in 1782 and by 1799 it was possible to make bobbin net by machinery; see also [Patents (1784)]; [Patents (1791)] for other patented methods of making machine lace. Although such lace was inferior to hand made lace, it was cheap and demand rose rapidly with Nottingham the centre of a new industry [Tomlinson (1854)]. Possibly, one or more of the different types of modified stocking frame may have been called a lace loom.
However, this is not what was listed as 'Ivory, Box and Tunbridge Lace Looms' in a large catalogue of TOYs and knick-knacks for domestic consumption published in 1794 [Tradecards (1794)]. What was probably described here was a simple device for making decorative laces as a lady-like pastime rather than a complex machine to make lace. The materials, BOX, IVORY or TUNBRIDGE also indicate toy-like articles suitable for display as much as for use. It may have been something of the sort that was recorded two hundred years previously as 'lace lome iijs vjd' [Inventories (1587)], though it is possible the appraisers merely inverted the two words, and LOOM LACE was intended.
Lady allens water
'This is an excellent Cordial, and sweet', according to Martha Bradley. In her recipe, published nearly a century after the only example noted in the Dictionary Archive [Inventories (1665)], this water is shown to be based on WHEY distilled with WHITE WINE, BRANDY and a variety of HERBs. Bradley suggests that the name of Lady Allen may have become attached to this recipe, just as Lady Hewet's was joined to another, because 'many People who could not get the right Receipts, made them at their own Pleasure, and called them by these excellent Ladies names', though she added 'the true Receipts are given here' [Bradley (1756 facs.1996-8)].
The term was apparently originally used for AMBER to distinguish it from AMBERGRIS. However, both some of the OED's quotations and the entry in a Book of Rates of 'Lamber counterfet Amber beades the pound' [Rates (1582)] suggest that it subsequently came to mean a material used to make BEADs, which closely resembled amber. This material may be found in other sources actually labelled COUNTERFEIT amber, as in '8 Counterfit Amber' NECKLACEs [Inventories (1679)]. It is probable that some of the necklaces and beads that purported to be of amber were in fact of lamber in this sense.
A PIGMENT consisting of almost pure carbon made by collecting the soot produced by burning OIL. According to Houghton in an alternative method RESIN was used [Houghton], while [Patents (1772)] described a method using MINERAL OIL. It was stocked by many retailers and so was presumably in demand, being used primarily to make printer's INK. It was very cheap being valued at 6d the BARREL or less.
Lamp black barrel
The river Lamprey or Lampern (Petromyzon fluviatilis) is properly not a FISH and resembles an EEL in shape and through the absence of scales. It is closely related to the sea LAMPREY. They were cooked in a variety of ways and widely eaten during the early- modern period. [Acts (1645)] indicates they were also used as bait to catch COD.
Not a FISH, it is a part of the Agnatha, meaning 'jawless', a group of the most primitive living vertebrates. Its genus is Petromyzon, and its physical characteristics include a close resemblance to eels in shape and the absence of scales. There are three types of edible lamprey; the lamprey EEL or sea lamprey, the LAMPERN or river lamprey and the lamprey proper. Most types of lamprey are parasites in adult life in that they attach themselves to fish or sea mammals and suck out their blood and flesh causing serious injury and sometimes slow death [Anon (online 1999)]. It is found in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and in spring migrates to the mouths of rivers where the adults spawn and die.
The sea lamprey is the most highly prized, but along with the SHAD and TWAIT, lampreys were found in large quantities in the River Severn, as is evident from [Acts (1778)] that regulated the size and mesh of fishing nets 'for the better Preservation of Fish, and regulating the Fisheries'. According to Alan Davidson, potted Severn lamprey were once a famous food, but they are no longer sold [Davidson (1980)]. In the early modern period they were regarded as gastronomic delicacies, although their flesh is very fatty [Froud and Turgeon (1961)]. They were cooked by frying, roasting and baking, as well as sold and prepared as POTTED, as in for example [May (1685, facs. 1994)] and [Raffald (1769, new ed. 1977)]. While lamprey were often featured in cookery books of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, they virtually vanished from this source during the nineteenth century [Davidson (1999)]. It is, however, still popular in selected parts of Europe today such as Galicia and northern Portugal.
Armenian stone, or azurite, a naturally occurring basic COPPER carbonate, originally from Armenia, but later from Germany, from which BLUE BICE was prepared. It was often found in association with another copper carbonate, malachite from which GREEN BICE was prepared. Lapis armenius was formerly administered as an aperient and as a remedy for epilepsy. Probably because they were both blue, blue bice was sometimes misinterpreted to mean LAPIS LAZULI[Harley (1970)].
A sodium aluminium silicate containing SULPHUR, of a bright BLUE colour, almost all of which was mined in this period in remote parts of Afghanistan inaccessible to Europeans. It was used to make ULTRAMARINE, the most important BLUE - PIGMENT [Harley (1970)]. Examples found in the Dictionary Archive suggest it was used in medicine in small quantities. Judging by the valuations noted it was one of the most expensive DRUGS available, being valued from 3d DRAM to 3s OUNCE.
A type of GINGER found in the shops before 1700. It was probably RACE GINGER in large pieces, as opposed to PETTY GINGER or SMALL GINGER. In the one example where valuations were comparable, large ginger was valued at 13d LB, with small at 8d [Inventories (1631)]. A recipe by William Rabisha for PRESERVED GINGER indicates that large ginger was usually in the form of races of BLACK GINGER [Rabisha (1682, facs. 2003)].