Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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Apparently a form of COVERING for a BED [Inventories (1544)], usually coloured BLUE as in BLUE LINNE, but sometimes RED. They appear to have been imported and the term seems to have been used exclusively in trade and not part of ordinary speech, where other words like COVERLET were common.
Probably derived from Lindsey, near KERSEY in Suffolk, where the manufacture is said to have originated. A TEXTILE, originally woven with a WARP of LINEN and a WEFT of WOOL; later, a dress material of coarse inferior wool woven upon a COTTON warp [Montgomery (1984)]. It was used by Nicholas Blundell as a SAILCLOTH both for his boats and for his windmill. Judging by the valuations given, linsey woolsey varied in value, ranging from 6d YARD up to 22d. It appears never to attracted the interest of the government and was not subject to official regulation. It also seems to have declined in esteem, appearing most frequently in INVEARLY and barely at all in NEWSPAPERS and TRADECARDS. Later records are more likely to be of the abbreviated form of LINSEY but that does not appear at all in INVEARLY.
Found described as APRON, BLACK, BLUE, COLOURED, DYED, FLOWERED, GREEN, Kendal, MILLED, MIXED, PRINTED, RAW, RED and WHITE - STRIPED, STRIPED, WHITE Found describing RAGS Found used to make COVERLET, FURNITURE (for a bed), WAISTCOAT
Found in units of PIECE, YARD
The term denotes a SALVE or OINTMENT for the lips, and figuratively a flattering speech. A recipe for 'Sir Edmund King's Lip Salve', which was probably fairly typical, contained VIRGIN WAX scented with ORANGE FLOWER WATER and with samll quantities of an OIL, SAFFRON and SUGAR. The result would hardly have been an attractive colour, which may be why the writer suggested adding a little 'Alkanet roots in pouder' to make it redder [Recipes (Lowers)].
A method of making a liquid BLUE as opposed to POWDER BLUE or STONE BLUE was patented in 1735 'for blueing washed linen' [Patents (1735)]. A second patent for liquid blue some twenty years later was for dyeing LINEN and COTTON [Patents (1754)]. A liquid would certainly have been more convenient in laundry work than using solids or powders like POWDER BLUE and STONE BLUE. It was probably a form of processed INDIGO.
LIQUORICE lozenges have been noted offered for sale only once in circumstances that leave it unclear whether they were intended for medicinal purposes or merely as a SWEETMEAT. Possibly this was intentional. Although liquorice was known to be good 'for all complaints of the breast and lungs' [Culpeper (1653, new ed. n.d.)], it also has a pleasant taste [Tradecards (1800)].
LIQUORICE roots cut into convenient lengths for propagation or for preparation into LIQUORICE JUICE or LIQUORICE POWDER. The sticks were sometimes described as GREEN; that is, they were fresh and had not been DRIED.
A town in Portugal with which Britain did much trade and a number of goods bought from the Iberian peninsular were described as such, including LISBON SUGAR and LISBON WINE. The name of Lisbon is also used elliptically to denote the products associated with the town, particularly the sugar and the wine.
The context of the only example in the Dictionary Archive suggests a sweet ORANGE, similar to the CHINA ORANGE [Newspapers (1790)]. John Houghton's lists of imports in the 1690s showed that most oranges came from Portugal, followed by Spain [Houghton]. Many of these would have come through Lisbon, so the Lisbon oranges of a century later may have been no more than oranges imported from the Iberian peninsula and not otherwise distinctive. However, Simmonds writing in the early-twentieth century commented that 'Lisbon oranges have also lately acquired a good name among travellers for their juicy sweetness' [Simmonds (1906)], and it may be that they were already distinctive - and imported occasionally - in the 1790s.
An alternative name for CLAYED SUGAR. This was made from MUSCOVADO in a SUGAR POT called by the French a 'forme' in which the sugar was first cooled with the bottom hole plugged, The MOLASSES were then drained before a layer of wet clay was placed on top. From it water and clay oused through the sugar taking with it the last remnants of molasses [Rees (1819-20, 1972 ed.)], though possibly leaving traces of clay in the sugar itself.
WINE from Lisbon in PORTUGAL. In modern parlance, the term LISBON or Lisbon wine is applied to the RED and more often the WHITE table wines produced near Lisbon [Schoonmaker (1964)]. In the Dictionary Archive it is usually found marketed with WHITE PORT WINE and MOUNTAIN, for example [Tradecards (1735)]. The term as such is rarely found, but Lisbon, used elliptically instead was quite common.
Either a CARPET with a differently coloured list or selvedge, or a CARPET similar to a rag carpet, the weft consisting of selvedges or lists cut from textiles ... and the warp YARNs made of homespun FLAX or TOW. It seems unlikely that the second meaning applied very much in trade.
A blue COLOURING STUFF prepared from various lichens, but particularly from Rocella tinctoria, usually known as ORCHIL. Such lichen grew in Great Britain along the Welsh and Scottish coasts, but by the eighteenth century most was imported from the Canary Islands, when the lichen in question was probably mostly Lecanora tartarea [Tomlinson (1854)].
Litmus was prepared from the ground lichen, which was first fermented in URINE and POTASH. The resulting purple-red liquor was then refermented in more urine and quick LIME mixed with CHALK or gypsum, formed into small cubical lumps and dried in the shade [Tomlinson (1854)].
Litmus is known as an indicator dye in that it turns blue in alkali conditions and red in acid, an unwelcome defect in painting. It was probably never used extensively as a WATER COLOUR for this reason, and also because it was not usually supplied by the colour shops [Harley (1970)]. It has not been noted in the shops in the Dictionary Archive with one exception as LITMUS BLUE, but it was rated and attracted the attention from at least one inventor [Patents (1693)]. This patent suggests that it was not well known in this country at the end of the seventeenth century.
The meaning is obscure, and the context of the only example in the Dictionary Archive is not helpful [Inventories (1686)]. LITMUS is an indicator DYESTUFF that turns blue in alkali conditions and red in acid. It was not therefore very useful as a blueing agent in laundry work. The addition of 'blue' to 'litmus' in the name does not seem to add any extra meaning.
Litting is the action of colouring, dyeing, or painting; hence litting-lead, a dyer's VAT found by the OED in a Scottish text dated 1543. Litting leads have not been noted in the Dictionary Archive, but in one instance the person who had worked cloth had 'a litle litting tubb washing tubbes & 2 stowes' [Inventories (1626)].
A name applied to various plants having some part that was liver-shaped, and hence associated with cures for diseases of the liver. The plants included the lichen-like Marchantia polymorphia, sometimes called Stone Liverwort; Anemone trilobia or Noble Liverwort, and AGRIMONY. Dr Mead's recipe for the bite of the mad dog adds another; that is the 'herb called in Latin, Lichen cinerus terrestris, in English, Ash-coloured ground liver-wort ... a very common herb, [that] grows generally in sandy and barren soils all over England [Recipes (Smith)]. The last was in the eighteenth-century Materia Medica [Pemberton (1746)], and is now called Peltidea canina. Culpeper likewise recommended liverwort though it is clearly different from the one described by Dr Mead. From his description of it Culpeper seems to have been referring to Stone Liverwort, which he wrote was 'an excellent remedy for such whose livers are corrupted by surfeits, which causes their bodies to break out, for it fortifies the liver exceedingly, and makes it impregnable' [Culpeper (1653, new ed. n.d.)].