Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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The only example in the Dictionary Archive suggests that the stock head was part of the equipment used in making ROPE [Inventories (1671)]. In his description of the ropers wheel on which the roper spins the HEMP into a suitable yarn, Randle Holme positions the 'Head of the Stocks, where the Spindle runs' [Holme (2000)]. Why a rope maker should have a dozen and more is not clear. It may be a part of the equipment called by Holme by another name. In other contexts the term could probably have completely different meanings.
The very name indicates that it was a water intended to benefit the stomach or digestion. It was included in Randle Holme's list of 'Drinks' that were in the province of the 'compounder of Liquors' [Holme (2000)]. Martha Bradley included a recipe in her British Housewife, in which the main ingredients were ANGELICA leaves and BRANDY with some spices [Bradley (1756 facs.1996-8)], and in this form it warrants inclusion amongst the COMPOUND WATERS.
A QUACK MEDICINE designed to 'prevent the ill Effects of hard drinking, especially of bad Wine ' [Newspapers (1760)]. They were probably similar to ANTACID LOZENGES, for which much the same claims were made. Proprietary versions were common, including those made by Edmund Swinfen [Tradecards (1797)], and Thomas GREENOUGH [Tradecards (1790s)].
A compound of ground INDIGO with STARCH or WHITING used in laundry work [Patents (1675)]. [Acts (1768)] required makers of stone blue to be registered in the same way as starch makers to avoid the manufacture and use of imitations and other inferior, starch-like products. Stone blue was also used in CONFECTIONERY to colour PASTE made from SUGAR variously shaped for banquets etc. Prices noted are comparable with those for POWDER BLUE, which range from 8d to 2s LB, against valuations from 7d to 18d. The size of the stone seems to have affected its value, the LARGE being worth more than the SMALL, for example [Inventories (1694)].
This term is not in the OED or the dictionaries, nor has it been noted in historic books on Chemistry, yet it is quite common in the Dictionary Archive in eighteenth-century shops. It was sometimes listed along with FLOWERS OF BRIMSTONE as in 'fflower and stone Brimstone' [Inventories (1746)], and 'Stone brimstone, powder Do' [Inventories (1729)]. In which case it may have been a synonym for ROLL BRIMSTONE, which was also found together with the flowers. Another possibility is a crude form of sulphur, perhaps a synonym of CLOD BRIMSTONE. Contexts suggest it was not the same as STONE SULPHUR.
A common variant is 'Trow'. The term refers to a large TROUGH usually formed out of a single piece of STONE. This would have had the advantage of being almost impervious to attack by damp, so they were much used for storing the domestic supply of water, for watering stock and as a SWINE TROUGH, whence comes the alternative name of 'swine stone' [Inventories (1707)]. In fact, Randle Holme made the point for the use of stone troughs to feed pigs, including among the 'Swine equipment': 'A Trough, or Stone Trough, a hollow place cut in Wood or Stone, in which the Swine have their Wash-meat given them' [Holme (2000)].
Stone troughs were also used in various industrial processes. The most common was in conjunction with a GRINDSTONE as 'the stone trough and Grindle stone' [Inventories (1639)], but one has also been noted used in saw making to quench hot metal [Newspapers (1743)]. Randle Holme showed the smith's forge and trough almost as a single integrated unit, so as to allow minimal loss of heat in the transfer of a hot metal object from the one to the other [Holme (2000)].
The meaning is unknown. 'Stow' here is possibly a variant of STOVE. The only example in the Dictionary Archive appears in the probate inventory of a brazier in the form of '10 pair of Stow Heads', but the context is otherwise unhelpful [Inventories (1716)].