Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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For centuries the most highly prized PIGMENT because of its durability and excellent colour. It was obtained from LAPIS LAZULI, which came from Afghanistan hence the name meaning 'from beyond the seas'. Because of its high cost, adulteration was a problem, though a satisfactory method of testing for it had been devised by the early nineteenth century [Accum (1820)]. Prizes were offered both by the Royal Society of Arts in England and by the Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie in France, for the manufacture of a cheaper artificial ultramarine with similar properties to the natural. It was won by a French manufacturer called Guimet in the 1820s, although he did not reveal his method [Harley (1970)]; [Partington (1953)]. It has only been noted once in the Dictionary Archive.
A term with a variety of meanings, all of which bear some relationship to each other, in that all have some connotations of imperfection. In several examples it is contrasted with DRESSED, as in 'Eleven plates for Grates w't 15 li ½ dressed & undressed' [Inventories (1719)] and 'white silk hose dressed and undressed' [Newspapers (1790)]. In such cases 'undressed' seems to have indicated a lack of finishing in some way.
In the Dictionary Archive 'undressed' was most commonly applied to SKINs, when it meant unprocessed, RAW, or with the hair or wool still on; hence phrases like 'All other hides in the hair or undrest' [Rates (1660)], 'Sheep Skins undressed in the Wool' and 'Wolf Skins untawed or Undressed [Acts (1784)]. It is less clear what is meant when applied to LEATHER as in phrases like 'lether undresed' [Inventories (1574)], though it was probably applied to leather as it came from the tanner or tawer before it had been smoothed and polished.
With regard to TEXTILEs, the meaning probably varied according to the fabric concerned. For KENTISH CLOTH and SUFFOLK CLOTH, an act in the 1560s defined it as 'not rowed, barbed, first coursed and shorn' [Acts (1565)], but for other materials it may well have had different meanings, such as not yet GLAZED or WATERED.
With regard to APPAREL, 'undressed' meant in a state of undress; this is not to say in the nude, but dressed informally, or in a state inappropriate for appearing in public, although the '5 Joynted babyes undrest' [Inventories (1671)], were undoubtedly being sold without any clothes on. For one Sunday Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary, 'Up, and in my night-gown, cap, and neckcloth, undressed, all day long' [Diaries (Pepys)]. The Purefoy family, who lived in Buckinghamshire, frequently wrote to London acquaintances to enquire about the latest fashions, including on one occasion in 1736 when Henry wanted to know about 'dressed coats or undressed coats' [Eland (1931)]. At times of Court mourning the Lord Chamberlain issued extensive instruction concerning appropriate wear for both formal (DRESSED) and informal (undressed) occasions [Newspapers (1751)].
Applied to a general lack of finish: Found describing BRISTLES, ESTRIDGE FEATHER, FIR POLE, HEMP
Applied to skins or leather: Found describing BEARSKIN, BEAVER SKIN, BUCKSKIN, CALABER, CALFSKIN, CONY SKIN, DEERSKIN, DOG SKIN, DOGFISH SKIN, ELK SKIN, GOATSKIN, HARE SKIN, HIDE, HUSS SKIN, INDIAN HIDE, KID SKIN, LAMBSKIN, LION SKIN, MOOSE SKIN, MUSQUASH SKIN, OUNCE SKIN, PANTHER SKIN, PELT, RACCOON SKIN, SEALSKIN, SHEEPSKIN, SKIN, SQUIRREL SKIN, SWANSKIN, TANNED LEATHER, TIGER SKIN Found also describing the skins of BADGER, CAT, ERMINE, FISHER, FITCH, LEOPARD, MARTEN, MINK, MOLE, OTTER, SABLE, WEASEL, WOLF, WOLVERENE
Applied to EDGE TOOLs: Found describing DAGGER, SHEARS, SWORD
Applied to TEXTILEs: CAMLET, KENTISH CLOTH, PLAIN, SUFFOLK CLOTH, TOY
FLAX not yet heckled, possibly as harvested. Randle Holme gives a confusing definition that may have been intended to mean fully processed apart from the final heckling or ordering of the stems. [Acts (1731)] seems to have equated undressed flax with ROUGH FLAX, as does [Acts (1737)].
It is the direct English translation of 'Unguentum', an OINTMENT or SALVE. These were invariably based on a form of grease or fat like HOGS LARD, WAX or OLIVE OIL as the base in which were incorportaed the active ingredients. Most seem to have been designed to soothe rather than to cure an infection. Even so, unguents were perceived in the early-modern period as an important component of the medical armoury, and no less than 18 further headwords relate to products starting 'Unguentum'. Of these, seven appear in Randle Holme's surgeon's 'Box of unguents' [Holme (2000)], and six in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)].
But whereas Randle Holme's 'Box' in total contained only eight unguents (the eighth is POPULEON , which is also found in the Dictionary Archive), the Pharmacopoeia's six represent a mere third of the total given there. The other two thirds include some of that were most likely to be useful, like 'Unguentum e Pice' or Ointment of TAR', and 'Unguentum e Sulphure' or Ointment of SULPHUR, as well as two that were most likely to be more harmful than useful; 'Unguentum e Mercurio Praecipitato' or Ointment of MERCURY PRECIPITATE (possibly included for the external treatment of syphilis) and 'Unguentum Saturninum' or LEAD ointment'. This plethora notwithstanding, the early-modern apothecaries, particularly before 1700 made up their own range of unguents not in the Pharmacopoeia, some of which were apparently quite widely used including UNGUENTUM AGRIPPA, UNGUENTUM APOSTOLORUM, UNGUENTUM ARAGONI, UNGUENTUM COMITISSI, UNGUENTUM EGYPT and UNGUENTUM MELLIS. Apart from these, almost twenty were listed in the stock of one or another apothecary, mostly only once. There were probably made up to an individual's personal formula. These relatively unknown unguents are listed below with such information that can be elicited:
Flos unguentum appears in the Dictionary Archive three times, so the unusual word order is unlikely to be an accident. The meaning, however, remains obscure [Inventories (1573)]; [Inventories (1701)]; [Inventories (1730)].
An UNGUENT of unknown composition and use. It was apparently a fairly standard preparation, since it has been noted several times among other DRUGS, but it was not included in the mid-eighteenth century pharmocopoeia [Pemberton (1746)].
In English, WHITE - OINTMENT, though not noted in the Dictionary Archive in that form. The eighteenth-century Pharmocopoeia contained two recipes, the simple form made of OLIVE OIL, WHITE WAX and SPERMACETI, the more complex with an addition of CAMPHOR. The first was merely a pleasant smelling, soothing preparation [Diaries (Josselin)]. Pemberton added that the CERUSE formerly included was omitted in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia, since the white ointment was 'often used to the frettings of the skin of young children' [Pemberton (1746)].
Occasionally abbreviated as in 'Apostol oz 4' [Inventories (1693)], the term in English means the Apostles OINTMENT. UNGUENTUM apostolorum supposedly contained 12 ingredients, wherefore its name after the 12 apostles of Jesus. It was used to 'cleanse foul Sores' [OED, Apostle]. It was probably similar to, or identical with, Apostolicon, a preparation containing OLIVE OIL and LITHARGE OF LEAD. Randle Holme included it among the unguents commonly found in a surgeon's 'Box of Unguents' [Holme (2000)], but it does not appear in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)]. The evidence from the Dictionary Archive confirms that it probably went out of use before 1700.
Literally in English, the UNGUENT of Aragon. It was an OINTMENT that does not appear either in Randle Holme's list of popular unguents [Holme (2000)], or in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)]. Its composition and use are unknown.
Gold OINTMENT in English, however, one of the two examples noted in the Dictionary Archive valued it at a mere 12d LB, which suggests there was very little, if any, GOLD in it [Inventories (1690)]. It was not in the Pharmacopoeia, so was presumably of little importance in medicine. Probably it was based on LITHARGE OF GOLD and so in fact had no gold in it at all, but was merely of a golden colour. However, given that it has only been noted in an abbreviated form, it is possible that it should have been 'Unguentum aurentiorum' and therefore identical, except for its label, with ORANGE FLOWER OINTMENT.
Sometimes noted simply as Basilicum, the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia included three recipes of this OINTMENT or Basilicum; the YELLOW, the BLACK and the GREEN. All three were based on OLIVE OIL, YELLOW WAX and YELLOW ROSIN, with addtions of PITCH and TURPENTINE. VERDIGRIS to green basilicum [Pemberton (1746)]. None of the examples in the Dictionary Archive specified which. Although the addition of 'Basilicum' suggests a soverign remedy, judging by the ingredients, this ointment would have been merely mildly antiseptic. Unguentum basilicum seems to have been one of the cheaper ointments, being valued throughout at 8d-12d per LB.
In English, probably either 'UNGUENT of the Committee' or 'official unguent'. It was one of the most common unguents found in the stocks of apothecaries and the like, but it was not in Randle Holme's list of common unguents to be found in a surgeons box [Holme (2000)], nor in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)]. Its exact name, its composition and its use are all unknown.
An UNGUENT or OINTMENT made from POMPHOLYX, that is the crude oxide of zinc. Randle Holme included it as 'Vnguentum diapompholicus' among the standard preparations that might be found in an apothecary's UNGUENT BOX [Holme (2000)], but it was not in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)]. According to Bradley, it was excellent for treating the feet of oxen [Bradley (1725), 'Family Dictionary', quoted in the OED, under Pompholyx]. The 'ung't dianomphol [sic] oz 12' [Inventories (1690)], which does not seem to be a mis- transcription, was probably an attempt by the appraisers to write this name.
An UNGUENT with some association, real or believed, with Egypt. It is not among the list of unguents given by Randle Holme [Holme (2000)], nor is it in the eighteenth-century London Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)]. It was available throughout the period, but ts composition and use is unknown.
Unguentum ex althaea
In English, though it has not been met in this form, OINTMENT of MARSH MALLOW or ALTHEA. It was an official preparation made from OIL OF MUCILAGES, which was itself made from marsh mallow, YELLOW WAX, YELLOW ROSIN and COMMON TURPENTINE [Recipes (Pemberton)]. Randle Holme included 'Unguentum Dialthea' as one of the standard preparations that might be found in an apothecary's UNGUENT BOX [Holme (2000)]. Unguentum dialthaeae was the name of unguentum ex althaea before re-labelling in the mid-eighteenth century [Pemberton (1746)].
Unguentum linimentum arcei
An OINTMENT or liniment of unknown composition. It appears several times in the Dictionary Archive mostly before 1700 under a range of variants, including 'Lenamentum' Artie' [Inventories (1673)], and 'Lininent Arici' [Inventories (1690)]. Randle Holme included it among the unguents likely to be found in a surgeon's unguent box [Holme (2000)], but it did not appear in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)]. Possibly by then it had gone out of favour.
An OINTMENT, in English called 'green basilicum', the principal ingredient of which was VERDIGRIS. In the renaming that took place during the eighteenth century, its name was changed to Unguentum Basilicum Viride [Pemberton (1746)].
There is only one example in the Dictionary Archive found among the stock of an apothecary [Inventories (1573)]. It could be no more than a 'marvellous' UNGUENT or OINTMENT, but it could just as well be one made from MARVEL of Peru, Mirabilis jalapa, although little was known of its medicinal virtues if any, at the end of the sixteenth century.
In English probably an UNGUENT made with HONEY. It had long been appreciated that honey could be used to dress wounds, as it has some bactericidal quality [Crane (1980)]. However, this unguent was not in Randle Holme's list of common unguents to be found in a surgeon's unguent box [Holme (2000)], nor in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)].
An UNGUENT or OINTMENT designed to be applied to the chest. Although the only example in the Dictionary Archive was found among APOTHECARY WARE, this ointment was not in the Pharmacopoeia. However, it may well have been similar to the official Ungentum album camphoratum; CAMPHOR is used to this day as a mild de-congestant.
Although the name suggests an UNGUENT or OINTMENT based on APPLE, unguent pomatum was in fact made of HOGS LARD and ROSE WATER with as much ESSENCE of LEMON 'as shall be requisite to give it an agreeable scent'. The name was changed in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia to 'Unguentum simplex' 'in compliance with almost immemorial custom [Pemberton (1746)]. It has not been noted in the Dictionary Archive under this later name.
An old remedy, in English the UNGUENT or OINTMENT in which TUTTY was the principle ingredient. A recipe for it appeared in the Pharmacopoeia, in which it was mixed with VIPER's fat to bring the whole 'to the consistence of a soft ointment' [Pemberton (1746)].
The Latin term for the HOOF of an ELK. Since elk hooves are found expressed in Latin, and were listed among the DRUGS in the Books of Rates [Rates (1784)], they were presumably used in medicine, but in what fashion is not known.
Used to describe SILK and other textiles that are suitable to be WATERED, but have not been so treated. The term may be used to indicate imported cloths, which were to be finished locally. One eighteenth-century tradesman had TABBY, both 'water'd or unwater'd' for sale [Tradecards (18c.)].
The OED suggests it is a synonym of WHISKY, but a quotation it cites dated 1658 suggests this was not invariably so. Richard Bradley included a recipe for IRISH usquebaugh that he said he had from a former Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, which was 'the same Receipt King William had when he was in Ireland'. This was made from FRENCH BRANDY, LIQUORICE, RAISINS OF THE SUN and various SPICEs including MUSK and SAFFRON [Bradley (1736, facs. 1980)]. Eliza Smith included a similar recipe 'To make Usquebaugh' [Smith (1758, facs. 1994)]. Thus the drink available was almost certainly not whisky as it is known today, but a form of spiced SPIRITS based on brandy. This supposition is supported by the 1784 Book of Rates, in which usquebaugh was subject to the same rate of duty as other spiced drinks like VISNEY, HUNGARY WATER and ROSA SOLIS. This was more than three times the rate for BRANDY [Rates (1784)]. Whether usquebaugh from Scotland would have invariably been whisky in the modern sense is not known.
Usquebaugh was not widely for sale in this country, even though Randle Holme considered 'Usquebach' as one of the 'Drinks' that 'the Buttler, Yeoman of the Wine-Sellar and compounder of Liquors ... will tell us that they have in their Custody' [Holme (2000)]. However, there is evidence of it in LONDON shops from the 1690s, possibly as a result of King William's campaign in Ireland during 1690.
A TUB in which the GRAIN was steeped before it was left to sprout and convert into MALT. In the only example in the Dictionary Archive a 'uteinge tubb' was listed in the 'Malt House' along with all the other apparatus used in malt making [Inventories (1681)].