Batavia arrack - Bays

Sponsor

University of Wolverhampton

Publication

Author

Nancy Cox and Karin Dannehl

Year published

2007

Supporting documents

Citation Show another format:

'Batavia arrack - Bays', Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820 (2007). URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=58696 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Batavia arrack

A type of ARRACK popular during the middle decades of the eighteenth century, probably imported from the Indonesian capital Djakarta that was formerly called Batavia. Alternatively, this label could be a reference to the 'Batavi', an ancient people who dwelt on the island of Betawe, between the Rhine and the Waal, in part of what is now Holland, hence also DUTCH - ARRACK. This suggests that production of some version of SPIRITS under the name of arrack was being made in Europe. However, an advertisement for 'Fine old Batavia Arrack, now lying in the East India Company's Warehouse' indicates the name was definitely applied to a drink imported from the Far East [Newspapers (1751)]. The most likely explanation is that the so-called Dutch arrack originated from the East, and was imported to this country via the Dutch ports and that the reference to the European Batavia is a red herring.

OED earliest date of use: 1598

Simone Clarke

Found described as BEST, FINE, imported, NEAT, OLD
Found in units of GALLON

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Batch corn

The quantity of CORN sent to a mill at one time to be ground. This fits with the only example in the Dictionary Archive where 'three bushells of Meale of batchcorne' are listed along with 'bread corne vizt Rye and barlie' [Inventories (1635)].

OED earliest date of use: 1796

Found turned into MEAL and then measured by the BUSHEL

Sources: Inventories (early).

Batemans original pectoral drops

[dr. bateman's do; dr bateman's drops; bateman's original pectoral drops; bateman's drops; bateman's and stoughton's drops; bateman drops]

Bateman's original pectoral drops were first made apparently in about 1710. This QUACK MEDICINE was one of the most widely advertised in the eighteenth century, reflecting public concern about the dangers of infections of the lungs, since any, it was feared, might turn into Consumption (i.e. Tuberculosis), the deadly and most dreaded of diseases. Dr Bateman appears to have marketed his products from his own warehouse in Bow Church Yard in London, but by the second half of the eighteenth century, this had been taken over by William and Cluer Dicey, who made and distributed a wide range of medical products [Newspapers (1752)].

The drops were also claimed to bring the 'surest Relief in the most acute Rheumatism' [Newspapers (1761)].

Not found in the OED

Found in units of BOTTLE

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Bath lace

It is not clear whether this was a LACE made in BATH or a distinctive type. In one advertisement it was distinguished from MECHLIN LACE, ENGLISH lace and BLACK lace [Tradecards (18c.)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.

Bath lozenges

The only example of Bath lozenges in the Dictionary Archive appeared in a list of lozenges, most of which were of slight medicinal value [Tradecards (1800)]. Bath LOZENGEs were probably a copy of those made by Benjamin Dawson of Bath, whose PECTORAL LOZENGES were widely advertised and sold. Probably Bath lozenges were of a pleasant taste, and mildly soothing in the case of a tickling cough.

Not found in the OED online

Found in units of small BOX

See also LOZENGE.
Sources: Tradecards.

Bath waters

Medicinal spa WATERS from BATH in Somerset

Found in units of RUNLET

See also BATH WARE, CHELTENHAM WATERS, HOTWELL WATERS.
Sources: Houghton, Inventories (late), Tradecards.

Batten plaster

[battin-plaster]

In the context of the source it appears to have been a PLASTER intended for spreading on BATTENs as a wall surface, the final layer of which was intended to take the WALLPAPER [Diaries (White)]. [Inventories (1783)] gives some clues on the preparation for a wall to take plaster in an entry that lists 23 'battins under the laths and hair'.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Diaries.

Bavin

A bundle of brushwood or light underwood, such as used to heat bakers' ovens, differing from a FAGGOT in being bound with only one BAVIN BAND instead of two.

OED earliest date of use: 1528

Sources: Houghton.

Bavin band

[bavin-band]

The BAND used for binding a bundle of thin wood called a BAVIN. According to Houghton, BIRCH 'although the worst of timber', was used to make bavin bands [Houghton], though more realistically, it is likely that any convenient pliable twigs were used.

OED earliest date of use: 1580

Found made of BIRCH

Sources: Houghton.

Bay leaf

[bay-leaves]

The aromatic leaf of the BAY TREE, widely used as a culinary herb and to a lesser extent in medicine and TOILETRY. John Houghton noted that 'It's a common thing with nurses to help the children of the gripes, to boil bay-leaves in their food' [Houghton].

OED earliest date of use: 1636

Sources: Houghton, Recipes, Tradecards.

Bays

[beease; bayze; bayse; bayes; baize; baies]

OED gives bay and baize as leading entries, but the form BAYS has been found to be the most common in the Dictionary Archive.

Bays were a TEXTILE characterized by a WOOLLEN weft about four times heavier than the warp and crammed enough to hide it. Some early continental bays were made with LINEN weft. It was heavily felted and usually napped on both sides.

Bays was one of the first CLOTHs made of a rockspun warp (a form of WORSTED) and a carded weft, hence the common name 'Handwarp Bays' for this type. However, it could not be sold under this name because of the possibility of confusion with 'Antwerp', hence in the Customs records they were often called 'White Suffolks' or 'All whites' with MINIKIN a particular speciality. All these were fine cloths and were being exported well before 1560. Fugitives from France and the Netherlands introduced a different type of bays into England during the sixteenth century. Dutch immigrant baysmakers established themselves in the South-east and made bays using wheel-spun WOOL, though some were of excellent quality. Colchester was a centre of bays manufacture as was BOCKING, though its products were inferior. Bays were also widely made elsewhere.

The making of bays was regulated throughout the period. It was one of the fabrics mentioned in 1581/C9 banning the use of LOGWOOD in dyeing black. Both 1609/C7 and 1660/C22 regulated the manufacture, the process being usefully described in the latter. 1783/C15 spelled out how the different qualities of bays should be marked.

Bays were widely available; even in the sixteenth century some shops stocked several colours and qualities. They were no less widespread in the eighteenth century, though by then the price had come down, and many sold for 1s or less the yard. Since bays varied so much in quality, they had a wide range of uses. According to Thornton, bays were mainly used for linings or for making protective coverings for furniture, but also to cover CHAIRS. Seventeenth century probate inventories, particularly those for London tradesmen, indicate that it was also used for HANGINGS and CURTAINs. The cheaper sorts were used where they did not need to last; as funereal drapes, to line coffins and (though the Dictionary Archive does not contain any definite examples) and as SHROUDs. Bays were also used to make APPAREL.

OED earliest use: 1578 under Baize

Found described as BLACK, BLUE, BROAD, COARSE, COLOURED, double, FINE, FLANNEL, of FLORENCE, FRENCH, GREEN, MANCHESTER, MINIKIN, NARROW, PURPLE, 'quinque', RED, SAND coloured, single, SILVER coloured, slight, STAMPED, TAMMY, TAWNY, WHITE, YELLOW, Yorkshire Found used to make BLANKET, BREECHES, CARPET, CLOAK [the lining], CURTAIN, GOWN, HANGINGS, HAT, LININGs, PETTICOAT, VALLENS, WAISTCOAT
Found in the shops measured by PIECE, YARD Found rated by the HUNDREDWEIGHT

See also BARNSTABLE BAYS, BAY CLOTH, COLCHESTER BAYS.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Rates, Recipes, Tradecards.
References: Kerridge (1985), 89-108, Montgomery (1984), 159-60, Thornton (1979), 114, 219, 221.