Buck cloth - Buckwheat

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University of Wolverhampton

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Author

Nancy Cox and Karin Dannehl

Year published

2007

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'Buck cloth - Buckwheat', Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820 (2007). URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=58710 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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Buck cloth

The term refers to a TEXTILE. In the early-modern period, it was almost certainly a printers' error for the LINEN CLOTH called BUSK CLOTH. It makes a single appearance in the Dictionary Archive in the Book of Rates 1582, immediately following the entry for busk cloth [Rates (1582)].

No definition in the OED, though there is a reference in an extract (1887)

Found described as of HOLLAND PLOY, NARROW
Found rated by PIECE

See also BUSK CLOTH, HOLLAND PLOY.
Sources: Rates.

Buck horn

[bucks horn; buckhorne; bucke horne; buck horne]

The HORN of a BUCK was used to make BUTTONs, the HILT or HAFT of a KNIFE etc., and for making a BLOWING HORN, which was sometimes called a 'buck horn'.

Buck horn was also the label given to DRIED - WHITING or other FISH, so named because of its hardness. In this sense the term does not appeared in the Dictionary Archive.

OED earliest date of use: 1613 as HORN; 1447/8 as a blowing horn; 1602 as FISH

As HORN: Found describing CASE, FORK, HAFT, KNIFE
Found in units of DOZEN Found rated by the HUNDRED

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates.

Buck leather

[bucks lether]

LEATHER made from BUCKSKIN dressed with oil in a similar fashion as a CHAMOIS SKIN and used by the cavalry [Caulfeild and Saward (1885, facs.1989)], and for other articles of APPAREL such as BUCKSKINS or GLOVES. Maintaining its appearance could present problems and hence offers of servicing, such as the advertisement by Charles Hart near Cosney Bridge, who claims that he 'washeth Buck and Doe Leather and Colours Gloves' [Newspapers (1709)].

OED earliest date of use: 1681

Found used to make GLOVES

Sources: Inventories (early), Newspapers, Rates.
References: Caulfield & Saward (1885, facs. 1989).

Buckbean

A water plant, Menyanthes trifoliata, common in bogs in Britain and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere. It was used in the treatment of gout, and also apparently to make a herbal TEA. It has not been noted in the Dictionary Archive.

OED earliest date of use: 1578

Bucket

[buckitt; buckit; buckett; buckete; bockat]

A vessel, generally made of LEATHER or WOOD, used to draw water from a well or to carry water. Because of its use in the well, it was often listed along with a CHAIN, as in 'a bucket and chaine' [Inventories (1588)].

OED earliest date of use: 1300

Found described as Brewing, COAL, Coal pit, HEAD STALL, IRON bound, Lading, Milking, ORDINARY, Water, Well Found made of IRON, LEATHER, WOOD
Found in units of DOZEN Found rated by DOZEN

See also FIRE BUCKET, WELL BUCKET.
Sources: Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Rates, Tradecards.

Bucking ash

[bucking ashes; buckeinge ashes]

This was possibly an alternative name for 'buck ashes', which the OED says were the spent ashes after the lye had been extracted. They were used as a MANURE. However, they may have been ASHES suitable for bucking, that is, of steeping or boiling CLOTH, CLOTHING, YARN, etc. in order to bleach them.

OED earliest date of use: 1563 as Buck ashes under Buck

Found in units of BUSHEL

Sources: Diaries.

Bucking loom

[lome for buckings; buckloome; bowkyng lome; bowklome; bowkinge loombe; booke lome]

A vessel of COOPERY; a LOOM used for washing or more accurately, bucking clothes, and similar to or identical with a BUCKING TUB.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Inventories (early).

Bucking pot

[bucking pott]

It was probably a large POT in which CLOTH, YARN, CLOTHING etc. could be boiled and thus bleached in a lye made of WOOD ASH; or possibly merely a synonym for BUCKING TUB.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Bucking tub

[bucking-tubb; buckinge tubbe; buckinge tub; bucking tubbe; bucking tubb; bowking tubbe; bocking tub]

A TUB, sometimes with an outlet for drainage, in which CLOTH, YARN or APPAREL was bleached or washed, particularly when using a lye made of WOOD ASH rather than SOAP, although the distinction was probably not carefully observed. At the end of the eighteenth century a more complicated bucking tub was invented with its own source of heat [Patents (1795)].

OED online earliest date of use: 1588 under Drive

See also BUCKING LOOM, BUCKING POT, WASHING TUB.
Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Buckingham lace

[buckingham and trolley lace]

A form of PILLOW LACE made in the county of Buckinghamshire, but similar, though regarded as superior, to that made in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. The making of lace in these counties was supposedly introduced by Catherine of Aragon, but more likely by Huguenot refugees in the reign of Elizabeth I., and hence its alternative name of Lille lace. When the outline of the pattern in one form was accented with a thick thread, it was called Buckinghamshire TROLLY [Caulfeild and Saward (1885, facs.1989)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Newspapers.
References: Caulfield & Saward (1885, facs. 1989).

Buckle

[bucks; buckls; buckles; buckell; buckel; bockl]

A rim, usually of metal, with a hinged tongue carrying one or more spikes, for securing a BELT, strap, or ribbon, which is passed through the rim and pierced by the spike or spikes. A buckles could be entirely practical as a secure way of fastening two items together, important in HARNESS; hence entries like 'Brasse Buckles for Bridles w'th Starrs' [Inventories (1679)]. On the other hand it could be a highly decorative object, especially as a SHOE BUCKLE. For this reason some retailers stocked buckles in variety, though not without risk as fashion was important in buckles as in any other article of APPAREL; hence the record of a tradesman who misjudged, and was left with 'a parcell old facion buckles' [Inventories (1733)]. Fashion also manifested itself in advertisements like the one for 'Gilt, Metal, Mourning and Stone Buckles' [Newspapers (1770)].

Buckle-making was a skill in its own right. One advertisement listed the equipment of a 'Dyesinker and Buckle stamper', showing the outlay necessary to set up making such a simple addition to dress. Listed were: 'two very good Buckle Stamps, a large Quantity of Buckle Dyes, two Piercing Presses, sundry Vices, Dye Turning, Scratching and Polishing Lathes, Casting Moulds, Shop Bellows, Anvil, Dye dish, Punches, Gravers, Burnishers &c., a Quantity of Buckle Rings, Slabs, Lead Patterns, &c.' [Newspapers (1780)]. The craft was even sub-divided, with a 'Chape maker' making the buckle CHAPE.

OED earliest date of use: 1340

Found described as BLACK, COMMON, FASHIONABLE, FINE, Finished, GILT, GREAT, Half, HAT, Head, HEADSTALL, Knee, LARGE, LONDON WORK, MEN, Mourning, NARROW, OLD, PLAIN, PLATED, Polished, Saddlers, Sanguine, SMALL, Sorted, SQUARE, STONE, TRUMPERY, Unfinished, WHITE, Whole, WOMEN Found described as for BELT, BOOT, BRACELET, BRIDLE, COLLAR, GIRDLE, GIRTH, SLEEVE, SPUR, STAY, STOCK, SURCINGLE, Throat, TROUSERS Found describing BRUSH Found made of BATH METAL, BRASS, COPPER, CRYSTAL, IRON, METAL, PINCHBECK, SILVER, STEEL, TIN Found included among BIRMINGHAM GOODS Found used as FAIRINGs
Found in units of BUNCH, DOZEN, DRACHM, GROSS, OUNCE, PAIR, PAPER, SET, STRING, SUIT Found rated by GROSS of 12 DOZEN, SMALL GROSS of 12 DOZEN

See also SHIRT BUCKLE, SHOE BUCKLE.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates, Tradecards.

Buckling comb

[buckleing comb; ___kling ditto]

A dressing comb, used for curling the hair [Cox (1966, pb 1969)].

OED online earliest date of use: 1846

Found in units of DOZEN

Sources: Inventories (late).
References: Cox (1966, pb 1989).

Buckram

[bukr'; buckrume; buckroum; buckrome; buckrom; buckrm; buckrem; buckrame; buckra'; buckra; buckerum; buckeru'; buckerome; buckerom; buckerham; buckeram; buckarum; buckarane; buckaram; buck rum; bokram; bokeram; bockarem]

In early continental, and apparently English use, it denoted a costly and delicate TEXTILE, sometimes of COTTON, sometimes of LINEN, but by 1436 at least the name was also being applied to coarse LINEN CLOTH or COTTON CLOTH, sometimes but not always, stiffened with GUM or paste [Montgomery (1984)]. Both meanings remained in use during the period, but the first became uncommon and has not been identified in the Dictionary Archive. By the eighteenth century, buckram was invariably coupled with cheap linens, costing less than 1s a yard, and some retailers stocked it in variety [Inventories (1727)].

OED earliest date of use: 1222 in the first sense; 1436 in the second sense

Found described as BLACK, BRITISH, BROAD, BROWN, CALICO, COARSE, COLOURED, CRIMSON, double sized, DRAB, EAST COUNTRY, ENGLISH, FINE, FRENCH, of Germany, GREEN, HAMBURG, IRISH, natural, NORMANDY, OILED, PURPLE, ROAN, SAD colour, Sized, WHITE, YELLOW Found describing CANVAS, WRAPPER Found used to make BAG, BED, BOTTOM (of a bed), COAT, COVERING (for a STOOL), CURTAIN, HANGINGS, headcloth, lining for a GOWN, SPARVER, TESTER, WINDOW CURTAIN, WRAPPER
Found in units of DOZEN, ELL, DOZEN - PIECE, HALF PIECE, PIECE, ROLL, YARD Found imported from Muscovy by the PIECE Found rated by the DOZEN, HALF PIECE, PAPER of 3 PIECE, PIECE, ROLL, Found listed by number

See also CALICO BUCKRAM, CARRICK BUCKRAM, GERMAN BUCKRAM.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Rates, Tradecards.
References: Montgomery (1985).

Buckskin

[skins of different sorts viz buck; buckskyn; buckskinne; buckskine; buck-skin; bucks; buckes skinge; bucke skyne; buck skinn; buck skine; buck skin; buck or deer skin; buck doe ram goat and ground lamb skin; buck deer and elk skin; buck and doe skin; buck & doe skin]

The SKIN of male fallow deer or other species, often imported from northern America and used particularly in the manufacture of BREECHES, hence BUCKSKINS, or GLOVES. The skins were usually prepared in oil rather than TANNED, like much of the heavier weights of LEATHER.

OED earliest date of use: 1433

Found described as broken, DRESSED, DRESSED in ALUM and SALT or MEAL, DRESSED in OIL, in Dressing, ENGLISH, HALF DRESSED, INDIAN, IN THE HAIR, LARGE, MILLED, in OIL, OILED, UNDRESSED, washed Found used to make BREECHES, GLOVES
Found in units of DOZEN Found imported by SKIN Found rated by SKIN

See also BUCK LEATHER, BUCKSKINS.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates.

Buckskins

A term for BREECHES made of BUCKSKIN, it has not located as such in the Dictionary Archive as such, although BREECHES made of buckskin were found [Inventories (1742)].

OED earliest date of use: 1481

See also BUCK LEATHER, BUCKSKIN, LEATHER BREECHES.

Buckthorn

The shrub Rhamnus catharticus, the berries of which yield SAP GREEN. Buckthorn green was sometimes used elliptically for a CLOTH so dyed, hence the entry 'iij'or yards and A half buckhorne grene at vijs vjd' [Inventories (1587)].The berries were also formerly used as a powerful cathartic, hence the entry in Nicholas Blundell's Diary in 1707 'My Wife took 3 oz of Buckthorn Berry Serrop & 2 oc. of Sirrop of Ruburb, it worked very moderately' [Diaries (Blundell)]. One purveyor of PHYSICAL HERBs chose to give his address as 'ye Buckthorn Tree, Covent Garden' [Tradecards (1715)], suggesting that the berries may have had a better reputation than the relative rarity of references in the Dictionary Archive would imply. The berries were in the eighteenth century Materia Medica, under the Latin form of Spina cervina, and a recipe for the SYRUP appears in the main Pharmacopoeia [Pemberton (1746)]. Frederick Accum warned of the use of cheaper berries to make the syrup [Accum (1820)].

OED earliest date of use: 1578

As the BERRIES: Found made into SYRUP

Sources: Diaries, Inventories (early), Tradecards.
References: Accum (1820), Pemberton (1746).

Buckwheat

[buck-wheat; buckweed; buck wheat; buck or french wheat]

This is not a WHEAT at all but a species of Polygonum, Polygonum fagopyrum, from Central Asia, whence it was introduced into Europe by the Turks about the thirteenth century. The seed was used as an animal food and occasionally for human consumption. Its use in making MIXED BREAD was permitted late in the eighteenth century [Acts (1796)], but probably little was used in this way. Nicholas Blundell on his trip over to Flanders in 1716 'observed very little of each side of the Rode except great Plenty of Buck-Wheat, Oats and Clover there being little elce to be seen especially Buck Wheat or as we call it in Lancashire French Wheat' [Diaries (Blundell)]. John Holt, writing several decades later, observed that 'a small quantity of buckwheat also [is grown in Lancashire] for the use of poultry, or to be ploughed in previous to a crop of wheat' [Holt (1795, facs. 1969)]. The two uses he recorded are confirmed elsewhere; buckwheat SEED has been found among a list of 'SEEDS to improve land' [Tradecards (n.d.)], and in France POULTRY reared on INDIAN CORN and buckwheat was already becoming an established industry. However, Adam Smith believed it was not used in this country to any extent for this purpose [Smith (1776)]. It is not surprising to find it was not grown to harvest very much as grain either for bread or to make STRONG WATERS [Patents (1636)] as the seed ripens sporadically and drops as soon as ripe, so it is difficult to harvest.

OED earliest date of use: 1548

Found in units of QUARTER Found rated by the QUARTER

See also FRENCH WHEAT.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Patents, Rates, Tradecards.
References: Holt (1795, facs. 1969), Smith (1776).