Hobnail - Holliwortle

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University of Wolverhampton

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Nancy Cox and Karin Dannehl

Year published

2007

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'Hobnail - Holliwortle', Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820 (2007). URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=58793 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Hobnail

[hobnayle; hobnay; hobbe naille; hobb nayll; hobb naile; hob nayle; hob naile]

A NAIL with a massive head and a short tang used to protect the sole of a heavy BOOT or SHOE.

OED earliest date of use: 1594 under Hobnail

Found described as Clob, LARGE, SMALL, THICK HEAD
Found in units of M, THOUSAND Found exported in C

See also CLOG NAIL, PATTEN NAIL.
Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Hogs tub

[swyne tubbe; hog-tub; hogg tubb; hogg tub; hoges tobe]

Possibly synonymous with HOGS TROUGH, but it could have been a vessel for holding PICKLED - HOGS FLESH. The association of hogs tubs with a HOG HUTCH sugests the former [Inventories (1769)], but the entry 'One Tub of pork with the Tub' [Inventories (1754)], indicates the latter. In the Dictionary Archive 'Hogs tub' is a term noted only for southern England. 'Swyne Tubbe' has also been noted once [Inventories (1591)], which was probably a northern variant for the same vessel.

OED online earliest date of use: 1893 under Skippet

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (late).

Hogshead heading

[hodshit heding]

The piece, or pieces, of shaped WOOD designed to form the HEAD or the foot of a HOGSHEAD. Whether there is any distinction between the two terms is not clear, but 'heading' seems to have been most often used with the hogshead, while BARREL HEAD and FIRKIN HEAD were applied to the pieces fitting the smaller casks.

Found in units of DOZEN Found rated by the HUNDRED of 6 SCORE

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

Holland

[hulland; hollond; hollin; holl'd; holld; holland's; hollands; hollande; hollan; holl'; holand; halld'; halland]

When Henry VIII referred to his proposed wife, Anne of Cleves, as the 'Flemish Mare', he was displaying the ignorance of many people of his day to the geography of the Low Countries. His misapprehension is not entirely surprising as the inhabitants of this area themselves were uncertain about what to call themselves and the country they occupied at a time when they were struggling to acquire a national identity against the threats posed first by the Spanish and then by the French. The confusion of the protagonists is reflected in the vocabulary of English trade, whose merchants apparently often preferred to use 'Holland' or DUTCH as generic terms to cover all trade that came through the principal port, Amsterdam.

Holland itself was in the Middle Ages a small county bordering the North Sea to the west, and the Zuider Zee on the north and east. The horrific inundations from the North Sea into the estuary of the river Scheldt during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries altered the coast line of southern Holland and began the downfall of the great medieval entrepot port of Antwerp, a process completed by the capture of the town and its sacking by Spanish troops in 1572. Holland became the centre of resistance to the Spanish, who maintained their hold only on the largely catholic and French-speaking areas in the south, of which the most important were FLANDERS and BRABANT. They in turn were afflicted along with the Protestant Dutch by the territorial ambitions of Louis XIV, who dreamt of extending France to its 'natural' boundaries of the River Rhine.

Despite the ongoing wars of liberation, which covered virtually the whole of the early modern period, great progress was made in reclaiming land from the sea. From the 1590s to the 1640s about 200, 000 acres were recovered and the rich, newly cultivated land provided sufficient produce to furnish Amsterdam and the other industrial and mercantile towns. Amsterdam itself grew from 31, 000 in 1578 to about 150, 000 by 1648, providing a work force for the increasingly capitalist industries of the town and its environs.

The Dutch were seen as serious competitors by the English, not only in the exploitation of the rich resources of India and the Far East, but also in the field of linen manufacture. The struggle over the former is recounted in the article on EAST INDIA, but the latter is dealt with here, largely because Holland and HOLLAND CLOTH became generic terms covering good-quality, plain-woven LINEN produced not only in Holland itself, but also in the large hinterland that sent its linen to Amsterdam for whitening (hence the frequent mention of WHITED with regard to Holland and holland cloth) and thereafter for export. The English were pre-occupied in the sixteenth century and the seventeenth with the reduction of the bill for imports. One solution was to discourage the importation of foreign, particularly Dutch, linens and the establishment of a home industry, hence the detailed listing in every Book of Rates of the charges applicable to these commodities. The various Books of Rates also illustrate very well not only the determination of the English government to curb imports, but also the equal determination of the merchants who made their living from imported linen to hang onto their trade. The struggle between the Customs Office and the merchants is reflected in the detailed vocabulary of the linen trade as the former tried to find all-inclusive terms, the latter to find labels that fell outside the custom's definitions. In the pre-Restoration books may be found extensive lists under such general headings as 'Linen cloth called ...', 'Holland Linen', 'Flanders Holland cloth', 'Fustians called Amsterdam, Holland or Dutch fustians ...' [Rates (1657)], which were obviously designed to included all the labels that merchants might use. Some of these have not been noted elsewhere, such as AMSTERDAM - FUSTIAN or AETES CLOTH [Rates (1657)]. By 1784 a different approach was tried with the use of generic headings with no specifically labelled cloths, but merely categories differentiated by the price and by the width and the length of the piece. However, if nothing else, both RATES and ACTS show the enormous impact imports from Holland made on British trade and on every day life.

Much holland was imported unbleached and called BROWN holland, though there were as has been noted above a host of specific labels besides. In probate inventories of the sixteenth century and the early seventeenth, the terms 'holland' and 'holland cloth' seems to have been used generically and interchangeably, but useful clues to quality can be found in the associations with other fabrics. For example, holland was sometimes coupled with 'WHITED - CANVAS', the standard SHEETING of the day, whereas SLEAZY HOLLAND was associated with SCOTCH CLOTH. During the seventeenth century Holland became the accepted name of the highest quality of plain-woven linen suitable for NAPERY, BED LINEN and SHIRTING. Although this remained a feature of the eighteenth-century household economy of the middling sort, an extension of function began to develop along the lines of the definition given in Caulfeild and Saward (1885). Here the use of holland for napery and bed linen was ignored, and mention was made of glazed holland (made either with the traditional FLAX or with COTTON) and varieties suitable for 'carriage or chair covers and for trunk linings' and for 'window roller blinds'. It would seem that, by the end of the nineteenth century, the term 'holland' brought to mind different images than had been the case a hundred and fifty years before, although this process of change was already becoming apparent toward the end of the early-modern period when GLAZED hollands and COTTON hollands first appeared in the Dictionary Archive as did OIL CASEs of holland for 'Hats and Hoods' and for covers of Ladies RIDING HABITs [Newspapers (1760)].

Valuations varied widely. At the lower end they matched those for sleazy holland or scotch cloth, whereas at the top they ranked with the most expensive linen available anywhere. Hollands were almost invariably measured by the ELL except for the cheaper varieties, which came occasionally measured by the YARD. COARSE holland has been found valued at a mere 6d ELL. Some retailers had huge stocks of holland showing a range of valuations, and presumably therefore of quality. For example, an Oxford mercer had holland (unspecified) in seven qualities valued mostly above 2s 4d ELL, but falling to 17d and rising to 3s 8d. Above that he had 'fine holland' at 4s and at the cheaper end he stocked sleazy holland in four grades valued from 12d to 22d and SCOTCH HOLLAND at 2s 4d [Inventories (1612)].

There appears to have been no significant shift (ignoring inflation) in retail prices of holland between 1573 and 1701 as noted by Spufford in a study of probate accounts. She gives figures ranging from 15.4d to 82.3d YARD from 1573 to 1610, 17.1d to 32.0d between 1610 and 1600, and 20.6d to 89.1d between 1660 and 1701. Retail prices noted in DIARIES went from 5s 6d ELL (1665) to 8s ELL (1708), and in one list of debts of what were probably wholesale prices from 12½d to 4s 5d ELL, (this last designated FINE) [Inventories (1566)]. Newspapers advertisements from the eighteenth century offered holland, usually IRISH or SCOTCH HOLLAND, at prices ranging from 1s 6d YARD to 12s ELL.

HOUGHTON in his lists of imports and their place of immediate origin during the 1690s showed how much came through Amsterdam and the other Dutch ports that had not necessarily been made in Holland; LINENS such as CAMBRIC, DAMASK and LAWN and HABERDASHERY like INKLE, TAPE and FILLETING; HEMP and its products; PAPER and paper products such a PRINTs, MAPs and BOOKs; TIMBER WARE such as BARREL STAVEs, WAINSCOT and OAK BOARDs; WINE, OLIVE OIL and SPICES; SILK in most stages of processing; not to mention the rewards of the sea already hotly contested by English operators, such as WHALE FINs, SPERMACETI, and STOCK FISH. By the end of the early-modern period, most of these would have arrived in British ships directly from the place of origin.

OED earliest date of use: a1400 for the term generally; 1427 when applied elliptically to HOLLAND CLOTH

Found described as BLUE, BROWN, COARSE, COTTON, DIAPER, DUTCH, ELL WIDE, FINE, GERMAN, GHENTISH, GLAZED, for GOWNs, HAMBURG, inkle thread, IRISH, NARROW, NORWICH, PINKED, PRINTED, in the ROUGH, SCOTCH, SHIRTING, small thread, STRIPED, SWEDISH, Swiss, TUFTED, WHITE, WINDOW Found describing BINDING, BROWN PAPER, CAP, CHECK, CLOUT, COUNTERPANE, DAMASK, EARTHEN - DISH, EDGING, FILLETING, FLAX, FROCK, FUSTIAN, GLOVES, half SHIFT, HEMP, HOOPING, INKLE, OILCLOTH, PAIL, QUILT, STONEWARE, TABLING, TICK, TOY, TWINE
Found used to make APRON, BOARD CLOTH, BOLSTER, CERECLOTH, CUPBOARD CLOTH, CURTAIN, HALF SHIRT, PILLOW BERE, PILLOW COAT, PILLOW TIE, SHEET, SHIFT, SHIRT, TABLE CLOTH, TAPE, TICK, TOWEL, VALANCE

See also ALKMAAR HOLLAND, BURLAP, DUTCH, GULIX, HOLLAND CLOTH, HOLLANDS, ISINGHAM, SCOTCH HOLLAND, SLEAZY HOLLAND.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Rates, Recipes, Tradecards.
References: Caulfeild and Saward (1885), Schama (1987) gives a useful account of the development and culture of the Netherlands and his work has been used extensively in the construction of this article, Spufford (2000), 690.

Holland Bible

The Dutch Statenbijbel was authorized by the Synod of Dordt, which met in 1618 and 1619 to debate the theological questions of sin and salvation. Financing for the translation by the government was finally approved in 1625, and work began in November 1626 in the city of Leiden. The translation was essentially Calvinist in character and was completed in October 1635, with its first printing finished in June 1637. After some initial resistance, the Statenbijbel was almost universally embraced in the Netherlands. By 1660 virtually every Protestant home in the country had a copy, and the churches had adopted it as their pulpit Bible [Calvin News (online)].

The Stanbijbel was for the Dutch the equivalent of the St James or Authorized Version for the English. It might have been expected that examples would have been found in East Anglia or London, where there were contingents of Dutch settlers. In fact, only two examples have been noted in the Dictionary Archive; one in the library of Casper Woollenhaupt of Luneburg, Nova Scotia [Inventories (1809)] and the other in the shop of a Penrith grocer [Inventories (1670)].

Found described as PLAIN

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).
References: Calvin News (online).

Holland cheese

Probably synonymous with DUTCH CHEESE, since Dutch and Holland seem to have been to some extent, but not always, interchangeable. Sarah Fell, the Lancashire Quaker, ordered holland cheese from Newcastle (presumably upon Tyne). It is not clear whether she had a special order sent from Holland or whether she was able to buy it from Newcastle suppliers. She only paid carriage on it from Newcastle.

See also DUTCH CHEESE.
Sources: Diaries.

Holland duck

[hollands-duck; duck holland]

A TEXTILE in the form of a a strong plain-woven LINEN CLOTH or HEMPEN CLOTH (later COTTON CLOTH), lighter and finer than most CANVAS or SAILCLOTH. It was used for small SAILs and men's, especially sailors' APPAREL. Either it was synonymous with VITRY CANVAS, or their characteristics were very similar, perhaps the only difference being that the one was made in Holland and the other in Brittany. In 1712 Nicholas Blundell purchased holland duck 2 FT 6 INCH wide at 21d YARD for constructing the SAILs for his windmill [Diaries (Blundell)].

OED earliest date of use: 1640 as Duck

Found described as imported from Germany
Found in units of ELL, YARD

See also CANVAS, SAIL CLOTH, SAIL DUCK, VITRY CANVAS.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (late).

Holland earthenware

Presumably DELF WARE, characterized by a blue glaze on a bluish white ground. Probably mostly MUGs and JUGs, although Dutch decorative tiles were popular. [Patents (1676)] described a new method of making TILEs, PORCELAIN and EARTHENWARE in the way 'practised in Holland', one of the many attempts to introduce continental technology into this country. Although not noted in the shops as such, Holland earthenware was still being shipped to this country according to the Gloucester Coastal Port Books in the 1690s, which suggests that the new method described in [Patents (1676)] had not ousted Dutch imports entirely.

Not found in the OED and not located in Dictionary Archive but found in Gloucester Coastal Port Books

See also DELF WARE, DUTCH, DUTCH MUG.
References: Gloucester Coastal Port Books (1998).

Holland flax

[hollan flax; holl fflax; ho flax]

It was probably identical with or similar to FLANDERS FLAX and DUTCH FLAX, all coming from DUTCH ports like ANTWERP and AMSTERDAM. It has been noted valued more highly than MUSCOVY FLAX, which would have come through the Baltic ports such as DANTZIG (hence DANTZIG FLAX).

Found in units of C, HEAD, LB, MAT, QUARTER, STONE

See also DANTZIG FLAX, DUTCH FLAX, FLANDERS FLAX, HOLLAND, HOLLAND LINEN.
Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Holland linen

Holland and its neighbours were major producers of LINEN of all grades, the finest of which was usually designated simply as HOLLAND or HOLLAND CLOTH. It was much used for making the highest quality of NAPERY and BED LINEN above those made of DIAPER, HUCKABACK, FLAXEN CLOTH, HEMPEN CLOTH and TOW.

OED earliest date of use: 1617

Found described as PLAIN

Sources: Rates.

Holland metal

This is not the same as DUTCH METAL. A rather obscure entry in [Inventories (1665)] that reads 'two pownd potts Holland mettle n'ro 77', valued at 12s 10d and placed among this apothecary's storage vessels such as GALLY POTs, suggests that the term 'metal' was used to indicate pots made of GLASS or CLAY, and indeed not any type of metal. However, this strains the definitions given in the OED. In support of the alternative interpretation, HOUGHTON may be cited, who records the importation of GALLIPOTs and other EARTHENWARE from HOLLAND in the 1690s and who suggests that they might be used as 'patterns to set our people on work' [Houghton].

See also DUTCH METAL.
Sources: Inventories (mid-period).

Holland ploy

Folded like HOLLAND CLOTH, that is, presumably longitudinally. Some types of HOLLAND were recorded by the anonymous author of the 'Merchants Warehouse Laid Open' as folded in this way, though he did not use the term, including ALKMAAR HOLLAND, BURLAP, both described as 'crested, which seems to mean much the same, and FRIZE, described as 'usually made up long folded' [Anon (1696)]. This method of packaging had been in use for some time, for the 1507 Book of Rates recorded 'clothe that ys follden lyke Holond clothe' [Willan (1962)].

Not found in the OED

Found describing BUSK CLOTH

See also PLEAT HOLLAND.
Sources: Rates.
References: Anon (1696), Willan (1962).

Holland strip

A TEXTILE; a form of FUSTIAN: in 1712 Nicholas Blundell purchased a PIECE of fustian from a pedlar who called it 'Holland Strip'. This may be a mis-spelling of Holland Stripe; in which case it was probably a STRIPED fabric [Diaries (Blundell)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Diaries.

Holland tape

Caufeild and Saward (1885) gave several varieties of TAPE, including DUTCH tape, which they defined as 'a good, fine quality of tape'. Besides this, Perkins (1853) also included 'holland tape', which sounds very similar. Neither was defined, but it seems that holland or dutch in this context had become a recognized quality rather than merely a descriptor denoting place of origin.

Found described as BROAD, NARROW
Found measured by GROSS, HALF PIECE, PIECE, YARD

Sources: Inventories (late), Newspapers, Tradecards.
References: Caufeild and Saward (1885), Perkins (1853).

Holland ware

Probably LINEN and LINEN YARN from HOLLAND, but HOLLAND EARTHENWARE is another possibility. The context should indicate which.

Not found in the OED

Holland yarn

Probably the same as DUTCH YARN, that is a RAW or BROWN - LINEN YARN. In [Diaries (Pepys)] Pepys recorded how he observed tests on Holland yarn intended for making ROPE. He found that five threads of Holland broke sooner than four of made of RIGA HEMP.

Sources: Diaries.

Hollands

Also called Holland's GENEVA, and two further names, Rotterdam geneva and Skeedam geneva, are taken here to be identical with hollands. Note that hollands can furthermore be the plural of HOLLAND which was frequently used elliptically for HOLLAND CLOTH.

In the main, the term denoted SPIRITS made from GRAIN and manufactured in HOLLAND. Notice, however, that [Recipes (Bradley, R.)] gives instructions for making 'Cologn's Gin' of BRANDY flavoured with JUNIPER, claiming it to be 'as sold in Holland'. Prices listed in NEWSPAPERS range from 8s to 10s 6d GALLON. Most of the advertisements emphasized the genuineness of their own product, suggesting that there were plenty of spurious imitations around.

OED earliest date of use: 1714

Found described as GENUINE, OLD, over PROOF in which oil will sink, REAL, Rotterdam, Skeedam
Found measured by GALLON, JUG, PIECE

See also GENEVA.
Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Holliwortle

An uncommon alternative name for PISTOLACHIA or BUNKIN. It is an aromatic root used in cardiac, stomachic and carminative compositions.

Found rated by the POUND

Sources: Rates.