The Estate and Household Accounts of William Worsley Dean of St Paul's Cathedral 1479-1497. Originally published by Shaun Tyas on behalf of Richard III and Yorkist Trust and the London Record Society, Donington, 2004.

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'Glossary', in The Estate and Household Accounts of William Worsley Dean of St Paul's Cathedral 1479-1497, (Donington, 2004) pp. 179-181. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]


Glossary of Unusual English Words.

Sources: MED, OED. Latham, Dictionary of Latin from British Sources, Assistance for cloth from John Oldland. W. S. Beck, Drapers Dictionary, London, 1881 and Guy de Poerck, La draperie medievale en Flandre et en Artois: technique et terminologie (Bruges, 1951). L. J. Wilhelmsen, English Textile Nomenclature (Bergen, 1943).

Appruator an official looking after the profit or interest of an employer, a steward or bailiff.
Bakens ?bricks baked in a kiln, dried or hardened.
Barehedde, barret a covered wagon, a cart-cover made of rawhide, and also possibly a rawhide bag or trunk.
Blakechalk pale and bleached cloth.
Blanket undyed cloth or a thick, white cloth of average quality.
Bockeram at this date, a fine linen or cotton fabric.
Brigander body armour, originally for foot soldiers made of iron rings or plates sewn to canvas, linen or leather.
Chamelet a costly velvet, often a gold one.
Chevage, chivagium headpenny or chevage, a due paid by suitors at view of frankpledge or law-hundred.
Conysaunce badges, pennons.
Correctors auditors.
Corsse a tunic.
Decrees bachelor of, licentiate of, degrees in canon law.
Dolwood see Tallwodde.
Doss a dooser, dorser, an ornamental cloth or hanging, sometimes part of a vestment.
Dyaper worke a linen cloth, a linen fabric, often quite expensive, with a characteristic design of lines crossing diamond wise with the intervals filled up.
Fustian a coarse cloth made of cotton and flax, usually dyed a dark colour.
'Fustyances' a coverlet of fustian, at this date not necessarily a cloth of coarse or poor quality.
Feeding Days days on which it was the traditional responsibility of the Dean to provide food and drink for the minor clergy of the cathedral.
Grain, crimson in cloth dyed with kermes dye, which produced a bright crimson or scarlet colour.
Grain, violet in cloth dyed (probably in-the-wool or in-the-yarn) with woad and then redyed in the piece with kermes.
Grey an expensive grey squirrel fur forbidden to cloistered clergy.
Grypege an ostrich egg
Hayle, hale a tent.
Hogshead a cask containing sixty-three gallons.
Jack a sleeveless tunic.
Kylderkyn a cask holding ½ barrel = 16 gallons ale or 18 gallons of beer.
Liripipe a peak, similar to that found on modern academic hoods.
Malmsey a strong, sweet wine.
Mayle mail, iron-clad.
Medley pied cloth, made of wools dyed and mingled before being spun, and either of one colour or of different shades or colours.
Musterdevelis a mixed grey woollen cloth.
Noble a gold coin worth 6s. 8d.
Pipe a large cask of more or less definite capacity, equivalent to half a tun, or two hogsheads, or four barrels.
Pollewodde pollarded or cut wood.
Potell half a gallon.
Procurator deputy or agent.
Pyle a pillow or cushion.
Quarter [qr.] (as measurement of volume), 8 bushels.
Replevin, writ of the legal process for the temporary restoration of confiscated property pending a court hearing.
Roundlet, runlet a small cask of varying capacity. Large runlets appear to have varied between twelve and eighteen and a half gallons; small ones between a quart and three or four gallons.
Salette scaletta, a cart-ladder; elsewhere, a helmet.
Staddles staddle-stones, or stathels, supports for a sack of grain or stones placed beneath ricks and granaries to raise them and keep rats out.
Standard a large packing case or chest.
Tallwodde, talwood wood cut to size.
Tercion a container holding 1/3 of a tun.
Virgate an osier bed.
Virge (in cloth) a yard; also 16½ ft.
Wodded black woaded black, the best way to produce black, dyeing with woad in-the-wool and then re-dyeing in-the-piece with woad and other dyes to eventually produce black.

Feast Days and Term Dates used in the Accounts

St. Anne, 26 July

St. Peter ad Vincula, 1 August.

St. Matthew, 21 September.

Michaelmas, 29 September.

St. Martin in Winter, 11 November.

St. Thomas the Apostle, 21 December.

Christmas, 25 December.

Purification (of the Blessed Virgin Mary), 2 February.

Annunciation (to the Blessed Virgin Mary), 25 March.

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, 24 June.