Narbonne sauce - Navy sauce

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.

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Narbonne sauce

A keeping SAUCE sold by several of the late-eighteenth century LONDON retailers of luxury foods. It was apparently sufficiently well known to need no description, unlike some of the other PREPARED SAUCES offered. However, it was listed among one retailer's RICH SAUCEs, most of which were highly flavoured and for use with savoury dishes [Tradecards (19c.)]. Apart from this, there is no clue to its composition or why it was so called.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.

Narrow blue

[norow blew; narrowe blew; narrow blew; narro blew; narowe blewe; narow blew; nar blue]

Like BROAD BLUE, narrow blue is a TEXTILE in the form of either a LINEN CLOTH or a WOOLLEN CLOTH. The context should indicate which was intended, though judging from the valuations noted ranging from 6d - 8d YARD, linen was the more common. It was woven on the ordinary standard loom and dyed blue.

Not found in the OED

Found among LINEN CLOTH, WOOLLEN CLOTH Found in units of PIECE, YARD

See also BLUE LINEN.
Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Narrow cloth


A TEXTILE, and a WOOLLEN CLOTH made on a loom worked by one operator and thus less than five QUARTER or 45 INCH wide, though it was also used for WOOLLEN and for LINEN. For example, it was used as a collective term for a number of imported LINEN cloths, including POLONIA, ULSTERS, HANOVERS, LUBECK, but also synonymously with DOZENS, KERSEY, STREITS and any other woollen cloth generally woven on the narrow loom.

Generally it is easy to distinguish which is intended, and the evidence from the Dictionary Archive suggests that the use of the term for linen is rare. Most entries either include BROADCLOTH as well, or the two are placed in adjacent entries. Narrow cloth is thus invariably cheaper than broadcloth, the prices for which roughly start where those for the narrow end.

OED earliest date of use: 1647

Found described by best, BLACK, BROWN [linen] COARSE, for COATs, of different colours, FINE, MENS COATs, superfine, Tamworth, WHITE [linen], YORKSHIRE
Found in the shops measured by PIECE, YARD

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates.
References: Kerridge (1985), 11, 15-17.

Narrow loom

[narrow loome; narrow lome]

The common type of LOOM that was of an appropriate width to be worked by one man, as opposed to the BROAD LOOM, which needed two. Narrow loom is a term rarely used unless to distinguish one type from another as in 'broade loome & ij narrow loomes [Inventories (1578)]. It was the standard loom in many parts of the country, but probably not, for example, round WORCESTER where the weaving of BROADCLOTH was important.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Inventories (early).

Narrow ware

The term refers to those items of HABERDASHERY, such a TAPE, RIBBON, GARTERs, FRINGE, GALLOON, GIRDLEs, INKLE, GIMP, HATBANDs, BRAID, etc. that were sold in penny-widths up to six pennies wide. Kerridge suggests that the trade was sometimes called parchmentry and its products PARCHMENT LACE, an anglicization of PASSEMENT and PASSENENTERIE [Kerridge (1985)].

Although applicable to such wares as were made of SILK, such as the loom LACEs made by FERRET weavers out of FERRET SILK and anglicized from 'fioretto', narrow ware would not have applied to such items as tape and inkle made from LINEN or COTTON, which also seem to have been included among narrow ware at times. It has not noted as such in the Dictionary Archive.

OED earliest use: 1645

References: Kerridge (1985).

Narva flax

Narva is a large city and port in Livonia bordering the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea. Like other flax exported from Baltic ports it was almost certainly grown well inland and carried by river to the coast.

Not found in the OED

Found described as 9 headed, 12 headed
Found in units of TON

Sources: Newspapers.

Native cinnabar


This is a rhombohedral mineral, the most important ore of MERCURY and in the early-modern period referred to more commonly simply as CINNABAR.

Not found in the OED online

Found in the 1784 Rate Book, rated by the POUND

See also CINNABAR.
Sources: Rates.

Naval button

New technology for BUTTON making, coining and minting developed by Mathew Boulton (and others) was easily adapted to stamping decorative buttons like those required for NAVAL UNIFORM. Given the pre-eminence of BIRMINGHAM in this technology, it is not surprising to find manufacturers from that town advertising their wares, like the one by Hill Green & Co 'Manufacturers of _ Naval Military & Crest Buttons, Epaulets, Ornaments etc' [Tradecards (19c.)], and C.F. CARTER, who claimed to be a Die sinker for 'Medal, Livery, Naval, Military, Fancy &c Die sinker' [Tradecards (18c.)]. Before 1774 a naval BUTTON was usually made of WHITE METAL, with a rose in the centre. In that year the rose was replaced with a foul anchor surrounded by rope edging took the place of the rose and in 1787 the same device with the addition of a wreath of laurel leaves was adopted for admirals. When the Merchant Navy started to use the foul anchor device, a crown was added for all naval officers in 1812 [Military buttons (online)].

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.
References: Military buttons (online).

Naval pitch

PITCH was an important component of NAVAL STORES since it was used for waterproofing, along with ROSIN and TAR. It was presumably with this in mind that John Houghton referred to 'hard naval or stone, and liquid pitch and tar' [Houghton]. From this it would appear that 'hard naval' pitch was an alternative name for STONE PITCH. The Encyclopaedia Britannica for 1879 explains the modern method of producing 'hard pitch': 'If the heat is forced, and the distillation [sc. of coal-tar] continued, a large amount of 'heavy' or 'dead oils' is obtained, and the mass left in the still is 'hard pitch'.' [OED, Hard]. Possibly a similar process, and similar product, was used in the distillation of TURPENTINE.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Houghton.

Naval stores

All those articles or materials made use of in shipping or in the navy, such as BOWSPRITs, MASTs, SAILs, PITCH, ROPEs, SPARs, TAR, TURPENTINE, YARDs, etc. and the HEMP, FLAX and TOW required to make sails and ropes [Acts (1769)]. Essential for national security, there was continued anxiety about English dependence on supplies from the Baltic. The American colonies were seen as a suitable alternative and their production therefore encouraged, for example by Acts like [Acts (1704)].

OED earliest date of use: 1677

Sources: Acts.

Naval uniform

UNIFORM suitable for a naval officer. APPAREL for officers was only standardized in 1748 with the first regulations on dress. These were revised in 1787. Thereafter, the dress uniform consisted of a dark blue coat worn over a white blouse, white breeches, white stockings and buckled shoes, with variations in style of buttons, braid and hat to distinguish one rank from another. The undress uniform was a plain blue frock [Naval uniforms (online)]. Several outfitters in London and some in the provinces made naval uniforms, for example [Tradecards (18c.)], while others made particular items of dress liked the 'Naval Cocked Hats, the best that can be' [Tradecards (1795)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.
References: Naval uniforms (online).


[naveron; navern]

Coming from, or in the style of things coming from, the Kingdom of Navarre in northern Spain (and formerly into France).

OED online earliest date of use: 1638 as an inhabitant

Found describing BUDGE

Sources: Rates.

Navarre wine

WINE from the Kingdom of Navarre in northern Spain. Samuel Pepys wrote of it as a 'new sort of wine lately found out', _ 'which I tasted, and is, I think, good wine' [Diaries (Pepys)]. It was probably introduced to Britain at the return of King Charles II to England in 1660; his first wife, Catherine of Braganza, was Portuguese.

OED online earliest date of use: 1876 as Navarrese wines under Navarrese

Sources: Diaries.



The central part or block of a WHEEL, from which the SPOKEs radiate, also called the STOCK. The forces operating on the nave necessitated the use of the hardest wood; hence John Houghton's comment that 'Some elm that has been found buried in bags, has turn'd like the most polish'd, and hardest ebony, only discerned by the grain: also for wheel-wrights, handles for the single hand-saw, the knotty for naves, hubs' [Houghton]. In the eighteenth century there was considerable interest in replacing the wood with IRON; hence several patents including the one for 'Making and casting naves or stocks of wheels, with cast-iron, brass, or mixed metal' [Patents (1799)]. The improvements do not seem to have been overly successful, or at least they were not universally adopted as naves for WAGONs were still being made of ELM in the early-twentieth century [Sturt (1923, reprint 1980)].

Although found primarily in the wheels of vehicles, naves could be found in the centre of any implement that also had radiating spokes. One example is the QUILL WHEEL. In this sense the OED defines a 'knave' as a contrivance in which a spool or spindle revolves, citing a 1564 inventory from Worcestershire. Randle Holme wrote of 'the Reeling Pin (which some call a Knave, or Reeling Prick) which is for the Spool to run or turn upon whilest it is Reeling upon the Reel' [Holme (2000)].

OED earliest date of use: c725

Found made of ELM
Found in units of PAIR

Sources: Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (late), Patents.
References: Holme (2000), Sturt (1923, reprint 1980).

Navern box

A decorative BOX from Navarre, or in the style of one, possibly made of OLIVE wood. According to the 1582 Book of Rates, it was used for keeping COMBs in [Rates (1582)].

Not found in the OED

Found rated by the BALE

Sources: Rates.


Called RAPESEED, Brassica napus, or COLESEED, Brassica campestris, the 'seeds of navew' were considered to be an antidote to poison and were an ingredient of VENICE TREACLE [Recipes (Pemberton)]. John Houghton included navew among the medicinal and culinary seeds that could be grown in England, but by implication were not [Houghton], though the growing of rape and the extraction of its RAPESEED OIL was discussed at least a century earlier [Lansdowne (mss), 26/47].

OED earliest date of use: 1533

Sources: Houghton, Recipes.
References: Lansdowne (mss).

Navigation book

[books of navigation]

Not only was instruction in the art of navigation offered; for example, a school in Warwick advertised 'Writing, Arithmetick, Navigation, Astronomy & Algebra' [Tradecards (19c.)], there were many books on the subject available in the shops, particularly near the sea [Tradecards (1760)]. One such was William Leybourn's The Seamans new Kalendar' published in 1706, another Andrew Wakely's 'The Mariner's Compass rectified', which ran to several editions over the eighteenth century.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.

Navy sauce

The only example of Navy sauce found in the Dictionary Archive is in a list of flavoured VINEGARs [Tradecards (18c.)]. It was probably designed, like SAUCE A LA MILITAIRE to enliven the monotonous food on long voyages or in camp. What it was flavoured with is not known.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.