A Glossary

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Francis Blomefield, 'A Glossary', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) pp. 400-402. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp400-402 [accessed 21 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "A Glossary", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810) 400-402. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp400-402.

Blomefield, Francis. "A Glossary", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11, (London, 1810). 400-402. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol11/pp400-402.


Explaining some particular Terms and obsolete Words which occur in the foregoing Account of Yarmouth.

Anchorage. A duty levied on ships, for liberty to anchor in any port.

Combat. (French) In the old laws of this kingdom, was a mode of determining a doubtful case, in which, sufficient evidence being wanting, on the defendant's pleading not guilty, it was at his option to be tried by God and his country, as at present, or rest his deliverance upon God only, by challenging the plaintiff to the combat, (facere duellum) in which if the defendant had the advantage, or could defend himself till after sun-set, upon his demanding judgment, it was to be given in his favor, on a supposition that the justice of Providence would never suffer the guilty to triumph in his wickedness.

Danegeld, or Danegelt. (Dane Danish, and gelt money, from the Dutch.) This was a tax laid upon our Saxon ancestors by the Danes, on a pretence of their clearing the sea of pirates. It was at first 12d. and afterwards 2s. upon every hide of land in the kingdom.

Den and Strond. The liberty of ships to come or lie ashore at any place.

Dole. The profit or advantage arising from the labour, the use of the nets, lines, &c. of any fisherman employed in the fishery, in the vessel of another person.

Fee-farm. A term for perpetual rent, by which tenure many possessions were held; farm or ferm (from the French ferme) signifying rent.

Flotson (from the French flotter, to float). This differed from wreck at sea, only in that it signified goods lost by ship-wreck and floating on the water.

Frank-pledge. This was an ancient custom borrowed from the Lombards, by which a number of neighbours entered into reciprocal obligations to the King, for the preservation of the peace in each other. This every man (the clergy excepted) was obliged to do at the age of fourteen, or be committed to prison. When any one offended, enquiry was made of what pledge he belonged to, which being known the members thereof were obliged to produce the delinquent in thirty-one days, or make satisfaction for the offence. These recognizances were usually entered into at the county-courts before the sheriff, which official authority received the appellation of view of frank-pledge.

Jetson (from jetter, to throw, French). This was applied to such things as were obliged to be thrown overboard to lighten a ship in distress, and were thence driven ashore.

Infangthief, infangenethef, or infangthef, (from the Saxon in, fang to take, and thef or theof, a thief) A privilege to try thieves and felons, taken within the limits of any place to which it was granted.

Kayage. The same as wharfage, or money collected for goods landed on, or shipped off the key, for its reparation and support.

Lagan, (from the Saxon liggan, to lie down) A term used for goods lost at sea, and sunk in the water.

Lastage, or lestage. (from the French lest, ballast) A custom paid by every ship for the privilege of taking in ballast.

Levage, or leve. (from the French lever to raise) A custom of twopence per ton levied on all goods landed at Yarmouth, or raised out of one vessel into another.

Miskenning. This term is compounded of the mis at this time used in composition, to signify opposition to, or the reverse of the word to which it is joined, and the Saxon Cenninga, signifying a notice given by the buyer to the seller, that the thing bought was claimed by another, and calling upon him to justify the sale. Hence miskenning imports a fraudulent summoning of the seller to court, in order to frighten him into the payment of accommodation money.

Murage. (from the Latin Murus, a wall). A tax levied for the support of the public walls, &c.

Naam. (from the Saxon niman, to take hold of) This term was applied to the taking or distraining another man's goods for default of rent, &c.

Outfangthief, &c. The reverse of infangthief, that is ut, fang, thef, or an out-taken thief. A privilege whereby the corporation can demand any person belonging to their own precincts, apprehended for felony in any other place, and try him in their own court.

Paage, also passage. The exclusive right of collecting monies by means of a ferry, &c. over the river.

Pannage. Money taken by the King's agistors, for the privilege of feeding hogs in the King's forests.

Picage or piccage. An ancient custom paid at fairs, &c. for breaking the ground, or liberty of fixing up booths, stalls, &c.

Pontage. (from pons a bridge, Latin) A toll taken for passage over a bridge, or a contribution for its maintenance or support.

Sac. (from the Saxon sac or saca, a cause) Signifies a privilege of holding a plea, in causes of trespass, and of imposing fines and amerciaments thereon.

Soc. (Saxon) The power of administering justice and executing the laws of the land.

Stallage. The same as picage, which see.

Stowage. A custom of two-pence per ton levied on all goods pu or stowed, into any vessel at Yarmouth.

Strond. See den and strond.

Theam, theme, or team. A power to have, restrain and judge their bondmen and villains, with their children, goods and chattels, where ever they should be found in England.

Thol, tol, or tolne. (Saxon) a payment in towns, markets, and fairs, on goods and cattle sold therein. It was also used to express the exemption from, as well as the liberty to take tolls.

Tronage. An ancient custom taken for weighing wool; and it appears here to signify a duty on weighing goods in general.

Waif. (Saxon Wafian) A term applied to such goods as a thief, having stolen, on his being closely pursued, waves or leaves behind him, and which become forfeited to the King, or the lord of the manor on which they are found. Waifs and estrays, is a term also applied to things lost, which are forfeited to the lord of the manor, when found, after having been duly published in the markets, &c. and no owner appearing.

Wreck at sea. This signifies goods, &c. found on the shore, from any ship wrecked or lost on the coast, provided no living creature be saved, in which case, though the ship should come ashore intire, it would be deemed a wreck. But if any thing escape alive, though but a dog or cat, the owner of the vessel or goods may come within a year and a day, and making his claim, and proving his property, they shall be restored to him; otherwise they belong to the lord of the manor