Most of the terms on this page were originally published by Dave &
Sue Tylcoat at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dave_tylcoat/gloss.htm,
but that page seems to have gone offline. Other definitions come from
a glossary of property terms by Period
PROFILE. For more occupations, try here.
||See OED Almere & Ambry - probably a corruption of Almry
or Ambry Close, Westminster, - was originally Almonry Close.
||(See also almeric). Large cupboard.
||The rights and duties attached to the holding of manorial
land. The most important were submission to the manor court, grazing
rights and the payment of various fines to the lord of the manor.
A pew, or part of a pew, in church was often an 'appurtenance' of
a specific house in the parish. (Dict. Gen., Fitzhugh).
||An armiger is someone entitled to bear heraldic arms.
||Back yard, outbuildings etc. attached to a dwelling.
||(a) The manorial lord's representative and estate manager,
but subordinate to the steward.(b) In Colchester, at least, the name
of the town's two leading citizens until 1635. (Local Hist. Enc.,
||See Bays & Says.
|Bays & Says
||A type of woolcloth made around Colchester with wool
||Use, benefit, advantage.
||(BT) A copy of one year's entries in a Parish register,
sent by the incumbent to his bishop, usually at Easter. Sometimes
the actual register has not survived but the BT has.
||In 1752 the year start was moved from March 25th to
preceding January 1st. Transcribing pre-1752 copy '5 Feb 1626' as
'5 Feb 1626/7'. September sometimes written 7ber, October - 8ber etc
- not to be confused with present month numbers.
||Chaffer. Small enclosed brazier containing hot coals,
usually charcoal, for heating food and drink.
||Candle maker. Candles were often made from tallow.
||A dealer in small items e.g. haberdasher. Sometimes
travelling. Unh 1638.
|Clerk of the Market
||From 1640 his power was restricted to the Verge (within
12 miles of the residence of the Court). On market days the Clerk
attended from 10am to sunset, and trading commenced and ceased on
||A small, enclosed field.
||An addition to a will to record changes.
||Conygrye etc. Rabbit Warren.
||Rabbit. Kept in conigers for food.
A form of tenure for land held from the lord of the manor in return
for service or payment. The tenure could only be transferred by
surrender to the lord who held the fee simple, and then the new
tenant was admitted on payment of a fine. Each admission was recorded
on the Court Rolls and a copy given to the tenant as a form of title
deed - hence the name. Finally abolished in 1926.
||Pronounced 'cordner'. Generally a shoemaker or cobbler.
||OED: - The fifth commissioned officer in a troop of
cavalry, who carried the colours; corresponding to the ensign in infantry.
Cornet. Dict.Gen: - The lowest commissioned rank in a cavalry regiment,
equivalent to the present 2nd Lieutenant. 1260
||The term usually refers to a manorial court although
it could also apply to a Hundred court. It dealt with petty offences
such as common nuisances or public affray.
||First cousin i.e. the child of an uncle or aunt.
||A person who grades animals for killing. Wm. Havens,
||Defendant who deforces another or prevents him from
inheriting an estate.
||Those parts of the land and rights of a manor that the
lord retained for himself, as distinct from those used by his tenants.
||To convey by will or lease an estate either 'in Fee'
i.e. hereditarily, or for a term.
||One who makes a statement on oath (verbal or written)
in connection with a legal case.
||To leave, by will, land as distinct from personal property.
'Bequeath' is used for the latter.
||Probably Dutchman (DJT). From Essex RO info on other
non-parochial churches - "In the second half of the 16th century,
a considerable number of refugees from the Low Countries settled in
Colchester where they established their own church".
|Feet of Fines
||These records contain judgements as to the ownership
of land and property, quite often the result of collusive actions
brought by parties to establish title in the absence of documents.
||Transfer of land from one person to another.
||(fleacks, felks) Hurdles, presumably for fence making.
||Wool refuse used for stuffing mattresses and pillows.
||Land held on a non-servile tenure either for life or
in fee simple.
||There are three meanings to this word: a man who was
free of trade taxes and who shared in the profits of the borough in
which he lived and traded, a tenant who was free of feudal service
and a man who had served his apprenticeship and who could then work
at his trade in his own right. In the city of London nearly all freemen
became so by virtue of being freemen of a City Guild. On attaining
company freedom, a man would automatically apply for the freedom of
the City. He was entitled to call himself 'Citizen' and, (for example),
'Tallow Chandler'. (Dict Gen Fitzhugh).
||A judicial hearing of the charges against all prisoners
awaiting trial in the area prisons. By a Commission of Gaol Delivery,
the king appointed certain persons justices and empowered them to
deliver his gaols at certain places of the prisoners held within them.
This commission was first issued to Justices in Eyre, but later to
Justices of Assize and of Gaol Delivery. It ordered them to meet at
a certain place and at a time which they themselves could appoint,
when the sheriff of the county would bring all the prisoners of the
area before them.
||A set of vessels for table use, especially of pewter.
Garnish of pewter - complete set of twelve each of platters, dishes,
saucers, cups and small flat plates. Often displayed on the cupboard
||Harness for horses, presumably to pull the wagons, harrows
||A gridiron, a platform of iron bars, with short feet
and a long handle, for cooking meat over a fire.
||A dealer in, or maker of hats and caps. Later a dealer
in thread, ribbons and other small wares.
||Funeral board with Arms painted on.
||Tax on fireplaces, from 1662, abolished 1689.
||Property which may be inherited. Various wills.
||Open shed; outhouse for cattle, storing grain, tools
||Usually a smallholder who may also have to work on others
land to support himself, i.e. one below the status of yeoman.
||(Hustylment, hushelles, husoulment, householdments)
Minor household goods of little value; odds and ends.
||A qualified tradesman working for someone else.
||(E.g. 'joyned stoole' & other furniture). Made by a
||An open cooking pot or pan with semi-circular handles
fixed to both sides, not the modern type.
||A tax on movable property.
||Suitable, fit, proper.
||A dwelling house with the ground around it and any outbuildings.
||Hallmoot. Another name for a manor court, Dict. Gen.
||See Wool. A note made in a burial register when the
corpse was unshrouded and the coffin unlined. This was sometimes the
case with a poor family who could not afford the expense of a woollen
shroud, or the payment of a fine for using any other type of cloth.
Dict. Gen., Fitzhugh.
||A stake for fence making.
|Perambulation of the
||The Vestry had the responsibility of walking the bounds
of the parish at Rogationtide - the three days before Ascension Day.
The Incumbent, parish officers, prominent vestrymen and a good many
schoolchildren employed for the occasion, armed with the authority
of a wand of office, checked that boundary stones were in position
and that no buildings encroached, unrated, on parish territory.
||(Also pillow codds & pillow drawers) - Pillow cases.
||Bowl for soup or porridge.
||House or building where goods are made or prepared for
sale and sold (workshop - DJT).
||Skimmer; either of iron for taking the ashes from the
hearth, or of other metal for use as a cooking ladle.
||Upper room in house etc. e.g. attic.
||A spit. For roasting meat over a fire.
||Usually between one & two years old, also sterke & styrke
(applying to a heifer).
|Surveyor of the Highways
||(Overseer of the Highways, Boonmaster, Stonewarden,
Waywarden etc.). A parish officer established by the Highways Act
1555. He was unpaid and appointed from among the parishioners. Obliged
to survey the highways three times a year and organise the statute
labour that was provided by landholders to repair the roads, or else
collect the money commutations.
||Wooden framework on which cloth was stretched after
milling, so that it would dry evenly and without shrinking.
||A person dealing in Tallow, possibly a Candle maker,
using animal fat.
||A parcel of land usually including a dwelling house.
Term later used for the house itself.
||Tithing. A group of men or boys held responsible to
the manor court for its members' good conduct. The elected representative
of the tithing was the Tithingman.
||Tokens issued by traders in times of coin shortage,
usually brass or copper.
||A series of rings or links, or other device, to bear
a crook at different heights over a fire; the whole being suspended
from a transverse bar (the crook tree), built in the chimney.
||Wooden ware - made from trees.
||(pair of) Keyed musical instrument, popular in the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries, similar to a spinet but without legs, played
on a table.
||Heralds visitations took place from 1530 onwards to
check on peoples claims to bear arms. Ecclesiastical visitations by
archdeacons or bishops checking on the conduct etc of their parishioners.
||An officer in seaport towns who was empowered to search
ships for contraband etc.
||Wooden panelling used to line the walls of a room. The
word also used for panelled chests, chairs etc.
||Burying in Woollen Act, passed in 1660 and reinforced
in 1678, to support the woollen trade by making it an offence to wrap
corpses or line coffins in any material other than wool. The only
bodies exempt were those of people who had died of plague.
||A merchant who buys wool from the producer, grades it,
and sells it to the manufacturer.
||Farmers who would work on their own land as either freeholders
or tenants. Husbandmen would tend to have less land.