Sunday 16 May 2021

Studies on the Language of the Essex Wills: an Appendix

 In 2016 Philoloblog featured a series of studies in the vocabulary of the Essex Wills. I’m delighted to be able to add further documentation to several of these studies, provided by the indefatigable researcher and Tweeter @PaulCarbuncle, whose notes these are.


Missing from the MED too. It crops up quite often in 15th-century Suffolk wills, sometimes unqualified: 

a red ‘howyd’ bullock, a black ‘howyd’ cow (1462),

 a ‘howyd sterkyn’, a ‘howyd’ cow (1471), 

in Register Baldwyne 2, pp. 13, 58, 312, 442. 

The spelling is remarkably consistent!


The use of ‘northe[r]n’ for cattle is common in Kent too, with only Cheshire singled out, e.g. 

‘Northen Kine’, ‘Northen Runts’, ‘Northen steers’ (1617), 

‘Chesshiere cattle’ (1619), ‘Oxen Kentish [&] Chesshiere’ (1620); 

Acct Book of a Kentish Estate, pp. 7, 32, 41.

There are ‘Kentishe cattle’ (1619), ‘Steers Kentish’ (1620), pp. 32, 42, and also ‘Irishe steers’ (1661), p. 265. 

But ‘northern’ seems chiefly to contrast with ‘Country’, e.g. 

‘Cuntry steers [&] Northern Steers a fattinge’, ‘Hhayfers 5 northern & 1 country heyfer’ (1618), p. 22.

fold table. 

There are examples of this in Suffolk wills too: 

a ‘falt table’ (1465), 

a falt table [sic or editorial?] (1471), 

in Register Baldwyne 2, pp. 132, 339.

broad loom.

There’s one in a Suffolk will: ‘le brodlome’ (1459), 

in Register Baldwyne 1, p. 405.

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