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Eng-Wts-Meas-art - 11/2/02


"English Weights and Measures" by Lord Anton de Stoc. Excerpts from a period document detailing some wieghts and measures.


NOTE: See also the files: measures-art, measures-msg, p-prices-msg, scales-msg, commerce-msg, p-Engsh-coins-lst, p-spice-trade-msg.





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                               Thank you,

                                   Mark S. Harris

                                   AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org                                        



English Weights and Measures

By Lord Anton de Stoc


Source : The Camden Miscellany, vol XV “Extracts from Tracts and Common Place Books (15th-17thC), original source MS Cotton, Vesp E IX ff86-110 – source undated, but a passage of it was copied into a 1503 chronicle


I have edited redundant and less useful passages, and note that SI units rule.


Oh yeah, and dim. means "demi", which means "and a half". Ob is similarly used.


The Noumbre of Weyghtes


The weghts of Ynglond be made by Numbyr ; for be iii manner of weygtyes, that is to say Troy nd Aunsell and also lyeng weyghts odyrwyse callyd Hadburdy Poyse.


Wherefore itt is necessary and most convenient first to speke of Troy Weght and to know what is an unce and what is a pound. To have knowlych of Troy Weyght ye schall understand that xxx d whych were coyned and made of sylver, tempore Henrici sexti, wey an unce ; and xii unces make a lb of Troy : and of all thys weyghts viii lb make a galon of wyne ; and viii gallens of wyne make a boschell of where of odyr grayns that be sold in London ; wiche is the viii part of a quarter whete.


By the lb weyght men multyplye to many grete weyghts that haue many summys, as this : vj lb make half a doyssen ; vij lb make a nayle ; x1j lb make a doysen ; xiiij lb make a stone ; lvj lb make half a C ; Cxii lb make a C (a hundredweight) ; xC make a M ; and iiM make a Tunne, is a cart load.


And itt is to be remembered that all maner of warys that be sold by the C, as wode, mader, alym, wax, almonds, dats at such odyr be called Grete Warys ; and ye schall rakyn these warys after vXXxii (112) to ye C ; and other warys that be sold by the lb, as pepper, saffryn, mace, gynger and suche other, thes be called Sotyll Warys and they wold be rekynnd aftyr xXX to the C.


Off the length of the yerd and odyr mesures contenyng lengthis


The Ynglische yerd is made in a numbir in thus wyse – the lengythe of iii barly cornys make an ynche … ; and xii ynchis make  fote ; and iii fotes make a yard ; and they Ynglysh ell go v qr off yard (ie an english ell is 1.25 yards)


An ensampill of the rekynnyng of the Clothe bowght and sold by mesure


To understond the rekynynge of clothe, ye most consider that both wolyn cloth and lynnyng cothe be sold by the yard and by the ell, the yard moste be devydyd into vj ; that is to say a yerd conteynyth ij quarters, and the quarter conynyth ij dim. quarters ; the dim. quarter conteynyth ij dim. nayles ; and the dim nayle ys the lest part of the yard, and it is not gretly usyd, but yf it be in ryght hye price cloth.


Also, and as yt apperythe before, the yerd conteynyth iiii qrs, the Ynglysshe ell cont v qrs of the yard, and the styke, wiche is called the Flemmysche ell, cont iii qrs of the yerd, and so the doss(en) Englysch elles make xv yerdes, and a dos(sen) Flemysche make butt ix yardes.


Of the mesure of Lycoure


There is a mesure of wyne whyche is called a reode it cont ii tunnys, that is VC (500) galons. The tonne cont IICL galons (250). The pipe cont ICXXV (125) galones. The hogg(eshead) cont lxii gallounes and dim (62.5 – half a pipe). The barell cont xxxi gallones 1 quart, the sesteryn cont iiii gallons.


The sacke will cont iiiClxiiii (364) lb woll.


A last hering. For there is a X of viXX thereby be sold motonnes and other bestes and fyschyes, as for herynge vXX with the tale herrynge make a C ; xM make a last, and because that a M wyll bott in a barell, therefre xii barells pakkyd heryng make a last.



Copyright 2002, Ian Whitchurch, 27 Atherton St Downer ACT 2602 Australia <Ian.Whitchurch at dewrsb.gov.au>. Permission granted to reproduce for not-for-Profit purposes, provided that the work is properly attributed.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org