Tenures

The provision of a ROSE as a condition of tenure was quite widespread (see Blount for examples not quoted here). Rent day was often Midsummer, as with the Crown & Thistle in Loseby Lane, Leicester. Under a deed of 1626, an annual rent of two pennies and a damask rose is still paid. In other cases, the time of payment varied. Some land at Wickham, County Durham, for example, was held by service of one rose at Pentecost "si petatur" (if required), and, rather more difficult, the manor of Crendon, Buckinghamshire, was held by service of one chaplet of roses at Christmas.

CARNATIONS also were used as conditions of tenure, though less frequently. Lands and tenements in Ham, Surrey, were once held by John of Handloo of the men of Kingston on condition of rendering them three clove gilliflowers at the king's coronation (Friend. 1883). The manor of Mardley, in Welwyn parish (Hertfordshire) was held for the annual "rent of a clove gilliflower", while two of them plus 3s. 6d. paid the yearly rent of 100 acres and a 40-acre wood in Stevenage. And in Berkhamstead a tenant of the royal manor provided one clove gilliflower "at such times as anie King or Queen shall be crowned in the Castle" (Jones-Baker. 1974).

CLOVES must have been extremely expensive when introduced into Europe in the Middle Ages, valuable enough to pay for a year's rent on a manor, for the manor of Pokerley in County Durham, was held by the provision of one clove on St Cuthbert's Day, annually (Blount).

Terminalia bellirica > BASTARD MYROBALAN Terminalia catappa > MYROBALAN TETANUS

The Pennsylvania Germans claim that crushed BEET leaves put in a rag and bound on a wound will cure lockjaw (Fogel).

Teucrium scordium > WATER GERMANDER Teucrium scorodonia > WOOD SAGE TEXTILES

COTTON-GRASS can be spun like cotton, but the fibres are more brittle than those of cotton, so not so useful, and extremely tedious. But it features in a number of Highland folk tales as a powerful instrument against enchantment, for example, in one tale called The three shirts of canach down, quoted by J G McKay. There the sister had to make each of her enchanted brothers a shirt of moorland canach, which was the Highland name for the plant, ceannabhan in Irish. She had to remain completely silent until she herself, after making the shirts, had put them on her brothers to free them from the spell. In other versions, NETTLE is the chosen textile, a far better proposition for the sister, for nettle is best known as a textile plant. The fibres were used for cloth, certainly up to the 18th century in Scotland (Grigson), and in the Tyrol it was in use for linen cloth as late as 1917 (Hald). The earliest known literary reference is in Albertus Magnus, in the 13th century. The old German name for muslin was Nesseltuch, i.e., nettle cloth (Johnson). There is plenty of evidence for the use of nettle fibre among more primitive groups of northern Europe and Eurasia. The threads were taken from the outer skin of the stalks, which, after being moistened, were peeled off by means of bone or wooden chisels. The fibres were then broken down by beating or pounding in a trough, and after being rubbed in the palms of the hands or swingled by a wooden knife were spun on a wooden spinning stick (J G D Clark). American Indians of the North-west Pacific coast made fishing nets of nettle fibre, strands being twisted on a spindle to form the desired weight of twine for the net (Inverarity). The people of Kamchatka also used it for nets. But nettle fibre was also capable of being spun and woven into fabrics, which were famous in many parts of northern and central Europe at the end of the 18th century for their fine, gauze-like qualities.

The fibres of HOPS can be made into cloth, as used to be done in Sweden (C P Johnson). HEMP, too, is a textile plant, its coarse fibres being used in the making of Huckaback, for instance. Male hemp was used for ropes, sacking and the like, female hemp for sheets and other domestic textiles (Peacock). The use of TEASELS in the finishing of woollen textiles is well known, and need not be expounded here.

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