1) A wake or funeral feast.

The word is of Scandinavian origin and has a limited distribution. In 1459, a Yorkshire testator left an ox to be distributed among his friends and neighbours - ad meum arvell. In 1499, Matilda Malham of Skipton in Craven made the following bequest: I woll ther be don at Skipton … for the helth of my saule Dirige and Messe with an arvill . William Morley of Bramley wrote: 1542 my wif … to bringe me honestlie forth and also to ware [spend] ijd a pece of my neghbors at my arvell. The word survived in Yorkshire into the nineteenth century at least and Peter Brears commented on it in The Gentlewoman’s Kitchen, quoting Ralph Thoresby, the Leeds antiquary: 1702 was surprised at the … Arvill or treat of cold possets, stewed prunes cakes and cheese prepared for the company.

dates 1499 1542 1702

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