cast

1) To cast metal, to found, form into a shape by pouring when melted.

1470 ‘Paid for a C wood bought for casting of lead 10d’, Hull

1538 The leads ... are sore warn and must be new castin, Knaresborough

1716 for glazing saudring & Casting the lead, Conistone. Cast iron was an alloy of iron and carbon which was run in a molten state into moulds where it cooled and hardened. In articles of partnership for Barnby Furnace and Kirkstall Forge in 1676 it was agreed that Mettall or cast iron … shall be charged at five pounds by the tun. Cast iron was not suitable for cutlery wares and the Cutlers’ Company tried to ensure that it was not so used. A by-law of 1780 noted that of late divers persons have begun to make blades for forks of cast or pig iron, either alone or intermixed with wrought or forged iron or steel and casting and running the same into moulds, which blades so made have not the strength &c. of steel but have been dressed and polished so as to have the appearance of having been forged and hammered out of steel, and have been sold at as high a price as if really forged and hammered out of steel. There is evidence that the rules continued to be broken: in 1783, for example, a freeman named William Kent was charged with having sold eight dozen and a half of cast metal Fork blades. The case was proved and Kent paid a heavy fine.

dates 1470 1538 1676 1716 1780 1783

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2) To reckon or calculate, to confirm the reckoning of accounts.

1540-1 we mett and dyd cast over off [sic] boke at Myghelmas to se wat we had rasavyd and watt we had payd, St Michael Spurriergate, York

1612 Bossall’s booke I did cast. I payd him iiijs iiijd that his disbursments came to more than his receipts, Brandsby

1642 When the Collector receiveth his rowle, his accounts are to bee casten up, Elmswell

1647 for my table and horse-keeping since the 8 of September last, which reconing is not cast up, but I refer to his accompt, Thurlstone.

spellings cast up cast over
dates 1540-1541 1612 1642 1647

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3) To build a stack, of wood or faggots.

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4) To dig, that is to cast, or cast up earth.

These meanings have been in continuous use from the fifteenth century at least. In 1491, for example, the King ordered the citizens of York to prepare the defences of the city, including the dikes which should be caste and clensed. It is usual to find the word in township records. In 1518, the churchwardens of St Michael, Spurriergate, York, paid 4s for castyng of a gutter and it was customary for roads, turves and peat to be ‘cast’, well into the modern period. To ‘cast up’ was also frequent. In a dispute in Shelf in 1590 a man involved in a dispute with his neighbour was ordered not to cast upp any earthe to his growing wodd and in 1668 a tenant was granted liberty to cast up … burrows for conies. The substitution of ‘throw’ for ‘cast’ is nicely pointed out in the evidence of a witness at the Quarter Sessions in 1754: he stated that he had gone to Leeds to cast up clay for Michael Hanson and then continued throwing up clay. It is less common to find ‘cast’ used as a noun in this sense but it does occur occasionally. A tenant in Normanton, in 1608, was ordered to scour a dyche … and take the water through Mistrise Wilkinson fould accordinge to the ould caste

that is through where the ditch had previously been dug out. Ditches or dikes were commonly said to be cast, casten or cast up: c.1530 the tenauntes of Gysburne ... in tyme past cast a dych between the said xij acres and the said common, Bracewell

1581 one yard more to cast a dyke upon, Knaresborough

1617 turne eastwarde by the hedge unto a caste dike, beinge a water sewer . In 1637, a yeoman in Sinderby was presented at the Quarter Sessions because he had encroached on the main street of the village by castinge upp a ditch and setting a hedge and planting the same with young trees . A similar boundary hedge divided the moor at Revey in Wibsey from the common: it was described in a lease of 1599 as a castne quicksett dyke . The tenants of Shelley noted in 1759 that a bank of casten earth … is the bounding of this manor . Casten Dike occurs as a place-name on Sutton Bank.

dates 1491 1518 1530 1581 1590 1599 1608 1617 1637 1668 1754 1759

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5) In hawking this was a couple of birds ‘cast off’ at a time.

1608 ‘has bought a caste of falcons for the Earl costing Ł8’

1651 to come as messenger from Sir Walter Vavasor to buy a cast of hawkes, Spaldington.

places Spaldington
dates 1608 1651

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6) A quantity of bread made at one time (OED).

1486 in maynebrede casts cc, York

1532 every weike for his leverey one caste of convent brede and two caste of yomen brede, Aldfield

1629 29 cast of manchett, 13 cast of yeoman bread, Thornhill.

dates 1486 1532 1629

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7) The few examples noted are from the North Riding where the meaning seems to be ‘tolls, rates or dues’.

1603 All shall equallye pay castes and layes for all such growndes as they take of me ... ratablye ... as they were cessed in my late brother’s dayes, Brandsby

1619 a Wensley yeoman for not paying castes imposed on him by the parishe for the releife of the poore.

places Brandsby Wensley
dates 1603 1619

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0