1) Found usually in farming contexts, this was a word for a cow or sheep taken out of the herd or flock to be fatted for slaughter.

It was used particularly for cows which no longer produced milk and for ewes that had missed breeding. The OED has examples from 1611, all of them in the north of England, but the term was in widespread use across Yorkshire from much earlier.: 1418 Item, de drapes abstratis xxxij, precium capitis xiiijd, Welwick

1458-9 Apud Apylgarth draps, viijd . The latter is one of several references in the records of Fountains Abbey, and ‘Applegarth’ referred to a sheep pasture of that name in Malham. Those examples seem likely to have referred to sheep but more usually ‘drapes’ were cattle. A new cattle fair was announced in York in 1502, to be held in Fishergate, away from the places where horses and sheep were put up for sale. The animals included M all maner nowte as fatte nowte, drapez or yong stote. The 1559 inventory of Cuthbert Clarkson of Marske in Swaledale separated the cows from the sheep and listed 2 new calved kye, 3 whies, and 1 drape cow praysed [valued] to 20s. Similarly, in the seventeenth century we find: 1628 one whyte drape cowe, Pudsey

1657 tow drape kyen Ł5, Hambleton. I suspect that the word was not always recognised by transcribers: 1666 1 draxe cow and 3 spained calfies, Ł4, Brayton. In the farming accounts of Henry Best of Elmswell, in the East Riding, is a paragraph which relates to sheep, where ‘drape’ is employed as a verb: 1642 When the worst of the flocke are drawne out, the Shepheards call this drapinge out of sheepe, and some drape out a score to putte of by reason of their age, some because their grownd is overstocked and therefore they will sell away the worst . He commented later that most East Riding farmers would drape out the worst of theire lambs and send them to the fair at Pocklington. His observations widen the meaning of ‘drape’. The etymology of the word is uncertain but the OED draws attention to an obsolete verb ‘drepe’ which is of Scandinavian origin and meant ‘to strike’ or ‘slaughter’. A rare by-name confirms that this word survived in Yorkshire into the thirteenth century at least: c.1246 Thomas Drepedewyl, Thornton Bridge

that is ‘kill devil’. If there is a connection, the inference may be that the noun ‘drape’ was a back formation from the verb.

dates 1246 1418 1458-1459 1502 1559 1628 1642 1657 1666

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