1) This was a sum of money handed over in advance in order to secure an agreement.
1559 paid to William Kynge for an earnest peny, Sheffield
1647 I bought a gray meare of Thomas Greaves ... and gave him 10s in ernest, Thurlstone. The custom dates back to the early thirteenth century at least and it was used in many different bargaining situations, e.g. 1613 a voyage at such wages as William Ramsdell should have and gave him 2d earnest money, Hull. It was common when contracts were made in the mining community 1690 gave him in ernest 6d, Farnley
1752 for earnest and drink at bargain making, Elsecar.