1) In coal-mining documents I detect no significant distinction between these two words, as with ‘head’ and ‘heading’. The ‘end’ might in one sense be the furthest point of a level but ‘to drive on the end’ was to drive parallel to the cleavage of the coal (EDD)

1727 for driving the ends 100 yards Ł1 5s 0d, Horsforth

1730 4d a yard for ending driving, Swillington

1754 14 yards ending, Beeston

1761 for 9 yards driving on the end, Tong. There were numerous compound terms, e.g. 1691 end head

1717 back end, streightend

1718 rise end, Farnley.

spellings ending
dates 1691 1727 1730 1754 1761

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2) A resolution or settlement.

It was formerly common practice for the parties in a dispute to submit the matter at variance to arbitrators and, should they fail to come to an agreement, to leave the decision to an umpire. The judgement arrived at was sometimes called an ‘end’. In 1549, Richard Metcalfe of Reeth acknowledged in his will that he owed 10s to his brother Ralph for the rent of a certain close according to the eynd of 8 men – an indication that eight of his neighbours had decided in favour of Ralph. In 1624, two Halifax clothiers held their goods meane together, that is to say they had joint rights in their merchandise, some of which was then sold. When one of them died, there was disagreement about the partner’s share in what remained, so the parties ‘referred themselves’ to two neighbouring gentlemen, Savile Radcliffe and Christopher Naylor. The two arbitrators met at a local public house there to make an end of the same and, upon end making, the goods were divided amicably. The earliest use of the term that I have come across is in a letter written by Mr Arthington to Sir Robert Plompton in 1489. A dispute in which he was involved had resulted in a disagreement and so it was decided that the details should be made known to Mr Middleton, in order that he might make the end. Mr Arthington expressed the wish that Sir Robert would be at the end-making, otherwise he feared he would lose out. His exact words were: els I fere me we shall have no end for my avantage.

dates 1489 1549 1624

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3) The ‘wheels’ where the Sheffield grinders worked varied in size and capacity, but many had two or more ranges which were known as ends, and in each of these there might be several grindstones in operation (FBH180).

In 1581, Robert Hudson took a lease of the south end of Morton Wheel, and Hugh Attwell took the north end

Cinderhill Wheel had four ends, each let at Ł1

the south end was itself shared by four tenants. The first lease of Darwent Wheel in 1734 described the premises as that newly erected wheel of two ends

a plan of Wadsley Forge in 1819 shows a works with two water wheels driving no less than 69 troughs in nine hulls or ends.

dates 1581 1819

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4) In the records of the Sheffield cutlers an ‘end’ could be a cap for a knife.

In 1692, for example, Robert Nicholls had in his Work Chamber Ends of Silver.

places Sheffield
dates 1692

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5) In textile contexts this was a half cloth.

1731 one End or half Cloth. References to ‘half-cloths’ go back to the early fourteenth century at least but the earlier history of ‘end’ in this sense remains obscure.

dates 1300-1350 1731

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0