1) A spelling of the verb ‘to fast’, that is to make fast or secure.
1500 that no maner person … fest or tye theyr horsez at the pyllory or nere therby ne in no open street or layne, York. A different spelling, one listed by Wright, has been noted in the North Riding: 1658 certain marriners and sea-faring men moaring and fessing their ships and vessels to the said bridge, Whitby. It was more commonly used in reference to making a binding contract or agreement, as with tradesmen: 1579 I have fest by greatt with Richard Longlay … two hunderth yeardes of hatchlar [ashlar], Woodsome
1661 spent goeing about to fest this worke on workmen and myselfe 5s, Elland
1698 we have fest a house building for him which is to be seven yards long and four and a half wide
1722 proposalls are to be made of festing the said Ryding bridges, West Riding. This was the traditional term used when a master contracted with a young man to teach him the trade: 1524 Item I will that … William and Richard, ther sonys, be fest prentices in London, Bordley
1653 William Crosley … hathe fest himselffe an apprentice … with Richard Armitage, Honley. A Slaidburn joiner called Adam Simonds left money in his will to pay for such an agreement: 1705 unto Robert Scott alias Simonds my nephew Ł4 in order to fest him to a joiners trade . In 1718, the owner of a Farnley coal-pit agreed with James Barker to drive a boardgate and the contract was later sealed with a down payment: 1719 I fest boardgate with James at 9d per yard 80 yards with earnest 1s 6d . The ‘earnest’ in such cases could also be called a ‘festing penny’. A North Riding landowner used the word twice when he engaged a ‘game-keeper’: 1609 I fest my warren on John Rymer, according to former covenants for 3 yeres more from the last Fasten’s eve, Brandsby. Other farming agreements had to do with pasturing cattle: 1684 the brown bay mair … had been fest to winter with one James Cammleing of Wallishaw [in Cheshire], Sharlston
1710 an oxe taken away unlawfully … and fest to grass with Timothy Leach, Harden.