1) A handle, especially of a cutting implement.

Most Sheffield cutlers would have been capable of putting hafts or handles on knives, but in the eighteenth century it became a specialist occupation. The practice is mentioned in the Cutlers’ Company by-laws in 1625 when the use of gold and silver ‘on the blades, bolsters or hafts of knives’ was made subject to certain conditions. The usual spelling of the word locally was ‘heft’ which is dealt with separately.

spellings hafter
places Sheffield
sources 1625
dates 1625

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