1) These local spellings of ‘haft’ and ‘hafter’ relate to the practice of putting hafts or handles on knives, and they were usual in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The earliest set of Ordinances for Sheffield’s cutlers contains the most explicit reference: 1565 that nether cutler then hefter of Knyves shall heft the chapmans no blades that be unhefted. The different practices and skills of the hefter are touched on under words such as boxwood, scales and ‘olivant’.

spellings hefter
places Sheffield
dates 1565

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