1) Possibly similar to 'church-ale', a social occasion to raise funds for the needy.

A word found frequently in the records of the manor of Wakefield and neighbouring territories: 1433 ‘John Lech was charged in court with brewing le helpale’, Hartshead

1491 Johannes Taillour et Johannes Godderd anno ult bras duo helpales contra stat., Emley

1593 ‘that no tenant ... shall do any goose eating, pigge eating sive helpe ales on the lord’s day’, Slaithwaite. It may have been similar to a ‘church-ale’, a social occasion designed to raise funds either for the needy or the maintenance of the church, although it was treated as an offence in all these local references. In a discussion of the word’s meaning it was suggested that the fines were really a licence to brew.

dates 1433 1491 1593

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