1) A hawker or itinerant salesman, one who bargained or haggled.

The OED has examples from 1637, one of which implies that higglers were forestallers, seeking to avoid market tolls. In the West Riding, the term was used of those clothiers who travelled long distances, either on foot or with loaded packhorses, in an attempt to find buyers: 1756 All common Carriers, Higlers, Drovers and Jobbers … liable to pay Tolls, Ferrybridge. The most explicit reference to the occupation is in the memorandum books of John Brearley: 1762 There is a deal of men living about Hudersfild wich … drives som 2 paks others 3 or 4 into the country so goes from town to town and sells itt amongst shopkeepars some times the sell cheap and some is sold very dear and these sorts of men are called higlers, Wakefield. In 1786, John Murgatroyd wrote in his diary: Cuddy set off for Wrexham with the Higlers Cloth, Slaithwaite.

dates 1756 1762 1786

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