1) A wharf where ships can load and unload. This spelling was replaced by quay from <i> c </i>.1700 (OED).
1400 idem Robertus legavit ad sustentacionem unius kay in mare xll , Flamborough. Bridlington Key was the name of a community at the water’s edge [ ad littus maris ] away from the town and priory up on the hill. At least some of those who lived there were fishermen: 1558 John Awbroughe, Bridlington keye, fisherman. Keyage was a toll, paid for the right to attach a ship to the key.