1) A measure for fish, grain, cloth and other commodities, and it varied for different kinds of goods and from one region to another.
1290 dicunt quod lesta allecis non valet nisi viginti solidos, Ravenser
1302 In ij laystes di et d. allec salsatis [salted herrings] Bolton Priory
1395-6 De iij last allec. bonis im, Whitby
1453 2 last’ 14 bund’ lini ... 3 last bituminis, Hull
1516-7 iij last shotyn heryng
1566 for every Last of Flax 3d, Bridlington.
2) In earlier centuries this was a wooden model of the foot on which shoemakers shaped boots and shoes, and the craftsman is likely to have had a large number at his disposal.
1541 ten dossan lasts xs
ij pair of boytte treys xd, Knaresborough
1662 showes & letther in the shopp, boote trees, lasts, Selby. It became a 'pub' name, evidently a house frequented by shoemakers: 1620 [met?] my shoemaker in Blackfryers the signe of the last I payd him for blacke bootes viijs, Brandsby.