last

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.

dates 1290 1302 1395-1396 1453 1516-1517 1566

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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.

dates 1541 1620 1662

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0