1) Oatmeal was made by grinding ‘shilling’, that is oats from which the husks had been removed, and it was formerly a major element in the diet of most Yorkshire families.
John Beamonde of Birkhouse died in 1577, leaving Jennett Hopkinson one stroke of shilling at harvest: Frances Collins transcribed the will and quoted the explanation of ‘shilling’ by the Kirkburton historian Morehouse: ‘this refers to oats, which, previous to being ground, are taken and dried on the kiln. They are next taken and shelled, or denuded of the husk or shell. In this state the corn is called by the miller shilling, or shelling, being then ready for grinding’. There is evidence of a guild of oatmeal makers in Beverley from the late fifteenth century and they are referred to in a variety of documents: 1576 no otemeall maker or otemeal seller eyther brother of that occupacon or contrybutor shall carry or send to the Toune of Hull above one quarter of otemeal on the Market Day there
1591 James Hartesse, otemealemaker
1642 the Lincolnshire men come over to hull and to these doe Beverley oatemealemakers vente and sell a greate parte of theire oatemeale . Note: 1317 Cicely Melemaker, Rastrick.