quell

1) Regional spellings of wheel, usually in the sense of spinning-wheel.

1542 Item a spynnyng qweyll viijd, Bedale

1557 to ... my maid all suche thinges as belonge to the quell, Wakefield. Used also of a bell-wheel: 1522-3 paid for mendyng of the grett bell qwhell viijd ob, York. John Daille of Attercliffe near Sheffield died in 1547 and the word ‘qwell’ was used several times in his will. The editor T.W. Hall said in a footnote that a qwell was a spring of water

that is a ‘well’. He was aware that names and words which begin with ‘w’ were locally given an initial ‘q’ by clerks who were reporting what they heard, but I believe that his interpretation was mistaken and that ‘qwell’ in this instance was a spelling of ‘wheel’. It can be compared with spellings of spinning-wheel above, and the surname Wheelwright in the following example: 1379 Richard Qwelwryght, Halton West. The testator’s reference to the qwell which stands in Porter Felde Side is confirmation that the reference was to a building which housed a grinding wheel. It should be noted therefore that ‘wheel’ in the Sheffield area had come by then to mean ‘mill’.

spellings qwhell qweyll
dates 1379 1522-1523 1542 1547 1557

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