1) The regional spelling of ‘ret’, that is to soak in water or expose to moisture, used especially in the preparation of hemp and flax. The plants were placed in a pit or pool and as putrefaction occurred the fibres were separated or split from the stem.
1533 That no man shall rayte nowther hempe ne lyne, Selby
1617 Item sommer & winter hempe rated 40s, South Cave
1630 ‘They present the inhabitants of Aldburgh because they have retted hemp in an unlawful manner’
1747 forty stones of rated line, forty unrated, Fishlake. It was used more widely for the effects of exposure to moisture, as with hay: 1642 When hey is beginninge to be rated the best helpe is to throw it out a little and then ... sette it on a newe ... staddle, Elmswell. More unusually, Stovin said of a body discovered in the peat on Thorne moors in 1747 that the Bones was Rated Black.