1) The verb ‘to set’ could be to plant seeds or cuttings, and in some leases the tenants moving into a new property were held responsible for setting and planting a number of trees.

The instructions were occasionally detailed and explicit: 1564-5 to grafte or have upon the grounds specified … in some convenyennt place within foure of the first yeares of the terme of the said lease six appletrees, two pearetrees, one wardentree, one quyncetree, one walenuttree, four cherytrees, a plumbtree

and in the hedge or other convenyentt place … to sett and plant vj yonge trees of the oke, ashe or elme, and preserve all the same trees during the said terme

and if any dye, to sett and preserve so many other of the like and same kynde in their roome, Hemsworth

1737 To Mr Watts for 6 Trees to set in the Garden … For six baskets to set ‘em in, Whitley.

dates 1564-1565 1737

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2) To encourage or incite a dog to attack another animal or a person.

1616 the spanyell ... which he had taught to sett for her, Brandsby

1767 The Reverend John Gray Curate of Swillington died suddenly ... as he was setting Partridges with a Dog in ... Black-well Close.

dates 1616 1767

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3) To accompany a departing guest on the first stage of their journey home.

1726 John Holt said he would sett him part of the way, Erringden

1798 I set them to the Brick pinfold, Sessay.

places Sessay Erringden
dates 1726 1798

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4) Probably a shortened form of set work.

1601 eight sett quishions, Slaithwaite

1622 6 sett quishings, Cottingley

1684 2 set whishens, Cartworth

1699 five seeld chears ... ten set chears, Meltham.

dates 1601 1622

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5) To lay or set stones, in bridges, highways, walls etc.

1579 able men ... to help in the setting of the jewells, casements, springers, Elland Bridge

1602 to help the said Thomas Wallimsley to sett the ground worke, Apperley Bridge

1665 Wee present Thomas Hartley for settinge stones to stop the high street in Hallefax

1719-20 Cowcroft and his servant seting the edge of the Causway, Brotherton

1735 ordered that the town streets of Rotherham be repaired, new set and paved with bolders and levelled. We have some information about the equipment used: 1399 stane hamers ... magnć setting chisiles, York

1508 approns and glovys for settyng to the masons, York. The verb could also be used when single stones were being placed, as at intervals against the side walls of narrow bridges: 1697 setting severall stones upon the said Bridge to keepe Waines and Cartes from Comeing to neare the Batlements, Horbury.

dates 1399 1508 1579 1602 1665 1697 1719-1720 1735

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0