1) The craftsmen who worked leather used knives when they removed flesh and hair from a hide.

c.1425 what man as wyrkys a dakyr of backes, for the fyrst drissyng, colouring and shafyng … he shall hafe iijd, York. Robert Gale, a Methley tanner, made his will in 1570, and this word features in an interesting bequest to his brother in law - in his words: to Arthur Peise … after my wyf gevithe up my occupacion of Tannynge, my barke and tubbes with my shaving knyfes. It occurred also in the leather Act of 1662: divers tanners do shave, cut and rake their upper-leather hides all over, and the necks of their backs and butts to the great impairing thereof. At the West Riding Quarter Sessions in 1713 reference was made to tanners dressing and setting out their bends for sale … which the officers call shaving.

spellings shaving knife
dates 1425 1570 1713

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