1) Usually a small room where food is kept, a pantry, but in Swaledale it may have been a type of cupboard or container.

1574 A cupburd and a spence xxs, Richmond

1594 Item a nolmarie and a litell spence 6s 8d, Marske

1599 Item one old mylk spenc’ one arke ... one old ambre, Marrick. That meaning may have evolved quite late since this was where Spence as a surname originated: 1327 De Roberto del Spens, Thoralby, and the reference there is likely to be to a pantry or buttery.

dates 1327 1574 1594 1599

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