1) A dark, viscous liquid which consists mainly of hydrocarbons, produced by the destructive distillation of materials such as wood, coal and peat. It was much used by shepherds.
1291-2 oleo et ter ad oves lxs viijd, Bolton Priory
1530 pro ... tar barels ad comburendum calcem, 8d, York
1579 payd for a gallon of tarre for mending shepe, Stockeld
1617 Stray tuppes ... challenged by Anthony Watson of Sutton ... by his name marked with tarr, Brandsby
1642 The manner is to give lambes a tarre-marke before they goe to the feld, Elmswell. It had a wide range of other attributive uses: 1627 a tarbox, South Cave
1642 a tarre-kettle, Elmswell
1678 a tarring trough [for a ropemaker], Selby
1686 3 tar cartes ... 1 new tar pan, 1 tarcan, West Riding.