1) A count of ten, used when calculating pay for piece work for mineworkers.
An advertisement for a new colliery in Beeston, the Leeds Mercury of 4 Jan. 1780, has a Yorkshire example of this word: To be Lett, the Working of the abovesaid Colliery, by the Great or Tentale as practised in the North. The Undertaker to defray all Expenses as Colliers, and all other Workmen’s Wages
to find materials of every kind necessary for the working of the said Colliery, as well as for keeping in Repair the large Engine lately thereon erected as also the Roads already made, as well as making and repairing new Roads necessary to new Pits
to make and repair all Ginns and other Utensils necessary for the same
to sink such fresh Pits as will be needful during the Remainder of the Lease, having Twelve Years unexpired … to be Let at so much per Dozen of Twelve Corves … for a specific Quantity, not less than Ten Thousand such Dozens per Ann. the Dozen of Corves … are expected to weigh not less than 26 Cwt of well-dressed coals. ‘Tentale’ here is used as an alternative to ‘by the great’, an expression which was commonly employed in the West Riding with reference to piece work as opposed to an hourly rate. The ‘tentale’, that is a count of ten, was a term used in the north-east and according to Greenwell it originally referred to a system of payment based on the amount of coal mined, which varied under different landlords in some leases the ‘ten’ was fixed at 50 tons. Gresley said that it was a rent or royalty paid by a lessee upon every ‘ten’ of coals worked in excess of the minimum or certain rent. As the Brandling family had moved from Northumberland to Leeds they had almost certainly brought the word with them, hence the reference as practised in the North.