1) A superior quality of foreign oak wood, put to a wide range of uses.

In many of the earliest references the word is used in the plural, possibly because it was imported into this country in the form of boards

that is extremely thin planks. Although it is uncertain just when the first boat loads arrived, the east coast trade was certainly established by the middle of the fourteenth century: 1358 Item, Johanni de Gisburgh [mariner] pro wainscot, j marc, York

1371 et in lx waynscot sarrandis pro orologia et aliis necessariis in fabrica, York

1409 et serratoribus pro serratura lx waynscott, Beverley

1486 to the kyrk werk … xxx squared trees and half c. waynscotes to the reparaciones of the stalles, Beverley. In fact, large quantities of both oak and pine came into Hull, especially from the Baltic and Norway, and the evidence of fabric rolls shows that much of it was employed in the great churches. In Beverley, for example, it contributed to the repair of the choir stalls and was used for doors and windows. In Ripon and York it was needed for the reredos and canopy of the altar. Oliver Rackham claimed that it is possible for those who visit churches to ‘distinguish the giant, straight-grained, slow-grown oaks of Central Europe … from the small, crooked, fast-grown local oaks’. These continental trees were more versatile than native oak, and the boards were made by specialists who had the necessary skills and equipment. Fifteenth-century accounts for the port of Hull contain details of wainscots shipped from the Baltic. In 1453, the ships Jacob and Catyntroghe, from Danzig, brought in hundreds of them, along with deles and clapholtes: ships from Zeeland had fyrsparres. The wood came also to be used for panelling in private houses, and to make furniture: 1452 j parvć cofre de waynescotes, York

1525 a copburde of waynescotte … a bed of waynescotte, York

1558 a carved chist of waynescott in the parlor, York

1607 it is my mynde that no glasse, waynescott, iron barres, bedstockes, tables and stoles shalbe removed from my house … but stand as heirelomes, Almondbury.

dates 1358 1371 1409 1452 1486 1525 1558 1607

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