woollen wheels

1) This unusual term had the same meaning as ‘unbound wheels’, that is wheels without a studded metal tyre.

The wheels may also have been padded but I have found no evidence for such a practice. The definition is expressed most clearly in the ordinances of the city of York: 1524 none … shall … cary any of the said dong furth of the said City with their yrinbonwaines … but oonely waines that hath woulne wheylls or els upon sledds, York. Later examples confirm that it is not a misreading and that the term was used over a wider area: 1559 one cowpe with one whele with iron, one wonne [sic] whele, Hipswell. The following extract from the civic records therefore makes much better sense if we assume that ‘on’ in line six is a mistake for ‘or’: 1497 it was ennacted … that a proclamacion shalbe maid in the opyn market that every denysen and foreyn that bryngez waynez or cartes bound with yren and loden with any maner stuff, except the Kyngs carriage and comez within this Citie opon the Payvement whiche of newe is maid … shall fro nowfurth pay for every tyme xijd to the common well of this Citie

and thei that bryngs wollen on [sic] unbound waynes or cartes and without any naylez with any maner stuffe to be welcome and to have fre entre and passage, York. The contrast with a bound wain is made in a Ripley inventory: 1578 a bound wayne with iron xxxs

a woulne wane xs. The term is not in the OED but there is an entry for ‘to have woollen feet’ which meant to walk silently, as if the feet were padded with wool. Elsewhere are spellings of ‘woollen’ which support this interpretation: 1542 a ston and an half of wonegarne, Bedale

1572 iij wowne gears [for a loom], South Cave.

dates 1497 1524 1542 1559 1572 1578

Related Content Loading...

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0