Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/427

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10 s. XIL OCT. so, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


That there were several Tackle-houses in the City is shown also from ' An Analytical Index to the Series of Records known as the " Remembrancia," preserved among the archives of the City of London,' 1878, p. 499 :

" Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council enclosing a Petition from the Porters of the Tackle Houses of the City, praying assistance for the prevention of the inconvenience like to grow upon them through the erection of a new office, for

the lading and unlading of all merchants' goods

not free of the twelve Companies," &c.

We learn further that in 1607, the date of the above letter, the appointment of these porters was even then an " ancient custom," although the fraternity itself, consisting of tackle- and ticket-porters, was constituted by act of Common Council not earlier than 1646 (see Allen's ' London,' 1828, vol. ii. p. 412).

The tackle-porters were appointed by the twelve principal City companies, and were required to be freemen ; they were entitled to the

"work or labour of unshipping, landing, carrying) and housing of all goods imported by, and belonging to, the South Sea Company and the East India

Company, and of all other goods except from

the East Country, from Ireland, and the British plantations, and goods coming coastwise." Report on the Trade and Shipping of the Port of London, made to the House of Commons, 1796, Appendix F.f.

Perhaps, therefore, the histories of the various great companies will afford some clue as to why " tackle-houses " were originally so called.


The City of London was always conserva- tive in regard to its rights and privileges, amongst which was the portage of all things measurable brought into the Port of London, and the Company of Porters had time out of mind a fraternity called the Billingsgate Porters, who were bound to carry corn to His Majesty's granaries ; they were all free- men of the City, and, before being allowed to work, had to find sureties for their good conduct. This was the answer of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen in 1621-2 to a com- plaint of excessive charges levied on the maltsters of Henley-on-Thames.

Another branch of this service was the lading and unlading within the port of all merchants' goods not free of the twelve companies of the City. The City, by ancient custom and usage, had the appointment of these porters, and they had always appointed poor decayed citizens, whose conduct had given satisfaction to the merchants, and employment to the industrious poor. This

was the substance of a letter to the Privy Council when it was proposed to establish a new office (see Overall, ' Index to the Remembrancia,' pp. 141-2). This points to the fact that there were certain places where these porters were to be found when wanted " a house of call " and where their necessary appliances tackle were kept, in the same way as the Vintners' Company have rendezvous in the City of London where their porters are to be found with rope and trolleys, who help the brewers' draymen to unload the barrels and place them in the cellars of public-houses. One place I remem- ber vpas in White Hart Yard, Bishopsgate.

Another instance where the porters held office under condition of providing the " tackle " requisite for their work is given in Stow's ' Survey,' ii. 9 (Kingsford's edition). The cornporters at Queenhithe each had to find one horse and seven sacks.


Possibly Sin JAMES MURRAY will find the desired information in the evidence given before the Royal Commissioners as to Livery Companies in 1837, and, I think, 1884. At all events the Clerk of the Worship- ful Company of Fishmongers should be able to supply it, as the Lord Mayor-elect, Alderman Sir John Knill, holds the office of Tackle-porter in the above Livery Com- pany this year. JAMES CURTIS, F.S.A.

Is not this an instance in which the obvious is the true meaning ? The distinction drawn in the ' New Guide to London ' furnishes a plain answer to the query. Weights, scales, &c., are tackle, i.e., the implements or instru- ments of action, the action in this case being that of weighing goods, &c. SIR JAMES MURRAY'S assumption that " tackle-house " is "weighing-house" would, therefore, appear to be indubitably right, though it is possible that a tackle-house might contain the gear of other trades or callings than that of the weighing porter.


" HOTH "=HEATH (10 S. xii. 284). There is no great difficulty as to this form. We duly find in the ' E.D.D.' the entry : " Hoath, sb. Kentish. Also written hoth. A heath ; only found in place-names."

The fact is that we occasionally find double forms in Anglo-Saxon one with a, the regular representative of the Gothic ai, and another with ce, the mutated vowel which results from the former. The A.-S. dictionary duly gives gdst, a ghost,