hogshead

1

An English and later British unit of capacity, a quarter of a tun, = 63 wine gallons. After conversion to imperial measure in 1824, the hogshead became 52.5 imperial gallons, about 238.7 liters. See beer and ale for a chart showing its changes over time for those commodities. See wine barrel for a chart showing its changes in value and its relation to other wine measures. Abbr., hhd.

In Ceylon, a law in force in 1900 fixed the hogshead at 63 gallons.

In addition to the legal value, the hogshead had various conventional commercial values, depending on the commodity.

  Mid 19th century
according to Waterston
20th century
beer 54 imperial gallons  
brandy 45–60 imp. gal.; some say 57 60 imp. gal.; 273 liters
claret 46 imp. gallons 46-49 imp. gal.; 209-225 liters
madeira, marsala 46 imp. gal.; 209 liters
port 58 imp. gal.; 264 liters
Scotch whisky 55–60 imp. gallons  56 imp. gal.; 255 liters
sherry 55 imp. gal.; 250 liters
sugar (West Indies) 1,456–1,792 pounds avoirdupois.  
tobacco 1,344–2,016 pounds avoirdupois.  
Hock, Rhine and
Moselle wine
30 gallons  

sources

1

See these statutes: 1 Richard III, chapter 13, 2 Henry VI chapter 14

 2

15228 Cubic inches, or 8 4/5 cube feet, in one hogshead of beer measure in London, containing 54 gallons.
13536 Cube inches, or 7 5/6 cube feet, in one hogshead of ale measure in London, containing 48 gals.
14382 Cube inches, or 8 2/6 cube feet, in one hogshead of beer and ale measure in the country, containing 51 gallons.
14553 Cube inches, or 8 2/5 cube feet, in one hogshead of wine measure, containing 63 gallons.

E[dward] Hoppus.
Hoppus's Tables for Measuring, or Practical Measuring Made Easy, by a New Set of Tables... A New Edition.
London: Printed for Longman and Co., etc., 1837.

2

In South Africa, a unit of liquid capacity for wine, about 65 imperial gallons, about 295 liters. Formerly = 8 ankers.

sources

1

The variation in the size of the hogsheads [63 to 72 imperial gallons] is owing to the importation of casks about this size, from different countries, which are retained when empty, instead of being returned.

Alfred J. Martin.
Up-to-date Tables of Imperial, Metric, Indian and Colonial Weights and Measures…
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1904.
Page 67.

3

In Australia, a unit of liquid capacity for wine, about 65 imperial gallons, about 295 liters.

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