An English unit of mass, = 7 pounds avoirdupois. In Essex and Suffolk, however, = 8 pounds for cheese.
By the Statute of the 9th of Henry the 6th, A.D. 1430, Chap. 8th, after reciting the Practice of weighing cheese throughout England by the Auncel, and that Auncel, in Respect of the Deceit thereof, had been by Statute destroyed; and other weights, called Couching, should be used; and the People were, from their Ignorance, deceived by such Couching weights, it is enacted, That the Weight of a Wey of Cheese shall contain thirty-two Cloves, and every Clove 7 lb. by the said Weights Couching.
Report from the Committee Appointed to Inquire into the
Original Standards of Weights and Measures in this Kingdom and to Consider the
Laws relating thereto. [Carysfort Report.]
Reports from Committees of the House of Commons (1737-65) Vol II, pages 453-463.
There is also the true weight of Cheese and Butter, called the weigh, which is 112 [pound symbol] Avoirdupois to the hundreth : so the two hundreth is 224 [pound symbol], containing 32 Cloves, and every Clove 7 [pound symbol] : so the weigh of Suffolke Cheese is 256 [pound symbol] Avoirdupois weight : but the weigh of Essex Cheese, is 336 [pound symbol].
Vel Lex Mercatoria, or the Ancient Law-Merchant.
London: Printed by Adam Islip, 1622.
CLOVE; is a term used in Weights; and in respect to Wool, 7 pounds makes a Clove; but in Essex, they allow 8 pounds of cheese and butter to the Clove; 31 Cloves, or 256 pounds to the Wey: In Suffolk, they allow 42 of those Cloves, or 336 pounds to the Wey,
Something is wrong. Thirty-one 8-lb cloves make 248 pounds, not 256; “31” is probably a misprint for “32”, which does make a 256-pound wey. More important, the relative sizes of the weys of Suffolk and Essex are inverted, compared to Malynes.
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Last revised: 17 May 2009.