From Old Low German. The Germanic root also figures in the origin of words like “group”. Whether cropp was ever actually the name of a unit is certainly debatable.
In England, 15ᵗʰ century, possibly a unit of capacity (?) used for metal goods. “Battery” were metal utensils made by hammering. In the record of a customs entry shown below, “cropp” might simply mean “one small group of battery”.
159. John Salmer, H[anse], 1 'bassheron' 1 basket 1 small 'cropp' of battery, £23
H. S. Cobb, editor.
The Overseas Trade of London. Exchequer Customs Accounts 1480-1.
London Record Society, 1990.
CROP …: a fixed weight in different localities for sugar, tobacco, and other staples.
CROP-HOGSHEAD, the usual recognized weight of a crop-hogshead of tobacco is from 1000 to 1300 lbs. nett.
Simmonds (1892), page 114.
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