In England, particularly London, 13ᵗʰ – ? centuries, a measure of capacity = 9 bushels, 1 bushel more than a quarter, which is 8 bushels. Also called vat, fat, faat and fatte. It arose from a trading practice in which buyers expected sellers to give somewhat more than the specified quantity (similar to a baker's dozen). Apparently this was accomplished by making the Elizabethan standard bushel 9 gallons, so that taking 8 such gallons for a quarter would make the quarter 8 gallons (an 8-gallon bushel) larger.

From the 13ᵗʰ century the crown repeatedly attempted to suppress this practice, and statutes of the 15ᵗʰ century give the name of the unit.


And the Merchants and Citizens of London, do use to take of every Seller for the Quarter of Wheat Nine Bushels, by the Measure used within the said city called the Fatt, with the Bushel set upon the said Fatt, and yet make the Sellers to pay a Halfpenny for the measuring of every Quarter, and take for a Quarter of Oats Ten Bushels, wherby the Buyers of the Corn in the Country will not buy nor take for the Quarter of Corn, but in the same manner as the said Purveyors and they of the said City used to take, to the great Hindrance and perpetual undoing of the Commonalty aforesaid:

1 Henry V chapter 10 (1413)

And notwithstanding the said Ordinances and Statutes, as well the Bakers and all other Merchants and Buyers within the Franchise and City of London, as the King's Purveyors of Corn, and all other Merchants and common Buyers of Corn in many other Cities, Towns, Boroughs, and Counties of England, continually from day to day do buy and take nine Bushels for the Quarter, that is to say, the Bakers, Buyers and Merchants within the City and Franchises of London, by a vessel called the Fat, which containeth Eight Bushels of Corn with another Bushel of Corn put to that for a Quarter

11 Henry VI c 8 (1433)

1607 quarter of malt

1866 9-gallon measure prohibited by statute


In England, 17ᵗʰ century, a unit for unbound books, = ½ maund. Taking the bale as 5000 sheets, about 20,000 printed sheets.


Bookes unbound
the basket or maund cont eight bales or two fatts viij li
the fatt cont halfe a maund iiij li

“A Subsidy granted to the King of Tonnage and Poundage and other summes of Money payable upon Merchandize Exported and Imported.”
A statute from the 12th year of Charles II, 1660. The selection is from the Rates of Merchandizes, which is not part of the statute proper but developed from it. Both are printed in:
Statutes of the Realm, Volume 5: 1628-80, John Raithby, editor.
London: 1819. Page 185.

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