In England, a system of sizing for large pieces of fuel wood. A shid, or taleshide, was 4 feet long, and the girth was indicated by notches:

1 16
2 23
3 28
4 33
5 38

34 & 35 Henry VIII, chapter 3 (1542-1543)

43 Elizabeth I

9 Ann


Slimmer pieces were called billets.

Hayes (1740) page 206.



The Ordinaunce for the Assise of Talewod and Belet in the Cyte of London by the Mair and Aldirmen.
First that talewode shuld holde and conteyne in lengiht iiij. fote of assise be syde the carf.
Item every taleshide of one be in gretnes in the middis xx. ynches of assise.
Item every taleshide named of ij. contayne in gretnes in the middis xxvi. ynches of assise.
Item every taleshide named of iij. contayn in gretnes in the middis xxxij. ynches of assise.
Item every taleshide named of iiij. contayn in gratnes in the middis xxxviij. ynches.
Item every taleshide named of v. contayne it gretnes in the middis xliiij. ynches of the assise.
And that noo pece of talewod here after be made ony moo only of hem self and in no wyse be markid with a nother et cetera.
Item that every Esex belet of one contayn in lengith with the carf iij. fote and half of assise and in gretnes in the middes xv. ynches, and that every Essex belet of more than one shide be of resonable proporcion and gretnes after the nombre of shyde that it be tolde fore also the rate of the sayd belet of one shyde, &ct.

Richard Arnold.
In this Booke is conteyned the Names of the Baylifs, Custos, Mairs, and Sherefs,of the Cite of London, from the Tyme of King Richard the Furst; and also th'Artycles of the Chartur and Libarties of the same Cyte ; and of th'Chartur and Liberties off England, wyth odur dyvers mat's good and necessary for every Citezen to undirstond and knowe.
[Antwerp: John Doesborowe?, 1503?.]
Reprinted as
The Customs of London, otherwise called Arnold's Chronicle; containing among divers other matters, …
London: Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington; T. Payne; Wilkie and Robinson, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown; etc., 1811.
Pages 97-98 (of the 1811 edition).

Basically echoes 34 & 35 Henry VIII, chapter 3.


All shids must be foure foot long beside the carfe, and upon them is or 5 markes or notches, and then they must be in compasse about the midst 16.23.28 33 or 38 inches, according as it has number of markes

Arthur Hopton.
A concordancy of yeares : Containing a new, easie, and etc.
[London]: Printed for the Company of Stationers, 1612.
Page 163.


Shides must be 4 foot long, and must be in compasse either 16, 23, 28, 33, or 38 Inches, according as they are marked for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.

Henry Phillippes.
The Purchasers Pattern. 2nd ed., corrected and enlarged.
London: Printed for R. & W. Leybourn, for T. Pierrepont..., 1654.
Page 237.


Of Wood Fuel, English Measure. — Wood fuel is assized into shids, billets, faggots, fall wood, and cord wood. A shid is to be 4 feet long, and according as they are marked and notched, their proportions must be in the girth; viz. if they have but 1 notch, they must be 16 inches in the girth; if 2 notches, 23 inches; if 3 notches, 28 inches; if 4 notches, 33 inches; and if 5 notches, 38 inches about. Billets are to be 3 feet long, of which there should be 3 sorts; viz. a single cask, and a cask of 2; the 1st is 7 inches, the 2nd 10 inches, and the third 14 inches, about: they are sold by the 100 of 5 score. Faggots are to be 3 feet long, and at the band 24 inches about, besides the knot of such faggots; 50 go to the load. Bavins and spray wood are sold by the 100, which are accounted a load. Cord wood is the bigger sort of fire wood, and it is measured by a cord, or line, whereof there are 2 measures; that of 14 feet in length, 3 feet in breadth, and 3 feet in height. The other is 8 feet in length, 4 feet in height, and 4 feet in breadth.

J. R. M'Culloch.
Henry Vethake, editor.
A Dictionary, Practical, Theoretical, and Historical of Commerce and Commercial Navigation.
Philadelphia: A. Hart, 1852.
Page 725 (misprinted as 72). This dictionary began as an English publication; the definitions may have applied there and not in the United States.


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