By Consent of the whole Realm the King’s Measure was made, so that an English Penny, which is called the Sterling, round without clipping, shall weigh Thirty-two Grains of Wheat dry in the midst of the Ear; Twenty-pence make an Ounce; and Twelve Ounces make a Pound and Eight Pounds make a Gallon of Wine; and Eight Gallons of Wine make a Bushel of London; which is the Eighth Part of a Quarter.
A Sack of Wool ought to weigh Twenty-eight Stone, that is Three hundred and fifty Pounds, and in some parts Thirty Stone, that is Three hundred and seventy-five Pounds, and they are the same according to the greater or lesser Pound.
Six times Twenty Stone, that is fifteen hundred Pound, make a Load of Lead, to wit the great Load of London, but the Load of the Peak is much less.
The Load of Lead doth consist of Thirty Formels, and every Formel containeth Six Stone, except Two Pound; and every Stone doth consist of Twelve Pound, and every Pound consisteth of the Weight of 25 Shillings, whereby the Sum in the Formel is Seventy Pound. But the Sum of the Stones in the Load is Eight Times Twenty and Fifteen, and it is proved by Six Times Thirty which is Nine Times Twenty. But of every Formel there are abated Two Pound in the foresaid Multiplication, which are Sixty, which make Five Stone. And so there are in the Load Eight Times Twenty and Fifteen as is aforesaid.
According to some other, it consisteth of Twelve [Weights], and this is after Troy Weight. And the Sum of Stones in the Load is Eight Times Twenty and [Eight] Stones, and is proved by Twelve Times Fourteen.
[There is a Weight,] as well of Lead as of Wool, Tallow, and Cheese, [and weigheth] Fourteen Stone. And Two [Weights] of Wool make a Sack, and Twelve Sacks make a Last.
But a Last of [Red-] Herrings containeth [ten] thousand, and every Thousand containeth Ten hundred, and every Hundred [six] score. [Also a Last of White Herrings at London is sold for ten thousand, and each thousand consists of twelve hundred, and each hundred of five score. And this is the contrary of Red-Herrings, as is aforesaid.]
A Last of Leather doth consist of Twenty Diker, and every Diker consisteth of Ten Skins. And a Diker of Gloves consisteth of Ten Pair of Gloves.
Item a Diker of Horse-shoes doth consist of [Ten] Shoes.
Item a Dozen of Gloves, Parchment, and Vellum in thei r Kinds contain Twelve Skins, and Twelve Pair of Gloves.
Item a Hundred of Wax, Sugar, Pepper, [Cinnamon, Nutmegs], and Allum, containeth Thirteen Stone and a Half, and every Stone Eight Pound. The Sum of Pounds in a Hundred One hundred and eight Pounds, and the Hundred consisteth of Five Times Twenty, and every Pound of Twenty-five Shillings.
Item it is to be known, that the Pound of Pence, Spices, Confections, as of Electuaries, consisteth [in weight] of Twenty Shillings. But the Pound of all other Things weigheth Twenty-five Shillings.
[But in Electuaries the Ounce consisteth of twenty-pence, and the Pound contains twelve Ounces: but in other things the Pound contains 15 Ounces: but the Ounce in either case is in weight twenty-pence.]
Item a Hundred of Canvass, and Linen Cloth consisteth of One hundred Ells and every hundred containeth Six Score. But the hundred of [Iron and Shillings] consisteth but of Five Score.
[The Sheaf of Steel consisteth of thirty pieces.]
The Seeme of Glass containeth [Twenty-four] Stone, and every Stone Five Pound. And so the Seeme containeth [Six] score Pound. The Dozen of Iron consisteth of Six Pieces.
A Bind of Eels consisteth of Ten Stikes, and every Stike Twenty-five Eels. But the Bind of Skins consisteth of [Thirty-three Skins].
A Timber of Coney-Skins and Grayes consisteth of [Forty] Skins.
A Chef of Fustian consisteth of Fourteen Ells. [A Chef of Sindon containeth Ten Ells.]
A Hundred of Garlike consisteth of fifteen Ropes, and every Rope containeth [fifteen] Heads.
[Also a Hundred of Mulvells and Hard Fish consists of six Score Fish, and in some and many places of nine score; and this is of the hard Fish called Aberdene.]
And that is Tractatus de Ponderibus Mensuris in all its splendour. Makes modern maths exams look like a cakewalk. It’s an important document as it’s the first real time that we’re talking about weights and how to sell goods on a wide scale basis in the same way. Written in the 14th century.
It was a memo more than anything, but was entrenched in custom by the time we get to Elizabeth. This version was a merging between the original translated by Latin and the update version translated in the 19th century.
Till next time, thanks for listening to a very confusing episode of the Number 10 podcast. Be seeing you.