Newcastle Coal Measures

1400's

A Statute of 1421 (9 Henry V. Statute 1, chapter 10):

ITEM, Whereas of every Chaldron of Sea Coals which be or shall be sold to People not franchised in the Port of the Town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Two-pence be due the King of Custom, and in the same port be certain Vessels called Keels, by which such coals be carried from the Land to the Ships in the said Port; and every of the said Keels ought to be of the portage of Twenty Chaldrons; and according to the same Portage, the Custom is thereof taken to the King's Use; there be now certain People that of late hav made such keels of the Portage of Twenty-two or Twenty-three Chaldrons, wherof the Custom hath been taken according to the Portage of Twenty Chaldrons only, in Deceit of our Lord the King...

1600's

In 1677 Charles II measured (spelling modernized)

…by the boll tub of Newcastle containing two and twenty gallons and a pottle Winchester measure and being seven and twenty inches diameter upon the top from outside to inside and no more and allowing one and twenty bolls of coals to be measured by such boll-tub by heape measure to each Chalder and no more. Provided always, that the content of each wain shall be seven bolls and the content of each cart 3 bolls and one bushel heaped measure and that three such wains or six such carts shall be reckoned and allowed for a Chalder and no more.

       

chalder

     

wain

3

   

cart

2

6

 

boll

3 16/45*

7

21

gallon

22½

75½

157½

472½

*Reckoning the bushel at 8 gallons.

1800's

The chart combines measures of capacity with measures of mass, which is possible only because the units are applied to only one substance, coal, with a relatively fixed density.

           

ton

         

keel

2 17/96

       

chaldron

8

17 5/12

     

wagon

1 5/19

10 2/9

22

   

fother

2 3/8

3

24

52¼

 

boll

8

19

24

192

418

hundredweight

2 5/24

17 2/3

42

53

424

923 1/12

gallon

36

288

684

864

6912

15048

After David Steel, The Ship-Master's Assistant and Owner's Manual, 9th edition, London: 1801, page 152.

Some cautions: the chart applies to Newcastle, not London.

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