diker

In England and Scotland (daiker), 13th – 17th centuries, a unit of count = 10 (compare “dozen” for 12), applied to skins, gloves, horseshoes, and perhaps other articles. Also spelled dicker, dyker.

Commodity Quantity in a diker
knives 10
leather or hides 10. (20 dikers made a last.)
necklaces 10 bundles, each of 10 necklaces
glovesĀ¹ 10 pairs
horseshoes 20 ? 110?

1. Worlidge [1704] applies the diker to “Cloves;” this is a misprint for gloves.

sources

1

Last vero coriorum constat ex viginiti dikeres; et quodlibet diker constat ex decm coriis.

Item diker cirothecarum constat ex decem paribus cirothecarum.
Item diker ferrorum equorum constat ex centum et decem ferris.

A last of leather consists of twenty dikers, and every diker consists of twenty skins.

Item, the diker of gloves consists of ten pairs of gloves. Item, the diker of horseshoes consists of 100 [sic] and 10 shoes.

Incipit compositio de ponderibus et mensuris
British Museum: MS Reg. 9A II, folio 170b (1302? But because many copies existed by the time this manuscript was created, R. D. Connor believes the original was written around the middle of the 13th century.)

2

Le last de quir est de xx dakers, et checun dakir de x quirs. Le daker de gaunz est x peyre. Le dakir de fers de cheval est de xx fers.

The last of leather is 20 dikers, and each diker is ten hides. The diker of gloves is ten pair. The diker of horseshoes is 20 [sic] shoes.

De tut manere de peys et de mesures ki vm vend
British Museum: MS Eg. 2733, folios 174-175, about 1253.

3

Schedule of murage chargeable on divers goods.

for every “dyker” of hide tanned 2½d.

Reginald R. Sharpe, editor.
Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved among the Archives of the City of London at the Guildhall.
Letter-Book H. Circa A.D. 1375-1399.

London: Printed by John Edward Francis, 1907.
Page 298.
Probably written 1386.

4

Hydys by the Dyker and the Last. Also hyds of bestes, fresh, salt and tannyd be sold by the dyker; and x hydes make a dyker; and xx dyker make a last.

Hides by the diker and last. Also hides of beasts, fresh, salt and tanned, are sold by the diker, and ten hides make a diker, and 20 dikers make a last.

The Noumbre of Weyghtes.
British Museum: MS Cotton, Vesp. E. IX, folios 86-110, fifteenth century

5

The last of lether consistith 20 dickers of leather.

Euery dicker consistith 10 skynns; so that the last is 200 skynns.

Geometry upon Waightes and Measures calid the Art Statike.
British Museum: MS Reg. 18C XX (1590-1620), folio 14.

6

Likewaies, ten hides makis ane daiker, and twentie daiker, makis an last.

Sir John Skene.
De verborum significatione.
Edinburgh, printed by David Lindsay, 1681.
Under the entry SERPLATH. The first edition was printed in Edinburgh in 1597.

7

Knives.…
Almanie Bohemia & all other course knives the dicker conteyning tenn knives.…
Butchers knives the dicker cont. tenn knives.…
Sker knives the dicker cont. 10 knives.…
Razers the dicker conteyning tenn.…
Braceletts or Necklaces of Glasse the small groce cont. xij bundles or dickers

“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 193.

Not all types of knives were tallied in dickers. For example, from the same source:

Carving knives the dozen.…
Glovers knives the bundle conteyning six knives

8

Hydes

10 make a Dicker; 20 Dickers make a Last.

Calendar and Tables.
British Museum: MS Harl. 5769 folio 63 sq. (1682)

 

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