In England, 15th century, a unit of count for teazles, which are the dried burrs of the Fuller's thistle (Dipsacus fullonum L.). To this day they are used to raise the nap of cloth, and are cultivated for the purpose. Cobb suggests a skive was about 100 (see below).


12 Feb [1480]. From the ship of John Bargeman called Christofer of Reimerswaal
Said master. A[lien], 40 skives teazles, 2 bales madder weight 14 C. pounds, 1 basket with 48 dozen felt hats, 400 bunches garlic, 1,000 paving-tiles, 2 barrels mackerel, £9 13s. 4d.
John Skywyng A[lien], 90 skives teazles, 45s.


2 June. From the ship of Cornelius van Stonebarowe called Valantyne [of] Bergen-op-Zoom
John Bargeman, A[lien], 73 skives teazles, 36 s. 8d.


14 June. From the ship of Roger Bernard called Mary of London
Lewis van Demers, A[lien], 51 skives teazles, 1 pipe with teazles, 56s 8d.

H. S. Cobb, editor.
The Overseas Trade of London. Exchequer Customs Accounts 1480-1.
London Record Society, 1990.

Entries in the petty customs account of imports through London, respectively entry 63 (page 22 of Cobb), entry 140 (page 41) and entry 146 (page 43). The amount shown at the end of each entry is the customs duty. From the first two entries, the duty was clearly ½ shilling per skive. So the duty on the 51 skives in the third entry would be 25s. 6d., leaving a balance of 31s. 2d. for the pipe of teazles. Thus a pipe is equivalent to about 62 skives. A pipe was 29,106 cubic inches, or about 469 cubic inches to a skive. If there were a hundred teazles to a skive, each teazle took up about 4.7 cubic inches, a believable figure because some sort of packaging must have been necessary to keep the teazles from sticking to one another. The largest teazle heads are about 8 centimeters long, and current practice is to harvest them with 8 inches of stem.


In Denmark, a unit of mass used for copper, = 1/14 skippund, before 1683 about 11.32 kilograms; after 1683, 11.43 kg.



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