vasseau

A unit of dry capacity, 16th? – 19th centuries, in Belgium and in certain cities in northern France. In this multilingual area the unit had several names: in French, vasseau or vaisseau; in Wallon, vassiau¹; in Flemish vat.

Locale Equivalents Comment Value
(liters)
Ath = ½ rasière wheat, rye, maslin 28.39
oats, winter barley, marseches² 31.85
Bavay = ½ rasière all grains 26.05
Binche = ½ rasière all grains 26.15
Boussu = ½ rasière of Mons all grains 26.70
Braine-le-Comte = ½ rasière all grains 29.50
Chimay = ¼ rasière all grains 19.37
Enghien = ½ rasière   28.80
Fontaine-L'Évêque = ½ rasière all grains 26.15
Jemmape = ½ rasière of Mons   26.70
Jumetz   wheat, rye, maslin 26.16
oats, barley, winter barley 28.34
Lessines = ½ rasière 30.00
Maubeuge all grains 19.37
Mons = ½ rasière all grains 26.70
salt 38.62
Nivelles = ½ rasière small measure wheat, rye, peas, broad beans 20.32
large measure barley, oats, rape, salt, charcoal 28.96
Quiévrain = ½ rasière of Mons   26.70
Soignes = ½ rasière wheat, rye, maslin 29.66
oats, barley, winter barley 32.61
Teralphene 20.90
Thuin = ½ rasière 34.34
Valenciennes = ½ mencaudée   25.00

Most data from Doursther (1840, page 569).

1. Philibert Delmotte.
Essai d'un Glossaire Wallon, que peut servir à déucontier, que...
1812.
Reprinted Brussels: Editions Culture et Civilisation, 1981.

Godefroy, volume 8, page 138, lists for Wallon the spellings wacha, vassau and vassiau.

2. Two-row barley sown in the Spring. The definition is found in Godefroy (volume 5, page 186), under the entry “marseizes.” He cites a dictionary of agricultural terms published in 1809.

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