Philobiblon: A question for early modern (and related) historians

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A question for early modern (and related) historians

I'm looking at the purchase in the mid-16th century (for "vs iijd", which I read as five shillings and three pence, i.e. quite a lot) of “two aulter frontes of Dornyke and res."

Any idea about Dornkye and res. (The full stop is part of the res. making it - is this right for the period? look like an abbreviation.)

All help gratefully received!


Anonymous Sharon said...

Can you give a bit more context?

I wonder if 'aulter' might be 'altar' (as in churches); 'of' could well mean 'from', in which case 'Dornyke' might be the name of a supplier. But I can't work out 'res.' though an abbreviation seems very likely. More clues needed! (When you say the full stop is part of the word, where exactly is it placed?)

1/14/2006 11:28:00 pm  
Blogger Penny L. Richards said...

So someone bought altar fronts "of Dornyke and res." Like Sharon, my first guess is that Dornyke is the seller/maker/supplier of the altar fronts. But Dornick is a kind of twill--maybe the "Dornyke" refers to the material? (Google the phrase "dornick twill" to see examples.) Still doesn't answer the "res." part.

1/14/2006 11:45:00 pm  
Blogger Penny L. Richards said...

Further evidence:

DARNICK, DORNECK, DORNICK: A coarse kind of linen fabric used generally for hangings, originally made (17th century) at Dorneck, Dutch name for Tournay. The name was also applied to a coarse variety of checkered table linen.

From an antique-dealers' encyclopedia online (

So if it's not the fabric, Dornyke might refer to Tournay as a place name.

1/14/2006 11:48:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

This is a purchase by a Dionysia Leveson, widow of Nycholas, probably of Lime Street London, from St Andrew's Undershaft during the Edwardian Reformation. From an early 20th-century history of the churches of London - unfortunately this item isn't referenced, so that's pretty well all I know.

The abbreviation is simply "res."

Thanks Penny - that linen fabric sounds right to me, now there's only the res mystery

1/15/2006 10:38:00 am  
Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

I too go for two altar frontals of Dutch(-type)material. For "res" I have two suggestions, but without much conviction: the Latin word for "things", like the pins and poles which might have kept the frontal neatly in place; or a mistake, in writing or reading, for rep, though I suspect that the period is too early for that fabric

1/15/2006 02:55:00 pm  

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