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XIII] THATCHING 195

haVe been stuck into the roof‘. Bundles of straw thatch were
known in Norfolk as ‘gavels,’ which is translated in the Promp-
torz'um as ‘geluma, manipulatum,’ each with the meaning of
handful. The writer has found that they are known as ‘yelms’
in Cambridgeshire. In Nottinghamshire they are known as ‘bats ’:
and there the thatcher’s helper carries the bundle up to him as it
is required. The bundles are called ‘bunches’ in the dialect of
East Lothian.

Not only does the thatcher begin to lay at the eaves, but
also like a slater, he works on the roof from left to right.
Henry Best’s instructions for the laying-on of thatch are as
follows: ‘It is a greate oversight in many thatchers, that when
they are to lye on a whole thatch, they make it thicke att the very
eize, then they doe make it thinne upwards: whereas, on the
contrary, they shoulde give it a good thicke coat up towards the
toppe, and lye on noe more att the eize, but just to turne raine,
and by this meanes will it shoote of wette better by farre, when
it is full and not as it weare sattled about the mid-side of the
howse.’

The thatcher was to be provided with ‘a great many bandes
for sewinge of the thatch ’ that was first laid on: the bands were
usually made of the finest haver, that is, oat straw, but occa-
sionally of ‘ staddle hay.’ They were made by two persons, one
person to sit beside the straw and feed the band, another to
go backwards with the rake, ‘ to drawe forth and twyne the same,’
and after that they were to be twined together again, ‘after the
manner of a two plette.’ Best continued, ‘wee usually make our
threshers make the bandes, providinge three or fower allwayes
before hand, according to the number of places wheare it is to
bee sewed’: if the ‘forkes’ were 15 ft. or 16 ft. high, the thatch
was to be sewed three times in the height, and four times if the
‘forkes’ were 19 ft. or 20 ft. high. The first sewing was to be
as close to the wall-plate as they could get, the second and third
2 ft. below and 2 ft. above the side ‘ wivers’ (purlins) respectively,
and the fourth "aboute a yard or more belowe the rigge-tree,
goinge straight forward, and att a like distance, fasteninge it aboute
everie sparre as they goe, and allsoe sowinge once aboute a latte
ever betwixt sparre and sparre.’

1 Sir H. Rider Haggard, A Farmer’s Year, p. 28 3.

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