Background Information



KaiageRef 1-K4
A charge which was levied on the loading or unloading goods at a market town or wharf

KebRef 1-615
An element used in place names – such as Kebroyd.

It has been suggested that the word

  • means an old sheep
  • means roughly built, as in the expression cobbled  together
  • is a diminutive personal name

but there is no clear etymology

Kendal clothRef 1-709
Also Kendall cloth. From the 1300s, a coarse cloth was made and sold in Kendal, Cumbria.

In the reign of Edward III, the mid-1300s, Dutch settlers were encouraged to come to the town under the protection of the king.

They taught the art of weaving to the locals

The cloth was popular in the making of jackets.

See Brian Oates

KennelRef 1-K2
A gutter in the street

KenningRef 1-1545
A unit of capacity and volume equal to 2 pecks

KerseyRef 1-207
Aka carsay and karcy.

A narrow piece of heavy, coarse, cheap, woollen cloth with a short nap – see narrow cloth.

It was typically black, white or brown in colour – compare worsted.

The dimensions varied. In the 16th century, they measured 18 yards long by 1 yard [plus the width of a thumb-nail] wide. At that time, they were not taxed.

Because of its size, one kersey was the typical weekly produce of a family, and was produced in great quantities locally. During the 16th century, after the woollen trade declined in Suffolk, the Upper Calder Valley was the largest producer of kerseys in England. At one time, much of this was produced in Devon, and this was involved in the triangular traffic of the Slave trade.

The name is derived from the village of Kersey, Suffolk where it was produced in the 11th century.

The cloth is used for outer garments, overcoats, uniforms, and skirts.

At the start of the 18th century, these were superseded by the finer shalloons and worsteds.

See Mr Kyte, Northern dozens, Old Draperies and Pennistone

KettleRef 1-K9
An open cooking pot or pan with handles fixed to both sides. This is distinct from a modern kettle

KidderminsterRef 1-2268
A type of carpet made from yarn which is dyed before being woven.

It has a flat weave with no pile and the pattern is shown in opposing colours on both faces. This makes it possible to turn the carpet over when one side was worn.

In 1735, these were made in Kidderminster, and were popular through to the early 20th century.

See Scotch carpet

KilderkinRef 1-K6
A small cask, and a unit of 18 gallons = ½ of a barrel

King's evilRef 1-815
A form of scrofula which, it was believed, could be cured by the king's touch.

Timothy Crowther recorded a remedy for a cure which required the sufferer to

take thirteen King Charles farthings and boyle 'em in soft spring water

King's Hanoverian ArmyRef 1-2656
The King's German Legion was a British Army Unit of expatriate German personnel.

It was formed in 1803.

They fought in several 19th century wars, including the Napoleonic Wars, and the Peninsular War.

See Edward Theodore Cronhelm and William George Otto Cronhelm

King's South Africa MedalRef 1-1233
Awarded to those who served in the Second Boer War in South Africa [1899-1902], and were in service after 1st January 1902

See Queen's South Africa Medal

King's touchRef 1-1275
Like the kings of France, various English monarchs from Henry I or earlier claimed that they could cure the sick – usually only scrofula, the King's evil – by touching the patient with their hands. All the Stuart kings followed the practice. William III discontinued the ceremony, but Queen Anne revived it and was the last monarch to attempt the cure. These were done in London or when the sovereign was travelling through the country. The patient had to bring a certificate declaring that he/she had a genuine affliction and that they had not received the king's touch before. A small medallion was given to the patient, and, in the 16th century, an angel coin – known as a touch piece – was given to those who received the King's touch

Kings & Queens of EnglandRef 1-24


KipRef 1-K7
A unit of weight equal to 1000 pounds

KirkRef 1-582
The element is used in several local places names – such as Kirklees and Kirkstall - and means a church.

See Exley

KissRef 1-K11
An 18th/19th century euphemism for sexual intercourse. Anne Lister uses the term in her journals

Kissing the bookRef 1-K1
The act of taking the Luddite oath

Kissing the shuttleRef 1-38
Having loaded the yarn on to the spool of a shuttle, the weaver had to suck the end of the through the eye of the shuttle, this was known as kissing the shuttle.

It was found that tuberculosis could be passed on by the practice. The mineral oils used on the shuttle might also lead to cancers of the mouth. The practice was banned in the 1950s when hand-threaded shuttles became compulsory

KitRef 1-K8
A wooden vessel – such as a piggin, a pail, or a small barrel

Klondike Gold RushRef 1-464
Aka The Alaska Gold Rush.

This was triggered on 16th August 1896 when George Washington Carmack and Skookum Jim Mason discovered gold at Rabbit Creek, in the Klondike region of the Yukon river in north-west Canada.

The Gold Rush ended in 1899 with the discovery of gold in Nome, Alaska.

See Charles Ernest Bancroft, Dawson City, Gold Rush and David Halstead

KnightRef 1-941
In the mediæval period, a knight was responsible to the Tenant in chief.

See Knight's fee, Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, Sir and Social Classes

Knight BannaretRef 1-1012
An order of knighthood conferred for valour by the king, usually on the field of battle. These knights were entitled to bear a banner, under which they would lead a company of troops. The rank was higher than that of knight bachelor

Knight's feeRef 1-2160
A fief of about 12 hides or 1500 acres which produced an income of about 30 marks per year, which was considered sufficient to equip and support a knight.

The Latin term Feodum militis was also used

Knights Hospitallers of Saint John of JerusalemRef 1-157
Aka Knights of St John of Jerusalem, Order of St John, Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

This is the oldest order of Christian chivalry, and takes its name from the hospice at Jerusalem which was founded around 1048 to support and provide hospitality for the pilgrims. The knights defended the pilgrims' travel routes from the Muslims during the Crusades.

There are several properties in the district which were owned by the order: Chapel House, Coley, Coley Hall, Corn mill, Field House, Shibden, Hartshead Hall, High House Farm, Midgley, Holdsworth House, Holmfield, Lower Field Bottom Farm, Shelf, Ovenden Cross, Ovenden, Ox Heys Farm, Shelf, Priestley Green, Jordan de Rookes, John de Shipedene and Wynteredge Hall, Hipperholme. These often have the cross of the order carved on the stonework.

See Autumn crocus

KnopRef 1-726
A term used in cloth making for a thickened fibre which is produced during the process of carding

See Slub

KnotRef 1-1825
A unit of distance equivalent to 1 nautical mile mile per hour

KnotRef 1-K5
A unit of the speed of a ship or an aircraft, equivalent to 1 nautical mile per hour

Korean WarRef 1-2002
[1950-1953] War between South Korea (backed by the United Nations) and North Korea (backed by China and Russia)

See Joseph Tynan

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 17:44 / 9th June 2023 / 18565

Page Ref: B113_K

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