STAPLE , a word which has had a curious and interesting development of meaning . The O . Eng. stapel meant a prop or support, and is to be referred to the
See also:root seen in step,
See also:stamp, &c.; the meaning is also seen in the cognate Du. stapel,
See also:pile, Ger . Maffei, step of a
See also:ladder, &c . The application, in current usage, of the word to a
See also:loop of
See also:wire or
See also:metal with two sharpened points used to
See also:fix a
See also:pin or
See also:bolt, or to fasten wire, &c., to
See also:wood, preserves the
See also:original sense . A
See also:special development in Low German of stapel gave the meaning of an orderly arranged heap of goods or stores, hence a
See also:house in which goods were arranged in a settled
See also:order, the idea of firmness or stability being that which runs through the changes of meaning to which the word has been subjected . This Low German word and sense was adapted in Old French as etaaple, mod. etape, and applied to an established market or
See also:town, particularly to one which was the centre of the
See also:trade in some specific commodity . Thence the word has in
See also:modern-usage been transferred to a
See also:principal or chief commodity or article of
See also:consumption . In
See also:English economic
See also:history the
See also:term " staple " was applied to those towns which were appointed by the
See also:king as the centres for the trade of the
See also:company of the merchants of the staple . These merchants had a
See also:monopoly in the
See also:purchase and export of the staple commodities of England, viz, wool, woolfels,
See also:leather, tin and lead . The merchants of the staple were the origin of all English trading companies . The trade of the staple towns was under the management of a mayor and constables, sometimes appointed by the merchants themselves, sometimes by the mayor of the town and sometimes by the king himself .
W .Stubbs (Const . Hist. vol. ii.)
See also:dates the growth of the
See also:system from the reign of
See also:Edward I . The monopolies of the staple were from
See also:time to time abolished and restored, but they were consolidated by a
See also:statute (If 1353, the number and place of the staples being fixed, the
See also:custom declared, and the rights and privileges of the merchants confirmed . (See C .
See also:Gross, Gild Merchants; W .
WALTER DE STAPLEDON (1261—1326)
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