One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounusually the stannaries
A tin-mining district in Cornwall or Devon.
- ‘Tinners were required to take their metal to a stannary town, where the tin was weighed and stamped, and duty paid on it.’
- ‘These tin miners were subject only to Stannary law (stannaries were the powerhouses in Devon that taxed tin).’
- ‘He received substantial grants of land in the south-west, the high stewardship of the duchy of Cornwall and the lord wardenship of the stannaries (both previously held by Exeter).’
- ‘The stannaries ‘profoundly influenced the manner in which the crown was perceived by ordinary people in the Tudor south-west’.’
- ‘King John's charter of 1201 empowered the lord warden of the stannaries to try all cases except land, life, or limb.’
Late Middle English: from medieval Latin stannaria (plural), from late Latin stannum ‘tin’.
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