Definition of stannary in US English:


nounPlural stannaries

usually the stannaries
  • A tin-mining district in Cornwall or Devon, England.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These tin miners were subject only to Stannary law (stannaries were the powerhouses in Devon that taxed tin).’
    • ‘Tinners were required to take their metal to a stannary town, where the tin was weighed and stamped, and duty paid on it.’
    • ‘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).’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin stannaria (plural), from late Latin stannum ‘tin’.