1893 text

A bleacher of linen. “The whitsters of Datchet Mead” are referred to by Mrs. Ford (“Merry Wives of Windsor,” act iii., sc. 3).

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

2 Annotations

cum salis grano  •  Link

[f. WHITE v. + -STER. Cf. Du. witster ‘a Woman that whitens the walls’ (Sewel).]
OED another Pepys mention;
1. A bleacher.
c1440 Promp. Parv. 39/1 Bleystare, or wytstare (K. bleyster, H. bleyestare or qwytstare, P. bleykester or whytster), candidarius.
1530 PALSGR. 288/2 Whitstarre, blanchisseur de toylles.
1594 PLAT Jewell-ho. II. 58 The whitsters, and dutch laundresses.
1598 SHAKES. Merry W. III. iii. 11 Take this basket..and carry it among the Whitsters in Dotchet Mead.
1667 PEPYS Diary 12 Aug., My wife and maids being gone over the water to the whitster's with their clothes.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.