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).

2 Annotations

Jesse   Link to this

A discussion of bleaching in an early Encyclopedia Britannica: http://tinyurl.com/37pcsuh

cum salis grano   Link to this

[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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