(the search strategies for various cloth names don't retrieve kersey):
kersey k<e;rzi. Now rare. Also 5 kerseye, 5-6 carsey, -say, 6
carsy(e, -soye, -ssey, -esye, cassaye, kersay, karsey, 6-7 karsie,
carsie, -zie, 6-8 kersie, -sy, 7 kerzie. Possibly named from the
village of Kersey in Suffolk, (cf. Kendal, Worsted, etc., as names
of fabrics); though evidence actually connecting the original
manufacture of the cloth with that place has not been found. See
1. A kind of coarse narrow cloth, woven from long wool and usually
* 1390 Earl Derby's Exp. (Camden) 89 Pro iijbus vlnis et di. de
* 1481 Howard Househ. Bks. (Roxb.) 17 Item, half yerd kersey for
* 1502 Ld. Treas. Acc. Scot. II. 198 For iij elne quhit carsay to
be ane cote to the King xiijs. vjd.
* 1543-4 Old City Acc. Bk. in Arch‘ol. Jrnl; XLIII, For iij
quarters of yallow carssey for hose xv1.
* 1580 Lyly Euphues (Arb.) 443 The Sunne..shineth aswel vpon
course carsie, as cloth of tissue.
* 1607 Rowlands Dr. Merrie-man (1609) 6 The Stockings that his
clownish Legges did fit, Were Kersie to the calfe, and t'other
* 1724 Ramsay Tea-t. Misc. (1733) II. 170 Her stockings were of
Kersy green As tight as ony silk.
* 1772-84 Cook Voy. (1790) I. 164 English broad-cloth, and red
Kersey they highly esteemed.
* 1834 Ht. Martineau Moral i. 17 A substantial petticoat of serge
or cloak of kersey.
2. With a and pl.
a. A piece of kersey of a definite size. Obs.
b. A make or variety of kersey (chiefly in pl.).
In the 16-17th c. kerseys are commonly contrasted with cloths or
broad-cloth; the size of the latter was fixed by the statute of 1465
as 24 yds. long by 2 wide, while a kersey was only 18 yds. long and
a yard and a nail in width. The act of 1552 enumerates various kinds
of kerseys, as ordinary, sorting, Devonshire (called dozens), and
check kerseys, and fixes their length as between 17 and 18 yards; in
1557 this was reduced to between 16 and 17. About 1618 we find three
kersies reckoned as equal to one cloth (see cloth 8).
* 1465 Act 4 Edw. IV, c. 1 Ordeignez est..que chescun drap
appelle Kersie..conteigne en longeure xviij aulnes..& en laeure
une aulne & la naile [etc.];
* 1517 Act Com. Counc. 8 Hen. VIII, Broad-Cloths, Carsies,
Cottons, Bridge-water Frizes, Dosseins, or any other manner of
Cloth made of wool.
* 1545 Brinklow Compl. ii. (1874) 12 Demand the clothyer, if he
lyued not better whan he sold..his carseys for xxij or xxiij
pownd the pack.
* 1599 Hakluyt Voy. II. i. 127 Also we had three kintals of
cotten wooll for a carsie.
* 1603 Breton Poste with Packet D iij, I have sent you over
fourscore broadclothes and thirty carzies.
* 1769 De Foe's Tour Gt. Brit. III. 148 The great Demand of
Kerseys for cloathing the Armies abroad.
* 1810 J. T. in Risdon's Surv. Devon p. xxiv, The Devonshire
kersies were..in great request, and were generally known by the
name of Tiverton kersies.
c. pl. = sense 1. Obs.
* 1567 in Hay Fleming Mary Q. of Scots (1897) 506 Item to be
cotte and hoyss of blew carsis.
* 1634 Sir T. Herbert Trav. 146 Short wide stockings of English
cloth or Kersies.
3. pl. Trousers made of kersey.
* 1831 Carlyle Sart. Res. i. ix, Girt with thick double-milled
kerseys; half buried under shawls and broadbrims.
* 1864 Payn Lost Sir Massingberd 84 He was dressed in a blue
lapelled coat, light waistcoat, and kerseys.
4. attrib. or as adj. Made of kersey.
* 1577 Harrison England ii. vii. (1877) i. 172 An
English-man..contented himselfe with his fine carsie hosen.
* 1594 Plat Jewell-ho. ii. 41 Let the same runne through a course
white karsey gellie bagge.
* 1602 Warner Alb. Eng. ix. xlvii. (1612) 218 Blacke karsie
* 1714 Gay Sheph. Week ii. 37 Thy neckcloth..o'er thy Kersey
Doublet spreading wide.
* 1822 Scott Nigel xvii, The old gentlemen in the kersey hood.
b. fig. Plain, homely. Obs.
* 1588 Shaks. L.L.L. v. ii. 413 Henceforth my woinge minde shall
be exprest In russet yeas and honest kersie noes.
5. Comb., as
* 1587 Fleming Contin. Holinshed III. 1010/2 Now it is cheeflie
inhabited with merchants, kersie-clothiers, and all sorts of
* 1598 Stow Surv. London (1754) II. v. ix. 267/1 Cloth and Kersy
'kersey v., to clothe in kersey. rare-1.
* 1627-47 Feltham Resolves i. xxviii. 94 When the sun-bak'd
Peasant goes to feast it with a Gentleman, he washes, and
brushes, and kersies himself in his holy day cloathes.
[Note. Historically the evidence is in favour of the name being of
English origin; Caersige was the OE. form of Kersey in Suffolk
(Earle Land Charters 484). Panni cersegi were manufactured in
England in 1262; Kerseyes were important English exports in 1390;
drap de Kersy is mentioned along with other fabrics named from
places in 1399; carisies d'Angleterre are mentioned in French in
1630 (Godef. Compl.), and kentischer kirsey in German in 1716
At an early date the word appears in OF. as cariz‚, caris‚ (1453 in
Godef. Compl.), later carisie and carisel. It is also common in MDu.
as kerseye, kaersay, carcey, etc. (mod.Du. karsaai), and is found in
G. as kirsei, kirschei (earlier carisey); also Da. kersei, kirsei,
and Sw. kersing. It. and Sp. carisea are app. from the older F.
* 1262 in Gross Gild Merch. II. 4 (Gild Merchant of Andover)
Memorandum de illis qui ponunt lanam de Ispania in pannis
cersegis [mispr. tersegis].
* 1390 Rolls of Parlt. III. 281/2 Les liges du Roialme qe
amesnent une manere de Marchandise appellez Kerseyes as parties
* 1390 Rolls of Parlt. 282/1 Touchant l'envoye des ditz Kerseyes
* 1399 Rolls of Parlt. III. 437 Nul Drap de Kersy, Kendale-cloth,
Frise de Coventree, Coggeware, ne nulle autre estreit ne
remenant d'Engleterre, ne Drap de Gales, ne soloient..paier nul
Coket ne autre Custume.]