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The Wainscot

The wainscott "settle" and "cheare" were evidently of oak, the name, according to Skeat, being derived from the Low Danish wagenschot, "the best kind of oak-wood, well-grained and without knots." The same authority tells us that "wainscot in the building trade is applied to the best kind of oak timber only, used for panelling because it would not 'cast' or warp."

That wainscot was applied to the wood rather than to the panelling we learn from Harrison's Historical) Description of the Iland of Britaine, prefixed to Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), where he says that the oak grown in Bardfield Park, Essex, "is the finest for joiners' craft, for of times have I scene of their works made of that oke so fine and fair as most of the wainscot that is brought hither out of Danske, for our wainscot is not made in England."

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