from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A measure by the ell.
- n. A sworn officer in England, whose duty was to inspect woollen cloth and fix a seal upon it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A measure by the ell; formerly a sworn officer in England, whose duty was to inspect and measure woolen cloth, and fix upon it a seal.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A royal officer who examined cloth, and affixed a seal in guaranty of its quality or measure. The office existed until the reign of William III. Also written aulnager, ulnager.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Reason is the meter and alnager in civil intercourse, by which each person's upstart and contradictory pretensions are weighed and approved or found wanting, and without which it could not subsist, any more than traffic or the exchange of commodities could be carried on without weights and measures.
The job was important not only because the king earned taxes from wool sales, but also because goods approved by the alnager carried the town's seal of approval.