- (law, archaic) A duty formerly paid to the king's butler on every tun of wine imported into England by foreign merchants.
1771, Blackstone, William, Sir, “Of the King's Revenue”, in Commentaries on the Laws of England, volume 1, pages 314–315:
- There is also another very antient hereditary duty belonging to the crown, called the prisage or butlerage of wines; which is considerably older than the customs, being taken notice of in the great roll of the exchequer, 8 Ric. I. still extant. Prisage was a right of taking two tons of wine from every ship importing into England twenty tons or more; which by Edward I. was exchanged into a duty of 2s for every ton imported by merchant-strangers, and called butlerage, because paid to the king's butler.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for butlerage in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)