The Nuttall Encyclopedia
A notched stick used in commercial and Exchequer transactions when writing was yet a rare accomplishment; the marks, of varying breadth, indicated sums paid by a purchaser; the stick was split longitudinally, and one-half retained by the seller and one by the buyer as a receipt. As a means of receipt for sums paid into the Exchequer, the tally was in common use until 1782, and was not entirely abolished till 1812. Tally System, a mode of credit-dealing by which a merchant provides a customer with goods, and receives in return weekly or monthly payments to account.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Tally'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/t/tally.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.