From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Cresset \Cres"set\ (kr?s"s?t), n. [OF. crasset, cresset, sort of
   lamp or torch; perh. of Dutch or German origin, and akin to
   E. cruse, F. creuset crucible, E. crucible.]
   1. An open frame or basket of iron, filled with combustible
      material, to be burned as a beacon; an open lamp or
      firrepan carried on a pole in nocturnal processions.
      [1913 Webster]

            Starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed
            With naphtha and asphaltus.           --Milton.
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            As a cresset true that darts its length
            Of beamy luster from a tower of strength.
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   2. (Coopering) A small furnace or iron cage to hold fire for
      charring the inside of a cask, and making the staves
      flexible. --Knight.
      [1913 Webster]
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