Without beginning ab ovo on a subject so light (a matter of importance, however, to many a modern Catius or Amasinius), by investigating the origin of the Art of Cookery, and the nature of it as practised by the Antediluvians 1; without dilating on the several particulars concerning it afterwards amongst the Patriarchs, as found in the Bible 2, I shall turn myself immediately, and without further preamble, to a few cursory observations respecting the Greeks, Romans, Britons, and those other nations, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, with whom the people of this nation are more closely connected.
The Greeks probably derived something of their skill from the East, (from the Lydians principally, whose cooks are much celebrated, 3) and something from Egypt. A few hints concerning Cookery may be collected from Homer, Aristophanes, Aristotle, &c. but afterwards they possessed many authors on the subject, as may be seen in Athenæus 4. And as Diætetics were esteemed a branch of the study of medicine, as also they were afterwards 5, so many of those authors were Physicians; and the Cook was undoubtedly a character of high reputation at Athens 6.
As to the Romans; they would of course borrow much of their culinary arts from the Greeks, though the Cook with them, we are told, was one of the lowest of their slaves 7. In the latter times, however, they had many authors on the subject as well as the Greeks, and the practitioners were men of some Science 8, but, unhappily for us, their compositions are all lost except that which goes under the name of Apicius; concerning which work and its author, the prevailing opinion now seems to be, that it was written about the time of Heliogabalus 9, by one Cælius, (whether Aurelianus is not so certain) and that Apicius is only the title of it 10. However, the compilation, though not in any great repute, has been several times published by learned men.
The Aborigines of Britain, to come nearer home, could have no great expertness in Cookery, as they had no oil, and we hear nothing of their butter, they used only sheep and oxen, eating neither hares, though so greatly esteemed at Rome, nor hens, nor geese, from a notion of superstition. Nor did they eat fish. There was little corn in the interior part of the island, but they lived on milk and flesh 11; though it is expressly asserted by Strabo that they had no cheese 12. The later Britons, however, well knew how to make the best use of the cow, since, as appears from the laws of Hoel Dda, A.D. 943, this animal was a creature so essential, so common and useful in Wales, as to be the standard in rating fines, &c. 13.
Hengist, leader of the Saxons, made grand entertainments for king Vortigern 14, but no particulars have come down to us; and certainly little exquisite can be expected from a people then so extremely barbarous as not to be able either to read or write. ‘Barbari homines a septentrione, (they are the words of Dr. Lister) caseo et ferina subcruda victitantes, omnia condimenta adjectiva respuerunt’ 15.
Some have fancied, that as the Danes imported the custom of hard and deep drinking, so they likewise introduced the practice of gormandizing, and that this word itself is derived from Gormund, the name of that Danish king whom Ælfred the Great persuaded to be christened, and called Æthelstane 16, Now ’tis certain that Hardicnut stands on record as an egregious glutton 17, but he is not particularly famous for being a curious Viander; ’tis true again, that the Danes in general indulged excessively in feasts and entertainments 18, but we have no reason to imagine any elegance of Cookery to have flourished amongst them. And though Guthrum, the Danish prince, is in some authors named Gormundus 19; yet this is not the right etymology of our English word Gormandize, since it is rather the French Gourmand, or the British Gormod 20. So that we have little to say as to the Danes.
I shall take the later English and the Normans together, on account of the intermixture of the two nations after the Conquest, since, as lord Lyttelton observes, the English accommodated them elves to the Norman manners, except in point of temperance in eating and drinking, and communicated to them their own habits of drunkenness and immoderate feasting 21. Erasmus also remarks, that the English in his time were attached to plentiful and splendid tables; and the same is observed by Harrison 22. As to the Normans, both William I. and Rufus made grand entertainments 23; the former was remarkable for an immense paunch, and withal was so exact, so nice and curious in his repasts 24, that when his prime favourite William Fitz–Osberne, who as steward of the household had the charge of the Cury, served him with the flesh of a crane scarcely half-roasted, he was so highly exasperated, that he lifted up his fist, and would have strucken him, had not Eudo, appointed Dapiser immediately after, warded off the blow 25.
Dapiser, by which is usually understood steward of the king’s household 26, was a high officer amongst the Normans; and Larderarius was another, clergymen then often occupying this post, and sometimes made bishops from it 27. He was under the Dapiser, as was likewise the Cocus Dominicæ Coquinæ, concerning whom, his assistants and allowances, the Liber Niger may be consulted 28. It appears further from Fleta, that the chief cooks were often providers, as well as dressers, of victuals 29. But Magister Coquinæ, who was an esquire by office, seems to have had the care of pourveyance, A.D. 1340 30, and to have nearly corresponded with our clerk of the kitchen, having authority over the cooks 31. However, the Magnus Coquus, Coquorum Præpositus, Coquus Regius, and Grans Queux, were officers of considerable dignity in the palaces of princes; and the officers under them, according to Du Fresne, were in the French court A.D. 1385, much about the time that our Roll was made, ‘Queus, Aideurs, Asteurs, Paiges, Souffleurs, Enfans, Saussiers de Commun, Saussiers devers le Roy, Sommiers, Poulliers, Huissiers’ 32.
In regard to religious houses, the Cooks of the greater foundations were officers of consequence, though under the Cellarer 33, and if he were not a monk, he nevertheless was to enjoy the portion of a monk 34. But it appears from Somner, that at Christ Church, Canterbury, the Lardyrer was the first or chief cook 35; and this officer, as we have seen, was often an ecclesiastic. However, the great Houses had Cooks of different ranks 36; and manors and churches 37 were often given ad cibum and ad victum monachorum 38. A fishing at Lambeth was allotted to that purpose 39.
But whether the Cooks were Monks or not, the Magistri Coquinæ, Kitcheners, of the monasteries, we may depend upon it, were always monks; and I think they were mostly ecclesiastics elsewhere: thus when Cardinal Otto, the Pope’s legate, was at Oxford, A. 1238, and that memorable fray happened between his retinue and the students, the Magister Coquorum was the Legate’s brother, and was there killed 40. The reason given in the author, why a person so nearly allied to the Great Man was assigned to the office, is this, ‘Ne procuraretur aliquid venenorum, quod nimis [i.e. valde] timebat legatus;’ and it is certain that poisoning was but too much in vogue in these times, both amongst the Italians and the good people of this island 41; so that this was a post of signal trust and confidence. And indeed afterwards, a person was employed to taste, or take the assaie, as it was called 42, both of the messes and the water in the ewer 43, at great tables; but it may be doubted whether a particular person was appointed to this service, or it was a branch of the Sewer’s and cup-bearer’s duty, for I observe, the Sewer is sometimes called Prægustator 44, and the cup-bearer tastes the water elsewhere 45. The religious houses, and their presidents, the abbots and priors, had their days of Gala, as likewise their halls for strangers, whom, when persons of rank, they often entertained with splendour and magnificence. And as for the secular clergy, archbishops and bishops, their feasts, of which we have some upon record 46, were so superb, that they might vie either with the regal entertainments, or the pontifical suppers of ancient Rome (which became even proverbial 47), and certainly could not be dressed and set out without a large number of Cooks 48. In short, the satirists of the times before, and about the time of, the Reformation, are continually inveighing against the high-living of the bishops and clergy; indeed luxury was then carried to such an extravagant pitch amongst them, that archbishop Cranmer, A. 1541, found it necessary to bring the secular clergy under some reasonable regulation in regard to the furnishing of their tables, not excepting even his own 49.
After this historical deduction of the Ars coquinaria, which I have endeavoured to make as short as possible, it is time to say something of the Roll which is here given to the public, and the methods which the Editor has pursued in bringing it to light.
This vellum Roll contains 196 formulæ, or recipes, and belonged once to the earl of Oxford 50. The late James West esquire bought it at the Earl’s sale, when a part of his MSS were disposed of; and on the death of the gentleman last mentioned it came into the hands of my highly-esteemed friend, the present liberal and most communicative possessor. It is presumed to be one of the most ancient remains of the kind now in being, rising as high as the reign of king
Richard II. 51. However, it is far the largest and most copious collection of any we have; I speak as to those times. To establish its authenticity, and even to stamp an additional value upon it, it is the identical Roll which was presented to queen Elizabeth, in the 28th year of her reign, by lord Stafford’s heir, as appears from the following address, or inscription, at the end of it, in his own hand writing:
‘Antiquum hoc monumentum oblatum et missum est majestati vestræ vicesimo septimo die mensis Julij, anno regni vestri fælicissimi vicesimo viij ab humilimo vestro subdito, vestræq majestati fidelissimo E. Stafford, Hæres domus subversæ Buckinghamiens.’ 52
The general observations I have to make upon it are these: many articles, it seems, were in vogue in the fourteenth century, which are now in a manner obsolete, as cranes, curlews, herons, seals 53, porpoises, &c. and, on the contrary, we feed on sundry fowls which are not named either in the Roll, or the Editor’s MS. 54 as quails, rails, teal, woodcocks, snipes, &c. which can scarcely be numbered among the small birds mentioned 19. 62. 154. 55. So as to fish, many species appear at our tables which are not found in the Roll, trouts, flounders, herrings, &c. 56. It were easy and obvious to dilate here on the variations of taste at different periods of time, and the reader would probably not dislike it; but so many other particulars demand our attention, that I shall content myself with observing in general, that whereas a very able Italian critic, Latinus Latinius, passed a sinister and unfavourable censure on certain seemingly strange medlies, disgusting and preposterous messes, which we meet with in Apicius; Dr. Lister very sensibly replies to his strictures on that head, ‘That these messes are not immediately to be rejected, because they may be displeasing to some. Plutarch testifies, that the ancients disliked pepper and the sour juice of lemons, insomuch that for a long time they only used these in their wardrobes for the sake of their agreeable scent, and yet they are the most wholesome of all fruits. The natives of the West Indies were no less averse to salt; and who would believe that hops should ever have a place in our common beverage 57, and that we should ever think of qualifying the sweetness of malt, through good housewifry, by mixing with it a substance so egregiously bitter? Most of the American fruits are exceedingly odoriferous, and therefore are very disgusting at first to us Europeans: on the contrary, our fruits appear insipid to them, for want of odour. There are a thousand instances of things, would we recollect them all, which though disagreeable to taste are commonly assumed into our viands; indeed, custom alone reconciles and adopts sauces which are even nauseous to the palate. Latinus Latinius therefore very rashly and absurdly blames Apicius, on account of certain preparations which to him, forsooth, were disrelishing.’ 58 In short it is a known maxim, that de gustibus non est disputandum;
And so Horace to the same purpose:
‘Tres mihi convivæ prope dissentire videntur,
Poscentes vario multum diversa palato.
Quid dem? quid non dem? renuis tu quod jubet alter.
Quod petis, id sane est invisum acidumque duobus.’
Hor. II. Epist. ii.
And our Roll sufficiently verifies the old observation of Martial —ingeniosa gula est.
[Addenda: after ingeniosa gula est, add, ‘The Italians now eat many things which we think perfect carrion. Ray, Trav. p. 362. 406. The French eat frogs and snails. The Tartars feast on horse-flesh, the Chinese on dogs, and meer Savages eat every thing. Goldsmith, Hist. of the Earth, &c. II. p. 347, 348. 395. III. p. 297. IV. p. 112. 121, &c.’]
Our Cooks again had great regard to the eye, as well as the taste, in their compositions; flourishing and strewing are not only common, but even leaves of trees gilded, or silvered, are used for ornamenting messes, see No. 175 59. As to colours, which perhaps would chiefly take place in suttleties, blood boiled and fried (which seems to be something singular) was used for dying black, 13. 141. saffron for yellow, and sanders for red 60. Alkenet is also used for colouring 61, and mulberries 62; amydon makes white, 68; and turnesole 63 pownas there, but what this colour is the Editor professes not to know, unless it be intended for another kind of yellow, and we should read jownas, for jaulnas, orange-tawney. It was for the purpose of gratifying the sight that sotiltees were introduced at the more solemn feasts. Rabelais has comfits of an hundred colours.
Cury, as was remarked above, was ever reckoned a branch of the Art Medical; and here I add, that the verb curare signifies equally to dress victuals 64, as to cure a distemper; that every body has heard of Doctor Diet, kitchen physick, &c. while a numerous band of medical authors have written de cibis et alimentis, and have always classed diet among the non-naturals; so they call them, but with what propriety they best know. Hence Junius ‘[Greek: Diaita] Græcis est victus, ac speciatim certa victus ratio, qualis a Medicis ad tuendam valetudinem præscribitur 65.’ Our Cooks expressly tell us, in their proem, that their work was compiled ‘by assent and avysement of maisters of phisik and of philosophie that dwelliid in his [the King’s] court’ where physik is used in the sense of medecine,
physicus being applied to persons prosessing the Art of Healing long before the 14th century 66, as implying such knowledge and skill in all kinds of natural substances, constituting the materia medica, as was necessiary for them in practice. At the end of the Editor’s MS. is written this rhyme,
Explicit coquina que est optima medicina 67.
There is much relative to eatables in the Schola Salernitana; and we find it ordered, that a physcian should over-see the young prince’s wet-nurse at every meal, to inspect her meat and drink 68.
But after all the avysement of physicians and philosophers, our processes do not appear by any means to be well calculated for the benefit of recipients, but rather inimical to them. Many of them are so highly seasoned, are such strange and heterogeneous compositions, meer olios and gallimawfreys, that they seem removed as far as possible from the intention of contributing to health; indeed the messes are so redundant and complex, that in regard to herbs, in No. 6, no less than ten are used, where we should now be content with two or three: and so the sallad, No. 76, consists of no less than 14 ingredients. The physicians appear only to have taken care that nothing directly noxious was suffered to enter the forms. However, in the Editor’s MS. No. 11, there is a prescription for making a colys, I presume a cullis, or Invigorating broth; for which see Dodsley’s Old Plays, vol. II. 124. vol. V. 148. vol. VI. 355. and the several plays mentioned in a note to the first mentioned passage in the Edit. 1780 69.
I observe further, in regard to this point, that the quantities of things are seldom specified 70, but are too much left to the taste and judgement of the cook, if he should happen to be rash and inconsiderate, or of a bad and undistinguishing taste, was capable of doing much harm to the guests, to invalids especially.
Though the cooks at Rome, as has been already noted, were amongst the lowest slaves, yet it was not so more anciently; Sarah and Rebecca cook, and so do Patroclus and Automedon in the ninth Iliad. It were to be wished indeed, that the Reader could be made acquainted with the names of our master-cooks, but it is not in the power of the Editor to gratify him in that; this, however, he may be assured of, that as the Art was of consequence in the reign of Richard, a prince renowned and celebrated in the Roll 71, for the splendor and elegance of his table, they must have been persons of no inconsiderable rank: the king’s first and second cooks are now esquires by their office, and there is all the reason in the world to believe they were of equal dignity heretofore 72. To say a word of king Richard: he is said in the proeme to have been ‘acounted the best and ryallest vyaund [curioso in eating] of all esten kynges.’ This, however, must rest upon the testimony of our cooks, since it does not appear otherwise by the suffrage of history, that he was particularly remarkable for his niceness and delicacy in eating, like Heliogabalus, whose favourite dishes are said to have been the tongues of peacocks and nightingales, and the brains of parrots and pheasants 73; or like Sept. Geta, who, according to Jul. Capitolinus 74, was so curious, so whimsical, as to order the dishes at his dinners to consist of things which all began with the same letters. Sardanapalus again as we have it in Athenæus 75, gave a præmium to any one that invented and served him with some novel cate; and Sergius Orata built a house at the entrance of the Lucrine lake, purposely for the pleasure and convenience of eating the oysters perfectly fresh. Richard II is certainly not represented in story as resembling any such epicures, or capriccioso’s, as these 76. It may, however, be fairly presumed, that good living was not wanting among the luxuries of that effeminate and dissipated reign.
[Addenda: after ninth Iliad, add, ‘And Dr. Shaw writes, p. 301, that even now in the East, the greatest prince is not ashamed to fetch a lamb from his herd and kill it, whilst the princess is impatient till she hath prepared her fire and her kettle to dress it.’]
[Addenda: after heretofore add, ‘we have some good families in England of the name of Cook or Coke. I know not what they may think; but we may depend upon it, they all originally sprang from real and professional cooks; and they need not be ashamed of their extraction, any more than the Butlers, Parkers, Spencers, &c.’]
My next observation is, that the messes both in the roll and the Editor’s MS, are chiefly soups, potages, ragouts, hashes, and the like hotche-potches; entire joints of meat being never served, and animals, whether fish or fowl, seldom brought to table whole, but hacked and hewed, and cut in pieces or gobbets 77; the mortar also was in great request, some messes being actually denominated from it, as mortrews, or morterelys as in the Editor’s MS. Now in this state of things, the general mode of eating must either have been with the spoon or the fingers; and this perhaps may have been the reason that spoons became an usual present from gossips to their god-children at christenings 78; and that the bason and ewer, for washing before and after dinner, was introduced, whence the ewerer was a great officer 79, and the ewery is retained at Court to this day 80; we meet with damaske water after dinner 81, I presume, perfumed; and the words ewer &c. plainly come from the Saxon eþe or French eau, water.
Thus, to return, in that little anecdote relative to the Conqueror and William Fitz–Osbern, mentioned above, not the crane, but the flesh of the crane is said to have been under-roasted. Table, or case-knives, would be of little use at this time 82, and the art of carving so perfectly useless, as to be almost unknown. In about a century afterwards, however, as appears from archbishop Neville’s entertainment, many articles were served whole, and lord Wylloughby was the carver 83. So that carving began now to be practised, and the proper terms devised. Wynken de Worde printed a Book of Kervinge, A. 1508, wherein the said terms are registered 84. ‘The use of forks at table, says Dr. Percy, did not prevail in England land till the reign of James I. as we learn from a remarkable passage in Coryat 85’; the passage is indeed curious, but too long to be here transcribed, where brevity is so much in view; wherefore I shall only add, that forks are not now used in some parts of Spain 86. But then it may be said, what becomes of the old English hospitality in this case, the roast-beef of Old England, so much talked of? I answer, these bulky and magnificent dishes must have been the product of later reigns, perhaps of queen Elizabeth’s time, since it is plain that in the days of Rich. II. our ancestors lived much after the French fashion. As to hospitality, the households of our Nobles were immense, officers, retainers, and servants, being entertained almost without number; but then, as appears from the Northumberland Book, and afterwards from the household establisliment of the prince of Wales, A. 1610, the individuals, or at least small parties, had their quantum, or ordinary, served out, where any good oeconomy was kept, apart to themselves 87. Again, we find in our Roll, that great quantities of the respective viands of the hashes, were often made at once, as No. 17, Take hennes or conynges. 24, Take hares. 29, Take pygges. And 31, Take gees, &c. So that hospitality and plentiful housekeeping could just as well be maintained this way, as by the other of cumbrous unwieldy messes, as much as a man could carry.
As the messes and sauces are so complex, and the ingredients consequently so various, it seems necessary that a word should be spoken concerning the principal of them, and such as are more frequently employed, before we pass to our method of proceeding in the publication.
Butter is little used. ’Tis first mentioned No. 81, and occurs but rarely after 88; ’tis found but once in the Editor’s MS, where it is written boter. The usual substitutes for it are oil-olive and lard; the latter is frequently called grees, or grece, or whitegrece, as No. 18. 193. Capons in Grease occur in Birch’s Life of Henry prince of Wales, p. 459, 460. and see Lye in Jun. Etym. v. Greasie. Bishop Patrick has a remarkable passage concerning this article: ‘Though we read of cheese in Homer, Euripides, Theocritus, and others, yet they never mention butter: nor hath Aristotle a word of it, though he hath sundry observations about cheese; for butter was not a thing then known among the Greeks; though we see by this and many other places, it was an ancient food among the eastern people 89.’ The Greeks, I presume, used oil instead of it, and butter in some places of scripture is thought to mean only cream. 90
Cheese. See the last article, and what is said of the old Britons above; as likewise our Glossary.
Ale is applied, No. 113, et alibi; and often in the Ediitor’s MS. as 6, 7, &c. It is used instead of wine, No. 22, and sometimes along with bread in the Editor’s MS. 91 Indeed it is a current opinion that brewing with hops was not introduced here till the reign of king Henry VIII. 92 Bere, however, is mentioned A. 1504. 93
Wine is common, both red, and white, No. 21. 53. 37. This article they partly had of their own growth, 94 and partly by importation from France 95 and Greece 96. They had also Rhenish 97, and probably several other sorts. The vynegreke is among the sweet wines in a MS of Mr. Astle.
Rice. As this grain was but little, if at all, cultivated in England, it must have been brought from abroad. Whole or ground-rice enters into a large number of our compositions, and resmolle, No. 96, is a direct preparation of it.
Alkenet. Anchusa is not only used for colouring, but also fried and yfoundred, 62. yfondyt, 162. i. e. dissolved, or ground. ’Tis thought to be a species of the buglos.
Saffron. Saffrwm, Brit. whence it appears, that this name ran through most languages. Mr. Weever informs us, that this excellent drug was brought hither in the time of Edward III. 98 and it may be true; but still no such quantity could be produced here in the next reign as to supply that very large consumption which we see made of it in our Roll, where it occurs not only as an ingredient in the processes, but also is used for colouring, for flourishing, or garnishing. It makes a yellow, No. 68, and was imported from Egypt, or Cilicia, or other parts of the Levant, where the Turks call it Safran, from the Arabic Zapheran, whence the English, Italians, French, and Germans, have apparently borrowed their respective names of it. The Romans were well acquainted with the drug, but did not use it much in the kitchen 99. Pere Calmet says, the Hebrews were acquainted with anise, ginger, saffron, but no other spices 100.
Pynes. There is some difficulty in enucleating the meaning of this word, though it occurs so often. It is joined with dates, No. 20. 52. with honey clarified, 63. with powder-fort, saffron, and salt, 161. with ground dates, raisins, good powder, and salt, 186. and lastly they are fried, 38. Now the dish here is morree, which in the Editor’s MS. 37, is made of mulberries (and no doubt has its name from them), and yet there are no mulberries in our dish, but pynes, and therefore I suspect, that mulberries and pynes are the same, and indeed this fruit has some resemblance to a pynecone. I conceive pynnonade, the dish, No. 51, to be so named from the pynes therein employed; and quære whether pyner mentioned along with powder-fort, saffron, and salt, No. 155, as above in No. 161, should not be read pynes. But, after all, we have cones brought hither from Italy full of nuts, or kernels, which upon roasting come out of their capsulæ, and are much eaten by the common people, and these perhaps may be the thing intended.
[Addenda: after intended. add, ‘See Ray, Trav. p. 283. 407. and Wright’s Trav. p. 112.’]
Honey was the great and universal sweetner in remote antiquity, and particularly in this island, where it was the chief constituent of mead and metheglin. It is said, that at this day in Palestine they use honey in the greatest part of their ragouts 101. Our cooks had a method of clarifying it, No. 18. 41. which was done by putting it in a pot with whites of eggs and water, beating them well together; then setting it over the fire, and boiling it; and when it was ready to boil over to take it and cool it, No. 59. This I presume is called clere honey, No. 151. And, when honey was so much in use, it appears from Barnes that refining it was a trade of itself 102.
Sugar, or Sugur 103, was now beginning here to take place of honey; however, they are used together, No. 67. Sugar came from the Indies, by way of Damascus and Aleppo, to Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, and from these last places to us 104. It is here not only frequently used, but was of various sorts, as cypre, No. 41. 99. 120. named probably from the isle of Cyprus, whence it might either come directly to us, or where it had received some improvement by way of refining. There is mention of blanch-powder or white sugar, 132. They, however, were not the same, for see No. 193. Sugar was clarified sometimes with wine 105.
Spices. Species. They are mentioned in general No. 133, and whole spices, 167, 168. but they are more commonly specified, and are indeed greatly used, though being imported from abroad, and from so far as Italy or the Levant (and even there must be dear), some may wonder at this: but it shouid be considered, that our Roll was chiefly compiled for the use of noble and princely tables; and the same may be said of the Editor’s MS. The spices came from the same part of the world, and by the same route, as sugar did. The spicery was an ancient department at court, and had its proper officers.
As to the particular sorts, these are,
Cinamon. Canell. 14. 191. Canel, Editor’s MS. 10. Kanell, ibid. 32. is the Italian Canella. See Chaucer. We have the flour or powder, No. 20. 62. See Wiclif. It is not once mentioned in Apicius.
Macys, 14. 121. Editor’s MS. 10. Maces, 134. Editor’s MS. 27. They are used whole, No. 158. and are always expressed plurally, though we now use the singular, mace. See Junii Etym.
Cloves. No. 20. Dishes are flourished with them, 22. 158. Editor’s MS. 10. 27. where we have clowys gylofres, as in our Roll, No. 104. Powdour gylofre occurs 65. 191. Chaucer has clowe in the singular, and see him v. Clove-gelofer.
Galyngal, 30. and elsewhere. Galangal, the long rooted cyperus 106, is a warm cardiac and cephalic. It is used in powder, 30. 47. and was the chief ingredient in galentine, which, I think, took its name from it.
Pepper. It appears from Pliny that this pungent, warm seasoning, so much in esteem at Rome 107, came from the East Indies 108, and, as we may suppose, by way of Alexandria. We obtained it no doubt, in the 14th century, from the same quarter, though not exactly by the same route, but by Venice or Genoa. It is used both whole, No. 35, and in powder, No. 83. And long-pepper occurs, if we read the place rightly, in No. 191.
Ginger, gyngyn. 64. 136. alibi. Powder is used, 17. 20. alibi. and Rabelais IV. c. 59. the white powder, 131. and it is the name of a mess, 139. quære whether gyngyn is not misread for gyngyr, for see Junii Etym. The Romans had their ginger from Troglodytica 109.
Cubebs, 64. 121. are a warm spicy grain from the east.
Grains of Paradice, or de parys, 137. 110 are the greater cardamoms.
Noix muscadez, 191. nutmegs.
The caraway is once mentioned, No. 53. and was an exotic from Caria, whence, according to Mr. Lye, it took its name: ‘sunt semina, inquit, carri vel carrei, sic dicti a Caria, ubi copiosissimè nascitur 111.’
Powder-douce, which occurs so often, has been thought by some, who have just peeped into our Roll, to be the same as sugar, and only a different name for it; but they are plainly mistaken, as is evident from 47. 51. 164. 165. where they are mentioned together as different things. In short, I take powder-douce to be either powder of galyngal, for see Editor’s MS II. 20. 24, or a compound made of sundry aromatic spices ground or beaten small, and kept always ready at hand in some proper receptacle. It is otherwise termed good powders, 83. 130. and in Editor’s MS 17. 37. 38 112. or powder simply, No. 169, 170. White powder-douce occurs No. 51, which seems to be the same as blanch-powder, 132. 193. called blaynshe powder, and bought ready prepared, in Northumb. Book, p. 19. It is sometimes used with powder-fort, 38. 156. for which see the next and last article.
Powder-fort, 10. 11. seems to be a mixture likewise of the warmer spices, pepper, ginger, &c. pulverized: hence we have powder-fort of gynger, other of canel, 14. It is called strong powder, 22. and perhaps may sometimes be intended by good powders. If you will suppose it to be kept ready prepared by the vender, it may be the powder-marchant, 113. 118. found joined in two places with powder-douce. This Speght says is what gingerbread is made of; but Skinner disapproves this explanation, yet, says Mr. Urry, gives none of his own.
After thus travelling through the most material and most used ingredients, the spykenard de spayn occurring only once, I shall beg leave to offer a few words on the nature, and in favour of the present publication, and the method employed in the prosecution of it.
[Illustration: Take þe chese and of flessh of capouns, or of hennes & hakke smal and grynde hem smale inn a morter, take mylke of almandes with þe broth of freysh beef. oþer freysh flessh, & put the flessh in þe mylke oþer in the broth and set hem to þe fyre, & alye hem with flour of ryse, or gastbon, or amydoun as chargeaunt as þe blank desire, & with zolks of ayren and safroun for to make hit zelow, and when it is dressit in dysshes with blank desires; styk aboue clowes de gilofre, & strawe powdour of galyugale above, and serue it forth.]
The common language of the formulæ, though old and obsolete, as naturally may be expected from the age of the MS, has no other difficulty in it but what may easily be overcome by a small degree of practice and application 113: however, for the further illustration of this matter, and the satisfaction of the curious, a fac simile of one of the recipes is represented in the annexed plate. If here and there a hard and uncouth term or expression may occur, so as to stop or embarrass the less expert, pains have been taken to explain them, either in the annotations under the text, or in the Index and Glossary, for we have given it both titles, as intending it should answer the purpose of both 114. Now in forming this alphabet, as it would have been an endless thing to have recourse to all our glossaries, now so numerous, we have confined ourselves, except perhaps in some few instances, in which the authorities are always mentioned, to certain contemporary writers, such as the Editor’s MS, of which we shall speak more particularly hereafter, Chaucer, and Wiclif; with whom we have associated Junius’ Etymologicon Anglicanum.
As the abbreviations of the Roll are here retained, in order to establish and confirm the age of it, it has been thought proper to adopt the types which our printer had projected for Domesday–Book, with which we find that our characters very nearly coincide.
The names of the dishes and sauces have occasioned the greatest perplexity. These are not only many in number, but are often so horrid and barbarous, to our ears at least, as to be inveloped in several instances in almost impenetrable obscurity. Bishop Godwin complains of this so long ago as 1616 115. The Contents prefixed will exhibit at once a most formidable list of these hideous names and titles, so that there is no need to report them here. A few of these terms the Editor humbly hopes he has happily enucleated, but still, notwithstanding all his labour and pains, the argument is in itself so abstruse at this distance of time, the helps so few, and his abilities in this line of knowledge and science so slender and confined, that he fears he has left the far greater part of the task for the more sagacious reader to supply: indeed, he has not the least doubt, but other gentlemen of curiosity in such matters (and this publication is intended for them alone) will be so happy as to clear up several difficulties, which appear now to him insuperable. It must be confessed again, that the Editor may probably have often failed in those very points, which he fancies and flatters himself to have elucidated, but this he is willing to leave to the candour of the public.
Now in regard to the helps I mentioned; there is not much to be learnt from the Great Inthronization-feast of archbishop Robert Winchelsea, A. 1295, even if it were his; but I rather think it belongs to archbishop William Warham, A. 1504 116. Some use, however, has been made of it.
Ralph Bourne was installed abbot of St. Augustine’s, near Canterbury, A. 1309; and William Thorne has inserted a list of provisions bought for the feast, with their prices, in his Chronicle 117.
The Great Feast at the Inthronization of George Nevile archbishop of York, 6 Edward IV. is printed by Mr. Hearne 118, and has been of good service.
Elizabeth, queen of king Henry VII. was crowned A. 1487, and the messes at the dinner, in two courses, are registered in the late edition of Leland’s Collectenea, A. 1770 119, and we have profited thereby.
There is a large catalogue of viands in Rabelais, lib. iv. cap. 59. 60. And the English translation of Mr. Ozell affording little information, I had recourse to the French original, but not to much more advantage.
There is also a Royal Feast at the wedding of the earl of Devonshire, in the Harleian Misc. No. 279, and it has not been neglected.
Randle Holme, in his multifarious Academy of Armory, has an alphabet of terms and dishes 122; but though I have pressed him into the service, he has not contributed much as to the more difficult points.
The Antiquarian Repertory, vol. II. p. 211, exhibits an entertainment of the mayor of Rochester, A. 1460; but there is little to be learned from thence. The present work was printed before No. 31 of the Antiquarian Repertory, wherein some ancient recipes in Cookery are published, came to the Editor’s hand.
I must not omit my acknowledgments to my learned friend the present dean of Carlisle, to whom I stand indebted for his useful notes on the Northumberland–Household Book, as also for the book itself.
Our chief assistance, however, has been drawn from a MS belonging to the Editor, denoted, when cited, by the signature MS. Ed. It is a vellum miscellany in small quarto, and the part respecting this subject consists of ninety-one English recipes (or nyms) in cookery. These are disposed into two parts, and are intituled, ‘Hic incipiunt universa servicia tam de carnibus quam de pissibus.’ 123 The second part, relates to the dressing of fish, and other lenten fare, though forms are also there intermixed which properly belong to flesh-days. This leads me to observe, that both here, and in the Roll, messes are sometimes accommodated, by making the necessary alterations, both to flesh and fish-days. 124 Now, though the subjects of the MS are various, yet the hand-writing is uniform; and at the end of one of the tracts is added, ‘Explicit massa Compoti, Anno Dñi M’lo CCC’mo octogesimo primo ipso die Felicis et Audacti.’ 125, i.e. 30 Aug. 1381, in the reign of Rich. II. The language and orthography accord perfectly well with this date, and the collection is consequently contemporary with our Roll, and was made chiefly, though not altogether, for the use of great tables, as appears from the sturgeon, and the great quantity of venison therein prescribed for.
As this MS is so often referred to in the annotations, glossary, and even in this preface, and is a compilation of the same date, on the same subject, and in the same language, it has been thought adviseable to print it, and subjoin it to the Roll; and the rather, because it really furnishes a considerable enlargement on the subject, and exhibits many forms unnoticed in the Roll.
To conclude this tedious preliminary detail, though unquestionably a most necessary part of his duty, the Editor can scarcely forbear laughing at himself, when he reflects on his past labours, and recollects those lines of the poet Martial;
Turpe est difficiles habere nugas,
Et stultus labor est ineptiarum.
and that possibly mesdames Carter and Raffald, with twenty others, might have far better acquitted themselves in the administration of this province, than he has done. He has this comfort and satisfaction, however, that he has done his best; and that some considerable names amongst the learned, Humelbergius, Torinus, Barthius, our countryman Dr. Lister, Almeloveen, and others, have bestowed no less pains in illustrating an author on the same subject, and scarcely of more importance, the Pseudo–Apicius.
1 If, according to Petavius and Le Clerc, the world was created in autumn, when the fruits of the earth were both plentiful and in the highest perfection, the first man had little occasion for much culinary knowledge; roasting or boiling the cruder productions, with modes of preserving those which were better ripened, seem to be all that was necessary for him in the way of Cury, And even after he was displaced from Paradise, I conceive, as many others do, he was not permitted the use of animal food [Gen. i. 29.]; but that this was indulged to us, by an enlargement of our charter, after the Flood, Gen. ix, 3. But, without wading any further in the argument here, the reader is referred to Gen. ii. 8. seq. iii. 17, seq. 23.
[Addenda: add ‘vi. 22. where Noah and the beasts are to live on the same food.’]
2 Genesis xviii. xxvii. Though their best repasts, from the politeness of the times, were called by the simple names of Bread, or a Morsel of bread, yet they were not unacquainted with modes of dressing flesh, boiling, roasting, baking; nor with sauce, or seasoning, as salt and oil, and perhaps some aromatic herbs. Calmet v. Meats and Eating, and qu. of honey and cream, ibid.
3 Athenæus, lib. xii. cap. 3.
4 Athenæus, lib. xii. cap. 3. et Cafaubon. See also Lister ad Apicium, præf. p. ix. Jungerm. ad Jul. Polluccm, lib. vi. c. 10.
5 See below. ‘Tamen uterque [Torinus et Humelbergius] hæc scripta [i, e. Apicii] ad medicinam vendicarunt.’ Lister, præf. p. iv. viii. ix.
6 Athenaæus, p. 519. 660.
7 Priv. Life of the Romans, p. 171. Lister’s Præs, p. iii, but Ter. An, i. 1. Casaub. ad Jul. Capitolin. cap. 5.
8 Casaub. ad Capitolin. l. c.
9 Lister’s Præs. p. ii. vi. xii.
10 Fabric. Bibl. Lat. tom. II. p. 794. Hence Dr. Bentley ad Hor. ii. ferm. 8. 29. stiles it Pseudapicius. Vide Listerum, p. iv.
11 Cæsar de B. G. v. § 10.
12 Strabo, lib. iv. p. 200. Pegge’s Essay on Coins of Cunob, p. 95.
13 Archæologia, iv. p. 61. Godwin, de Præsul. p. 596, seq.
14 Malmsb. p. 9. Galfr. Mon. vi. 12.
15 Lister. ad Apic. p. xi. where see more to the same purpose.
16 Spelm. Life of Ælfred, p. 66. Drake, Eboracum. Append, p. civ.
17 Speed’s History.
18 Mons. Mallet, cap. 12.
19 Wilkins, Concil. I. p. 204. Drake, Ebor. p. 316. Append, p. civ. cv.
20 Menage, Orig. v. Gourmand.
21 Lord Lyttelton, Hist. of H. II. vol. iii. p. 49.
22 Harrison, Descript. of Britain, p. 165, 166.
23 Stow, p. 102. 128.
24 Lord Lyttelton observes, that the Normans were delicate in their food, but without excess. Life of Hen. II. vol. III. p. 47.
25 Dugd. Bar. I. p. 109. Henry II. served to his son. Lord Lyttelton, IV. p. 298.
26 Godwin de Præsul. p. 695, renders Carver by Dapiser, but this I cannot approve. See Thoroton. p. 23. 28. Dugd. Bar. I. p. 441. 620. 109. Lib. Nig. p. 342. Kennet, Par. Ant. p. 119. And, to name no more, Spelm. in voce. The Carver was an officer inferior to the Dapiser, or Steward, and even under his control. Vide Lel. Collect. VI. p. 2. And yet I find Sir Walter Manny when young was carver to Philippa queen of king Edward III. Barnes Hist. of E. III. p. 111. The Steward had the name of Dapiser, I apprehend, from serving up the first dish. V. supra.
27 Sim. Dunelm. col. 227. Hoveden, p. 469. Malms. de Pont. p. 286.
28 Lib. Nig. Scaccarii, p. 347.
29 Fleta, II. cap. 75.
30 Du Fresne, v. Magister.
31 Du Fresne, ibid.
32 Du Fresne, v. Coquus. The curious may compare this List with Lib. Nig. p. 347.
33 In Somner, Ant. Cant. Append. p. 36. they are under the Magister Coquinæ, whose office it was to purvey; and there again the chief cooks are proveditors; different usages might prevail at different times and places. But what is remarkable, the Coquinarius, or Kitchener, which seems to answer to Magister Coquinæ, is placed before the Cellarer in Tanner’s Notitia, p. xxx. but this may be accidental.
34 Du Fresne, v. Coquus.
35 Somner, Append. p. 36.
36 Somner, Ant. Cant. Append. p. 36.
37 Somner, p. 41.
38 Somner, p. 36, 37, 39, sæpius.
39 Somner, l. c.
40 M. Paris, p4. 69.
41 Dugd. Bar. I. p. 45. Stow, p. 184. M. Paris, p. 377. 517. M. Westm. p. 364.
42 Lel. Collectan. VI. p. 7. seq.
43 Ibid. p. 9. 13.
44 Compare Leland, p. 3. with Godwin de Præsul. p. 695. and so Junius in Etymol. v. Sewer.
45 Leland, p. 8, 9. There are now two yeomen of the mouth in the king’s household.
46 That of George Neville, archbishop of York, 6 Edw. IV. and that of William Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, A.D. 1504. These were both of them inthronization feasts. Leland, Collectan. VI. p. 2 and 16 of Appendix. They were wont minuere sanguinem after these superb entertainments, p. 32.
47 Hor. II. Od. xiv. 28. where see Mons. Dacier.
48 Sixty-two were employed by archbishop Neville. And the hire of cooks at archbishop Warham’s feast came to 23 l. 6 s. 8 d.
49 Strype, Life of Cranmer, p. 451, or Lel. Coll. ut supra, p. 38. Sumptuary laws in regard to eating were not unknown in ancient Rome. Erasm. Colloq. p. 81. ed. Schrev. nor here formerly, see Lel. Coll. VI. p. 36. for 5 Ed. II.
50 I presume it may be the same Roll which Mr. Hearne mentions in his Lib. Nig. Scaccarii, I. p. 346. See also three different letters of his to the earl of Oxford, in the Brit. Mus. in the second of which he stiles the Roll a piece of antiquity, and a very great rarity indeed. Harl. MSS. No. 7523.
51 See the Proem.
52 This lord was grandson of Edward duke of Bucks, beheaded A. 1521, whose son Henry was restored in blood; and this Edward, the grandson, born about 1571, might be 14 or 15 years old when he presented the Roll to the Queen.
53 Mr. Topham’s MS. has socas among the fish; and see archbishop Nevil’s Feast, 6 E. IV. to be mentioned below.
54 of which see an account below.
55 See Northumb. Book, p. 107, and Notes.
56 As to carps, they were unknown in England t. R. II. Fulier, Worth. in Sussex, p. 98. 113. Stow, Hist. 1038.
57 The Italians still call the hop cattiva erba. There was a petition against them t. H. VI. Fuller, Worth. p. 317, &c. Evelyn, Sylva, p. 201. 469. ed. Hunter.
58 Lister, Præf. ad Apicium, p. xi.
59 So we have lozengs of golde. Lel. Collect. IV. p. 227. and a wild boar’s head gylt, p. 294. A peacock with gylt neb. VI. p. 6. Leche Lambart gylt, ibid.
60 No. 68. 20. 58. See my friend Dr. Percy on the Northumberland–Book, p. 415. and MS Ed. 34.
61 No. 47. 51. 84.
62 No. 93. 132. MS Ed. 37.
63 Perhaps Turmerick. See ad loc.
64 Ter. Andr. I. 1. where Donatus and Mad. Dacier explain it of Cooking. Mr. Hearne, in describing our Roll, see above, p. xi, by an unaccountable mistake, read Fary instead of Cury, the plain reading of the MS.
65 Junii Etym. v. Diet.
66 Reginaldus Phisicus. M. Paris, p. 410. 412. 573. 764. Et in Vit. p. 94. 103. Chaucer’s Medicus is a doctor of phisick, p.4. V. Junii Etym. voce Physician. For later times, v. J. Rossus, p. 93.
67 That of Donatus is modest ‘Culina medicinæ famulacrix est.’
68 Lel. Collect. IV. p. 183. ‘Diod. Siculus refert primos Ægypti Reges victum quotidianum omnino sumpsisse ex medicorum præscripto.’ Lister ad Apic. p. ix.
69 See also Lylie’s Euphues, p. 282. Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, p. 151, where we have callis, malè; Cole’s and Lyttleton’s Dict. and Junii Etymolog. v. Collice.
70 See however, No. 191, and Editor’s MS II. 7.
71 Vide the proeme.
72 See above.
73 Univ. Hist. XV. p. 352. ‘Æsopus pater linguas avium humana vocales lingua cænavit; filius margaritas.’ Lister ad Apicium, p. vii.
74 Jul. Capitolinus, c. 5.
75 Athenæus, lib. xii. c. 7. Something of the same kind is related of Heliogabalus, Lister Præf. ad Apic. p. vii.
76 To omit the paps of a pregnant sow, Hor. I. Ep. xv. 40. where see Mons. Dacier; Dr. Fuller relates, that the tongue of carps were accounted by the ancient Roman palate-men most delicious meat. Worth. in Sussex. See other instances of extravagant Roman luxury in Lister’s Præf. to Apicius, p. vii.
77 See, however, No. 33, 34, 35, 146.
[Addenda: add ‘reflect on the Spanish Olio or Olla podrida, and the French fricassée.’]
78 The king, in Shakespeare, Hen. VIII. act iv. sc. 2. and 3. calls the gifts of the sponsors, spoons. These were usually gilt, and, the figures of the apostles being in general carved on them, were called apostle spoons. See Mr. Steevens’s note in Ed. 1778, vol. VII. p. 312, also Gent. Mag. 1768, p. 426.
79 Lel. Collect. IV. p. 328. VI. p. 2.
80 See Dr. Percy’s curious notes on the Northumb. Book, p. 417.
81 Ibid. VI. p. 5. 18.
82 They were not very common at table among the Greeks. Casaub. ad Athenæum, col. 278. but see Lel. Coll. VI. p. 7.
83 Leland, Collectan. VI. p. 2. Archbishop Warham also had his carver, ibid. p. 18. See also, IV. p. 236. 240. He was a great officer. Northumb. Book, p. 445.
84 Ames, Typ. Ant. p. 90. The terms may also be seen in Rand. Holme III. p. 78.
85 Dr. Percy, 1. c.
86 Thicknesse, Travels, p., 260.
87 Dr. Birch, Life of Henry prince of Wales, p. 457. seq.
88 No. 91, 92. 160.
89 Bishop Patrick on Genesis xviii. 8.
90 Calmer, v. Butter. So Judges iv, 19. compared with v. 25.
91 Ib. No. 13, 14, 15.
92 Stow, Hist. p. 1038.
93 Lel. Coll. VI. p. 30. and see Dr. Percy on Northumb. Book, p. 414.
94 Archæologia, I. p. 319. Ill, p. 53.
95 Barrington’s Observ. on Statutes, p. 209. 252. Edit. 3d. Archæolog. I. p. 330. Fitz–Stephen, p. 33. Lel. Coll. VI. p. 14. Northumb. Book, p. 6. and notes.
96 No. 20. 64. 99.
97 No. 99.
98 Fun. Mon. p. 624
99 Dr. Lister, Præf. ad Apicium, p. xii.
100 Calmet. Dict. v. Eating.
101 Calmet. Dict. v. Meats.
102 Barnes, Hist. of E. III. p. 111.
103 No. 70, Editor’s MS. 17. alibi.
104 Moll, Geogr. II. p. 130. Harris, Coll. of Voyages, I. p. 874. Ed. Campbell.
105 No. 20. 148.
106 Glossary to Chaucer. See the Northumb. Book, p. 415 and 19. also Quincy’s Dispens. and Brookes’s Nat. Hist. of Vegetables.
107 Lister, Præf. ad Apicium, p. xii.
108 Plinius, Nat. Hist. XII. cap. 7.
109 Bochart. III. col. 332.
110 See our Gloss. voce Greynes.
111 Lye, in Junii Etymolog.
112 But see the next article.
113 Doing, hewing, hacking, grinding, kerving, &c. are easily understood.
114 By combining the Index and Glossary together, we have had an opportunity of elucidating some terms more at large than could conveniently be done in the notes. We have also cast the Index to the Roll, and that to the Editor’s MS, into one alphabet; distinguishing, however, the latter from the former.
115 Godwin de Præsul. p. 684.
116 In Dr. Drake’s edition of archbishop Parker, p. lxiii. it is given to archbishop Winchelsea: but see Mr. Battely’s Append. to Cantuaria Sacra, p. 27. or the Archæologia, I. p. 330. and Leland’s Collectanea, VI. p. 30. where it is again printed, and more at large, and ascribed to Warham.
117 Thorne, Chron. inter X Script. Col. 2010. or Lel. Collect. VI. p. 34. Ed. 1770.
118 Leland, Collect. VI. p. 2. See also Randle Holme, III. p. 77. Bishop Godwin de Præsul. p. 695. Ed. Richardson; where there are some considerable variations in the messes or services, and he and the Roll in Leland will correct one another.
119 Vol. IV. p. 226.
120 See first paragraph before.
121 Leland’s Collect. VI. p. 16.
122 Holme, Acad. of Armory, III. p. 81.
123 It is pissibus again in the title to the Second Part.
124 No. 7. 84. here No. 17. 35. 97.
125 In the common calendars of our missals and breviaries, the latter saint is called Adauctus, but in the Kalend. Roman. of Joh. Fronto, Paris. 1652, p. 126, he is written Audactus, as here; and see Martyrolog. Bedæ, p. 414.
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