Beechwood Park Notebook
Beechwood Park

Beechwood Park Notebook

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[Library Title: Saunders and Sebright Family Papers, 1628-1852]

Holding Library Call No.
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
England ➔ Hertfordshire ➔ Markyate
Date of Composition
inferred ca. 1680s-ca. 1710s
This volume is part of the library's collection of the papers of the Saunders and Sebright families. Beechwood Park, a Tudor manor house, was acquired by Thomas Saunders in 1628 and was eventually passed down his great-granddaughter, Anne Saunders (1670-1719). In 1688, she married Sir Edward Sebright (1688-1702), a scion of a wealthy Worcestershire family, who moved to Beechwood Park and began to modernize the building. Further changes were made in the eighteenth century, transforming the house from Tudor to Georgian. The house remained in the Sebright family until the twentieth century, when the family could no longer afford to keep it up. It is now operated as a school.

The library's collection of the Saunders and Sebright papers includes a notebook containing notes about wine and decanting wine, inventories listing groceries and household goods purchased for Beechwood Park (including one taken at the time of Sir Thomas Seabright's death), and domestic and medical recipes.  The library record does not indicate how many of the "domestic" recipes are culinary, but even if only a few are, this book is likely of interest to culinary historians.