Cookery and medicinal recipes of the Granville family

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Manuscript Location
Folger Shakespeare Library, Manuscripts
Holding Library Call No.
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
England ➔ Worcestershire
Date of Composition
ca. 1665-ca. 1750
This book is in a number of different hands, at least some of which belonged to members of the Granville family. The original author was likely Sir Martin Westcomb (fl. 1663-1688) or his wife, Mrs. Wescombe. Sir Martin was the English Consul in Cadiz, Spain (like his father before him, also Sir Martin), and pages 99 to 120 of the book contain a number of Spanish recipes, some written in Spanish, with dates ranging from 1646 to 1687. These recipes are out of date sequence, strongly suggesting that they were not written directly into the book but were copied into the book from another notebook or from loose sheets sometime after 1687. The book was subsequently handed down to Sir Martin's daughter, Mary Granville (d. 1747), who, in turn, gave the book to her daugher, Anne D'Ewes (1707-1761), at the time of her daughter's marriage to John D'Ewes, in 1740. In handing down the book to Anne, Mary inscribed it, "Mrs. Ann Granvills Book which I hope shee will make a better use of then her mother."  Following the inscription, Anne wrote, “Now Anne Dewes” and “Bradley 8 Sep[tember] 1740” indicating that she was now married and living in Bradley, Worchestershire.  

The pages of the book are numbered to 306, but the book, in fact, contains only about 142 written pages, with large gaps in the numbering, suggesting that many pages are missing. Most of the recipes preceding the Spanish section are medical, interspersed with a few culinary recipes, mostly for fruit preserving, that are characteristic of the second half of the seventeenth century. Much of the remainder of the book is also seventeenth century in feel, although there are also recipes for orange cheesecakes, seeded pound cake, and queen cake that were almost certainly added after 1720. The book also contains household recipes, including several from different countries for making ink. Sources are sometimes given.