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the then great imperfection of roads, for the countess of Cumberland, we find, was eleven days in going from London to Londesborough !
6 1640. Disbursed in my lady's journey from London to Londesbro', being eleven days with 32 horses, lxviiil. xviiis, ixd.
“ 1642, May 9. Delivered to his lordship for his journey from London to the court at York 507.",
Of the gigantic scale on which cookery was carried on at Skipton, a pretty adequate idea may be formed from the statement, that though coals and much peat were consumed at the castle, yet, in addition to these, 1600 loads of ling per annum, pulled upon the neighbouring moors, were used for heating the ovens. “ These,” we are further told,
were not like the diminutive ovens of the present day; but vaults of stone, capable of holding a flock of sheep, before they baked them; and they were seldom unemployed.” It is added, that, “ when a part of the Clifford family resided at Grafton in Northamptonshire, not only pasties of red deer venison were sent thither by express from Skipton ; but carcasses of stags, two, four, or more, at once, were baked whole, and despatched to the
same place *.” We subsequently learn, that three bushels of wheat and twelve pounds of pepper were used for baking two stags, and that the making of venison pasties, which were structures of such an enormous size as to look like castles in pastry, required so much time and skill, that “ the office of pasty-baker was distinct from that of the cook or baker of the family.”
The articles of wine, sugar, and tobacco, must have been attended with a prodigious expense ; for though wine was cheap, yet such was the vast consumption of claret, sack, and muscadine, that Whitaker concludes the upper servants must have shared with their masters in the first at least t. Of the union of white wine and sugar, we meet with several items which would seem to indicate that the visitors at Skipton castle had as great a partiality for this composition as the celebrated sir John Falstaff himself; and when we discover that this production of the western world was then so dear that a fat wether would not have
purchased two pounds of it, we may readily conceive
* Hist. of Craven, p. 310, note.
+ Ibid. p. 309.
that the general use of such a delicacy would materially swell the annual account. Nor was tobacco, which seems to have been lavishly used at Skipton, less costly, for the finest sort was then 18s. per pound, and a single bill for this article was found among the family papers, amounting to 361. 78. 8d. a sum equal in value to about 1501. of our present currency!
Another source of considerable expense must have arisen from the circumstance, that nearly all their garden vegetables, even those which we now esteem of the most common kind, were imported at a very extravagant price from Holland; thus by an item in 1595, we are informed that two shillings
paid for vi cabishes, and some caret rootts bought at Hull," and by another in the same year, that a messenger was sent to the above seaport for two ropes of onions.
It is somewhat singular that whilst among the evidences of the Cliffords no account is given of any of the festivals occurring in their own immediate family, there should yet be found treasured up in these same evidences a minute detail of the marriage feasts of some of their distant re
latives or intimate friends, such as the Cliftons, and the Neviles of Chevet *.
As these, however, of which Dr. Whitaker has preserved several full-length portraits, were undoubtedly similar to what had often been set forth in the castles of Skipton and Brougham, I shall select a part of one of them, with the corresponding commentary of the historian, as affording some very curious illustrations of the hospitality and domestic arrangements of the day.
This fête, at which the Cliffords were present, was given on the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of sir John Nevile, with Roger Rockley, Esq. on the 14th of January, 1526, being the 17th year of Henry the Eighth ; and the memorial of it
opens with an enumeration of the dress of the bride and bridegroom, which, it is remarkable, was nearly if not altogether black, the former being clad in black satin, and the latter in a gown of black
* “Sir John Nevile, of Chevet, high sheriff of Yorkshire, 19 Hen. VIII. married Elizabeth, daughter of widow of sir Thos. Tempest ; and had issue Elizabeth, married to Roger Rockley, Esq. and Mary, married to sir Ger. vase Clifton.” Vide Thoresby's Ducatus Leodiencis, p. 183.
velvet, richly trimmed with skins, and with a jacket and doublet of black satin.
Then follows a detail of the expenses of the week for wine, malt, wheat, flesh, and fish, amounting to 861. ; the wine, of which three hogsheads are put down, costing not more than sixpence per gallon, about double the price of strong malt liquor in the same year: a circumstance, observes Whitaker, “ not accounted for by the absence of taxation, but by the perfection of the French vineyards, and the extreme imperfection of English husbandry at this time.” The arrangement for the dinners, both on flesh and fish-days, I shall give verbatim.
“ For the first course at dinner. “First, brawn with mustard, served alone, with malmesey ; Item, frumetty to pottage ; Item, a roe roasted for standart; Item, peacocks, two of (i. e. upon) a dish; Item, swans, two of a dish ; Item, a great pike on a dish ; Item, conies roasted, 4 of a dish ; Item, venison roasted; Item, capon of grease, 3 of a dish ; Item, mallards, 4 of a dish ; Item, teals, 7 of a dish ; Item, pyes, baken with rabits in them; Item, baken oringe; Item, a flampett ; Item, stoke fritters; Item, dulcetts, 10 of a dish; Item, a tart.