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66 Second course.
“ First, martens to pottage; Item, for a standart, cranes, 2 of a dish; Item, young lamb, whole roasted ; Item, great fresh sammon gollis ; Item, heron sewes, , 3 of a dish ; Item, bytters, 3 of a dish ; Item, pheasants, 4 of a dish ; Item, a great sturgeon goil ; Item, partridges, 8 of a dish ; Item, stints, 8 of a dish ; Item, plovers, 8 of a dish ; Item, curlews, 8 of a dish ; Item, a whole roe baken ; Item, venison baken, red and fallow ; Item, a tart; Item, a marchpane; Item, gingerbread ; Item, apples and cheese, stewed with
“ For night. “ First, a play, and streight after the play a mask ;
and when the mask was done, then the bankett, which was 110 dishes, and all of meat; and then all the gentlemen and ladyes danced ; and this continued from Sunday to the Saturday after.
“ For Fridays and Saturdays. “ First, leich brayne ; Item, fromety to pottage; Item, whole ling and haberdine ; Item, great guils of salt salmon; Item, great salt eels; Item, great salt sturgeon guils ; Item, fresh ling; Item, fresh
turbut ; Item, great pike; Item, great guils fresh salmon ; Item, great ruddo ; Item, baken turbuts; Item, tarts of 3 several meats.
66 Second course.
“ First, martens to pottage; Item, a great fresh sturgeon goil ; Item, fresh eel roasted ; Item, great brett; Item, salmon chins broiled ; Item, roasted eels; Item, roasted lampreys; Item, roasted lamprons ; Item, great burbuts; Item, salmon baken ; Item, fresh eel baken ; Item, fresh lampreys baken; Item, clear gilley ; Item, gingerbread.”
To this list of fish, is to be added as mentioned in the bill of provisions for the week, one seal, and one porpoise. Sewers, seneshalls, marshals, carvers and cup-bearers, attended in magnificent profusion, whilst a knight, sir John Burton, acted as steward, and sir John Nevile's brother, Mr. Stapylton, with a servant, and the bridegroom himself with his servant, waited in the hall.
“Of wild-fowl," observes the commentator, “the catalogue is curious. The crane, the heron sewe, the bittern, the curlew, and the stint, or tringa cinclus. Of tame fowl, beside the swan, of which five would have bought an ox, we have the peacock,
and the capon of grease, that is, fat capon, as hart of grease is called certus de crapitudine. The goose and tame duck are not mentioned; neither is the woodcock.-The same is to be observed of the grouse, which in the immense extent of the Yorkshire moors must have abounded. The catalogue of fish is equally curious; for beside the kinds generally in use at modern tables, which are mentioned, and the trout, which is not, we have the royal sturgeon, then apparently very common. The silence of the bill of fare as to the carp favours the opinion, that it was introduced into England rather later than this time. Then there appear haberdines, of which I know not what they were ; the rudd, i. e. the cyprinus orfus, yet found in the pools of Holderness ; and above all, the seal and porpoise. Eels were sometimes roasted ; a mode of cookery prescribed long after by Isaac Walton. I have also to learn what were
martens to pottage,' whether the bird or the quadruped; for those who could eat porpoises might have endured the sweet mart, if not its stinking relative the pole-cat. Tarts were plainly meat pies. What flampets and leich brayne may have been I leave to the skilful in old cookery to discover.
Marchpayne,' which the fair Dowsabell was skilled in preparing, was a kind of biscuit (here it was made in
part of gingerbread) much used in old desserts. • Save me a piece of Marchpane,' says the servant, (Romeo and Juliet, Act i. Sc. v.) when the tables were taken away. Their merriment was persevering enough to have subdued modern constitutions, for the dancing continued a whole week: on the wedding-night was first a play, and next a mask ; after which followed a "banket' of 110 dishes. This was in order. In the passage above referred to is a curious scene of bustle and confusion in clearing the hall after dinner for the maskers. “Away with the joint-stools-remove the court cupboard-look to the plate, Antony and Potpan!' And when the mask is over, old Capulet says, Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone; we have a trifling foolish banket toward.'
66 After such dinners as had preceded these entertainments, we may presume that the 110 dishes of the banket’ might be called comparatively triAing, and would somewhat resemble a modern table in lightness. Pike was the only fish served up with the flesh dinners. The arrangement of the first and second course, with respect to fish, &c., seems to
have been indiscriminate. Not a vegetable appears. Apples were introduced with the cheese, and stewed
sage The last item which I shall mention, relative to the domestic economy of the Cliffords, will place one of the familiar accommodations of modern life in a very interesting point of view:
“ 1633-4. To captayne Robinson, by my lord's commands, for writing letters of news to his lordship for a half
51." It would appear from this intimation, that, previous to the invention of printed newspapers, the nobility and opulent gentry were in the habit of pensioning persons in London, for the purpose of collecting and sending to them, in written letters, the news of the day. I know, indeed, scarcely any privation which would occasion such a blank in modern society as the sudden and total suppression of newspapers.
It now only remains to take some notice of the amusements which beguiled the hours of the lords of Skipton ; and of these, which may properly enough be arranged under the heads of Indoor and
* Hist. of Craven, pp. 306-7-8-9.