Household Books Published in Britain: all volumes

The forme of cury; a roll of ancient English cookery


subjects: cookery, recipes,

  • 1. The forme of cury; a roll of ancient English cookery, compiled about A.D. 1390, by the Master-Cooks of King Richard II, presented afterwards to Queen Elizabeth, by Edward, Lord Stafford, and now in the possession of Gustavus Brander, Esq .... a manuscript of the editor of the same age and subject is subjoined. [by an Antiquary]
    London: printed by J. Nichols, Printer to the Society of Antiquaries   1780
    22 cm.   iv, xxxvi, 188 p. frontis  
    GB:   LBL   OBL*  
    US:   MHi   MiD   NYPL  

    --another ed. London: printed by J. Nichols, 1780. LBL: KMK: NIC
    1. 'Cury' is the old English word for 'cookery', and the main title is a Chaucerian way of saying 'The art of cookery'. The whole work is written in a forthright, at times even violent, language; 'Take hares and hew them to gobbets . . .', and 'Take conies [rabbits] and smite them to pieces; seeth them in grease . . .' are but two examples. Oxford, p. 108, wrongly cites the main title as 'A forme of cury'.
    2. The editor of this work identified himself by having his portrait as a frontispiece. His pseudonym, 'An Antiquary', was probably chosen as an allusion to his membership of the Society of Antiquaries, but he used it for the 1st ed. only; in the 2nd he used no pseudonym, but kept the portrait as identification. For a life of Dr Samuel Pegge (who is known as 'the elder' to distinguish him from his son and namesake); see DNB, vol. 1 5 (1909), pp. 678-80.
    3. John Nichols made a point of stating that he was the 'Printer to the Society of Antiq

    Bitting, p. 361; Oxford, pp. 108-9