During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Wellcome Collection is closed. Please read our full statement.
18th Century to 19th Century
Recipe book manuscripts
The first folio is inscribed with the name of Mary Wake.
ff.2-3 are blank
ff.4r-27r contain mostly culinary receipts, notably for fruit wines (ginger, rhubarb, cherry, raisins, elderberries, orange, grape, currant, berries), mead, punch and "milk punch". Also a few cake and pudding recipes, pickling preserving and curing receipts, receipts for bitters, roasting a hare, "blance mange", "shrub", jellies, and "marmalest of quince". There is a receipt for quince brandy by Mrs George on f.22r. Folios ff.24r-26v are headed "Mrs Smith's receipts" and are all written in the same hand. The first half of the book contains a few medical receipts: Mrs Gillon's receipt to cure the ring worm in the head and a receipt for blisters salve (both loose at the front of the volume), receipts for rheumatism (f.14v), pills for many troubles (f.16r), and coughs (f.39, formerly pinned to the page).
ff.28r-41r are blank (39 and 40 have been cut out near the spine)
From the reverse end of the volume, ff.41v-60v, the contents are chiefly medical receipts, interspersed with the odd culinary receipt. This section includes four pages detailing treatments for "intermittant Agues or Feavours" using bark as the chief ingredient (ff.59-60), medicine "For an Old Ague where the person sweats of nights & legs swell, & they are cold" (f.54r), a receipt "to prevent Infection from ye Plague Goal Sickness, Fevers, Small Pox, or any Epidemical Distemper" (f.52r), details of "Mrs Conants Salve for a sore breast" (ff.48-49), various receipts for purges (ff.42-43), plus receipts for collick, rheumatism, agues, fits, coughs, burns, and piles.
f.47v contains a list of "things necessary to be kept in a House in the Country": "Hiria Picria steap'd, seena leaves [senna], syrup of buckthorn, hartshorn drops, rhubub, a good common salve, a burnt ointment, oyl of turpintine".
The receipts from the beginning of the front and beginning of the reverse of the volume appear to be in the same hand.
Some entries are written in pencil including most of the dating information (see below)
Dating information has been obtained from the inscription on the first folio (see above), plus a list dated 10 Nov 1820 (f.23r) and notes on f.27r that 13 gallons of currant wine was made on 19 July 1813 and 16 and a half gallons on 9 Aug 1816.
Ink inscriptions on the front and back covers are severely faded: the one on the front is illegible; the one the back cover appears to be "Phisycke and Receipts".