Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Nuptial Table of Henry VII.

For the next few days, if all goes to plan, I will be visiting Hampton Court Palace in London. Specifically, I am intending to pay homage to the amazingly restored, fully operational Tudor kitchens. Naturally I must give you a Tudor menu today – so here is the bill of fare for the nuptial feast in 1486 of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII, as it is given in Account of London by Thomas Pennant, published in 1790.

First Course.
A Warner byfor the Course
Sheldes of Brawne in Armor
Frumetye wirh Venison
Bruet riche
Hart powdered graunt Chars
Fesaunt intram de Royall
Swan with Chawdron
Capons of high Goe
Lampervey in Galantine
Crane with Cretney
Pik in Latymer Sawce
Heronusew with his Sique
Carpe in Foile
Kid reversed
Perche in Jeloye depte
Conys of high Grece
Moten Roiall richely garnysed
Valance baked
Custarde Royall
Tarte Poleyn
Leyse Damask
Frutt Synoper
Frutt Formage
A Soteltie, with writing of Balads.

Second Course.
A Warner byfor the Course
Joly Ypocras
Mamane with Lozengs of Golds
Pekok in Hakell
Egrets in Beorwetye
Sturgyn freshe Fenell
Rabett Sowker
Seyle in Fenyn entirely served richely
Red Shankks
Larkes ingraylede
Creves de Endence
Venesone in Paste Royall
Quince Baked
Marche Payne Royall
A colde bake Mete flourishede
Lethe Ciprus
Lethe Rube
Fruter Augeo
Fruter Mouniteyne
Castells of Jely in Temple wise made
A Soteltie.
For those of you who are not hard-core food historians, at first glance (and maybe also at second and third glances) this bill of fare may be more than a little mysterious. It would take a complete book to explain every dish on this menu, but today I have only the time and space for one short blog post (got to leave time to explore those massive palace kitchens!). I promise however that  from time to time over the next few weeks, I will pick one or two items from the feast and explain them briefly. If you have a particular request do please let me know.
Today’s recipe is absolutely relevant to a royal household from the era. It is from a book published in the year 1500 whose title page reads:

A Noble Boke off Cookry
her begynnythe a noble boke off cookry ffor a prynce houssolde or eny other estately houssolde.
Her begynnyth the making of all thes kind as ye shall find here aftur in the bok more playnly the dighting of xiiij and iij dysshes

And here it is - an elegant savoury ‘jelly’:-
A gilly of fleshe.

To mak a gilly of fleshe take conys and fley them and skald pegions chop them and fley of the skyne skald chekins and chope kiddes and put all to gedur and boile it in red wyne then tak it upe and lay it in a clene clothe dry the peces of the kid pigions and conys and couche them in dishe and chope chekkins and put ther to then set the chekkins in a cold place where it may stand stille then set the brothe to the fyere agayne and luk it be well strened that no fat abid ther on then tak skalded caluys feet and lay them in the same brothe till they be tender and luk the brothe be clene scomed sessen it up with salt and serue it.


korenni said...

I want to know about all of it, of course -- even if it's only "Bruet riche = rich soup" (am I right about that?) and no other explanation. If that's not possible (and I admit it would be a lot of work, and if I were in England, I would certainly rather concentrate on its riches!), I would dearly love to know what the "Warner byfor the Course" is -- appetizers? amuse bouches? -- "Frutt Formage" (should that have been "fromage"? I hope so! Fruit cheese!), and "Seyle in Fenyn entirely served richely" (a whole seal? or something else? and what is fenyn?).

Thanks so much for posting this! I learn so much from your blog!

Nancy said...

What a delightful trip! The Hampton court kitchen people used to run a blog called "Cooking the Books" but I think it is defunct.

I'd be especially interested in the items on the menu that I can't understand at all, such as "frutt formage" (fruit cheese?)

Elise Fleming/Alys K. said...

Sorry to miss seeing you at Hampton Court. I was there at the cookery last month but will be in a sugar-work course in Cumbria this coming weekend. Be sure to visit the "Chocolate Kitchens" while you're there!

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks, Elise, will do!

Anonymous said...

"Castells of Jely in Temple wise made" -- each item totally remarkable in language and conjurings, in the absence of really knowing what anything is. Thanks for writing all this out, and posting.

Elise Fleming/Alys K. said...

The TudorCook blog, "Cooking the Books", is no longer active but there is a replacement called "The Forum" which can be found at along with links to the earlier blogs. While it, too, has begun to have far less traffic, there still are past entries to explore and a good gallery of photos and short videos.

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks, friends - and my apologies for the delay in replying - I am still catching up after my holiday.
kitchencounterculture - thanks for enjoying the story. I love the language too.
Elise - many thanks once again for your comments and for the link. I did not know about the replacement site.