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Wherein the whole ART is revealed in a more easie and perfect Method, than hath been publisht in any language.

Expert and ready Ways for the Dressing of all Sorts of FLESH, FOWL, and FISH, with variety of SAUCES proper for each of them; and how to raise all manner of Pastes; the best Directions for all sorts of Kickshaws, also the Terms of CARVING and SEWING.

An exact account of all Dishes for all Seasons of the Year, with other A-la-mode Curiosities

The Fifth Edition, with large Additions throughout the whole work: besides two hundred Figures of several Forms for all manner of bak’d Meats, (either Flesh, or Fish) as, Pyes Tarts, Custards; Cheesecakes, and Florentines, placed in Tables, and directed to the Pages they appertain to.

Approved by the fifty five Years Experience and Industry of ROBERT MAY; in his Attendance on several Persons of great Honour.

London, Printed for Obadiah Blagrave at the Bear and Star in St. Pauls Church-Yard, 1685.



To the Right Honourable my Lord Montague, My Lord Lumley, and my Lord Dormer; and to the Right worshipful Sir Kenelme Digby, so well known to this Nation for their Admired Hospitalities.

Right Honourable, and Right Worshipful,

HE is an Alien, a meer Stranger in England, that hath not been acquainted with your generous House-keepings; for my own part my more particular tyes of service to you my Honoured Lords, have built me up to the height of this Experience, for which this Book now at last dares appear to the World; those times which I tended upon your Honours were those Golden Days of Peace and Hospitality when you enjoyed your own, so as to entertain and releive others.

Right Honourable, and Right Worshipful, I have not only been an eye-witness, but interested A3v by my attendance; so as that I may justly acknowledge those Triumphs and magnificent Trophies of Cookery that have adorned your Tables; nor can I but confess to the world, except I should be Guilty of the highest Ingratitude, that the only structure of this my Art and knowledge, I owed to your costs, generous and inimitable Epences; thus not only I have derived my experience, but your Country hath reapt the Plenty of your Humanity and charitable Bounties.

Right Honourable, and Right Worshipful, Hospitality which was once a Relique of the Gentry, and a known Cognizance to all ancient Houses, hath lost her Title through the unhappy and Cruel Disturbances of these Times, she is now reposing of her lately so alarmed Head on your beds of Honour: In the mean space that our English World may know the Mecæna’s and Patrons of this Generous Art, I have exposed this Volume to the Publick, under the Tuition of your Names; at whose Feet I prostrate these Endeavours, and shall for ever remain

Your most humble
devoted Servant.

From Soleby in
September 29. 1684.

To the Master Cooks, and to such young Practitioners of the Art of Cookery, to whom this Book may be useful.

TO you first, most worthy Artists, I acknowledg one of the chief Motives that made me to adventure this Volume to your Censures, hath been to testifie my gratitude to your experienced Society; nor could I omit to direct it to you, as it hath been my ambition, that you should be sensible of my Proficiency of Endeavours in this Art. To all honest well intending Men of our Profession, or others, this Book cannot but be acceptable, as it plainly and profitably discovers the Mystery of the whole Art; for which, though I may be envied by some that only value their private Interests above Posterity, and the publick good, yet God and my own Conscience would not permit me to bury these my Experiences with my Silver Hairs in the Grave: and that more especially, as the advantages of my Education hath raised me above the Ambitions of others, in the converse I have had with other Nations, who in this Art fall short of what I have known experimented by you my worthy Country men. Howsoever, the French by their Insinuations, not without enough of Ignorance, have bewitcht some of the Gallants of our Nation with Epigram Dishes, smoakt rather than drest, so strangely to captivate the Gusto, their Mushroom’d Experiences for Sauce rather than Diet, for the generality howsoever called A-la-mode, not worthy of being taken notice on. As I live in France, and had the Language and have been an eye-witness of their Cookeries as well, as a Peruser of their Manuscripts, and Printed Authors whatsoever I found good in them, I have inserted in this Volume. I do acknowledg my self not to be a little A4v beholding to the Italian and Spanish Treatises; though without my fosterage, and bringing up under the Generosities and Bounties of my Noble Patrons and Masters, I could never have arrived to this Experience. To be confined and limited to the narrowness of a Purse, is to want the Materials from which the Artist must gain his knowledge. Those Honourable Persons, my Lord Lumley, and others, with whom I have spent a part of my time, were such whose generous cost never weighed the Expence, so that they might arrive to that right and high esteem they had of their Gusto’s. Whosoever peruses this Volume shall find it amply exemplified in Dishes of such high prices, which only these Noblesses Hospitalities did reach to: I should have sinned against their (to be perpetuated) Bounties, if I had not set down their several varieties, that the Reader might be as well acquainted with what is extraordinary, as what is ordinary in this Art; as I am truly sensible, that some of those things that I have set down will amaze a not thorow-paced Reader in the Art of Cookery, as they are Delicates, never till this time made known to the World.

Fellow Cooks, that I might give a testimony to my Countrey of the laudableness of our Profession, that I might encourage young Undertakers to make a Progress in the Practice of this Art, I have laid open these Experiences, as I was most unwilling to hide my Talent, but have ever endeavoured to do good to others; I acknowledge that there hath already been several Books publisht, and amongst the rest some out of the French, for ought I could perceive to very little purpose, empty and unprofitable Treatises, of as little use as some Niggards Kitchens, which the Reader in respect of the confusion of the Method, or barrenness of those Authors experience, hath rather been puzled then profited by; as those already A5 extant Authors have trac’t but one common beaten Road, repeating for the main what others have in the same homely manner done before them: It hath been my task to denote some new Faculty or Science, that others have not yet discovered; this the Reader will quickly discern by those new Terms of Art which he shall meet withal throughout this whole Volume. Some things I have inserted of Carving and Sewing that I might demonstrate the whole Art. In the contrivance of these my labours, I have so managed them for the general good, that those whose Purses cannot reach to the cost of rich Dishes, I have descended to their meaner Expences, that they may give, though upon a sudden Treatment, to their Kindred, Friends, Allies and Acquaintance, a handsome and relishing entertainment in all seasons of the year, though at some distance from Towns or Villages. Nor have my serious considerations been wanting amongst direction for Diet how to order what belongs to the sick, as well as to those that are in health; and withal my care hath been such, that in this Book as in a Closet, is contained all such Secrets as relate to Preserving, Conserving, Candying, Distilling, and such rare varieties as they are most concern’d in the best husbandring and huswifering of them. Nor is there any Book except that of the Queens Closet, which was so enricht with Receipts presented to her Majesty, as yet that I ever saw in any Language, that ever contained so many profitable Experiences, as in this Volume: in all which the Reader shall find most of the Compositions, and mixtures easie to be prepared, most pleasing to the Palate, and not too chargeable to the Purse; since you are at liberty to employ as much or as little therein as you please.

In this Edition I have enlarged the whole Work; and A5v there is added two hundred several Figures of all sorts of Pies, Tarts, Custards, Cheesecakes, &c. more than was in the former: You will find them in Tables directed to the Folio they have relation to; there being such variety of Forms, the Artists may use which of them they please.

It is impossible for any Author to please all People, no more than the best Cook can fancy their Palats whose Mouths are always out of taste. As for those who make it their business to hide their Candle under a Bushel, to do only good to themselves, and not to others, such as will curse me for revealing the Secrets of this Art, I value the discharge of my own Conscience, in doing Good, above all their malice; protesting to the whole world, that I have not concealed any material Secret of above my fifty and five years Experience; my Father being a Cook under whom in my Child-hood I was bred up in this Art.

To conclude, the diligent Peruser of this Volume gains that in a small time (as to the Theory) which an Apprenticeship with some Masters could never have taught them. I have no more to do, but to desire of God a blessing upon these my Endeavours; and remain.

Yours in the most ingenious
ways of Friendship,

Sholeby in
Sept. 30. 1664.


A short Narrative of some Passages of the Authors Life.

FOR the better knowledge of the worth of this Book, though it be not usual, the Author being living, it will not be amiss to acquaint the Reader with a breif account of some passages of his Life, as also the eminent Persons (renowned for their House-keeping) whom he hath served through the whole series of his Life; for as the growth of Children argue the strength of the Parents, so doth the judgment and abilities of the Artist conduce to the making and goodness of the Work: now that such great knowledge in this commendable Art was not gained but by long experience, practise, and converse with the most able men in their times, the Reader in this breif Narrative may be informed by what steps and degrees he ascended to the same.

He was born in the year of our Lord 1588. His Father being one of the ablest Cooks in his time, and his first Tutor in the knowledge and practice of Cookery; under whom having attained to some perfection in this Art, the old Lady Dormer sent him over into France, where he continued five years, being in the Family of a noble Peer, and first President of Paris; where he gained not only the French Tongue but also bettered his Knowledge in his Cookery, and returning again into England, was bound an Apprentice in London to Mr. Arthur Hollinsworth in Newgate Market, one of the ablest Work-men in London, Cook to the Grocers Hall and Star Chamber. His Apprentiship being out, the Lady Dormer sent for him to be her Cook under A6v Father (who then served that Honourable Lady) where were four Cooks more, such Noble Houses were then kept, the glory of that, and the shame of this present Age; then were those Golden Days wherein were practised the Triumphs and Trophies of Cookery; then was Hospitality esteemed, Neighbourhood preserved, the Poor cherished, and God honoured; then was Religion less talkt on, and more practised; then was Atheism & Schism less in fashion: then did men strive to be good, rather then to seem so. Here he continued till the Lady Dormer died, and then went again to London, and served the Lord Castlehaven, after that the Lord Lumley, that great lover and knower of Art, who wanted no knowledge in the discerning this mystery; next the Lord Montague in Sussex; and at the beginning of these wars, the Countess of Kent, then Mr. Nevel of Crissen Temple in Essex, whose Ancestors the Smiths (of whom he is descended) were the greatest maintainers of Hospitality in all those parts; nor doth the present M. Nevel degenerate from their laudable examples. Divers other Persons of like esteem and quality hath he served; as the Lord Rivers, Mr. John Ashburnam of the Bed-Chambers, Dr. Steed in Kent, Sir Thomas Stiles of Drury Lane in London, Sir Marmaduke Constable in York-shire, Sir Charles Lucas; and lastly the Right Honourable the Lady Englefield, where he now liveth.

Thus have I given you a breif account of his Life, I shall next tell you in what high esteem this noble Art was with the Ancient Romans: Plutarch reports, that Lucullus his ordinary diet was fine dainty dishes, with works of pastry, banketting dishes, and fruit curiously wrought and prepared; that, his Table might be furnished with choice of varieties, (as the noble Lord Lumley did) that he kept and nourished all manner A7 of Fowl all the year long. To this purpose he telleth us a story how Pompey being sick, the Physitians willed him to eat a Thrush, and it being said there was none to be had; because it was then Summer; it was answered they might have them at Lucullus’s house who kept both Thrushes and all manner of Fowl, all the year long. This Lucullus was for his Hospitality so esteemed in Rome, that there was no talk, but of his Noble House-keeping. The said Plutarch reports how Cicero and Pompey inviting themselves to sup with himthey would not let him speak with his men to provide any thing more then ordinary; but he telling them he would sup in Apollo, (a Chamber so named, and every Chamber proportioned their expences) he by this wile beguil’d them, and a supper was made ready estimated at fifty thousand pence, every Roman penny being seven pence half penny English money; a vast sum for that Age, before the Indies had overflowed Europe. But I have too far digressed from the Author of whom I might speak much more as in relation to his Person and abilities, but who will cry out the Sun shines? this already said is enough to satisfie any but the malicious, who are the greatest enemies to all honest endeavours. Homer had his Zoilus, and Virgil his Bavius; the best Wits have had their detractors, and the greatest Artists have been maligned; the best on’t is, such Works as these outlive their Authors with an honurable respect of Posterity, whilst envious Criticks never survive their own happiness, their Lives going out like the snuff of a Candle.

W. W.

Triumphs and Trophies in Cookery, to be used at Festival Times, as Twelfth-day, &c.

MAke the likeness of a Ship in Paste-board, with Flags and Streamers, the Guns belonging to it of Kickses, bind them about with packthread, and cover them with close paste proportionable to the fashion of a Cannon with Carriages, lay them in places convenient as you see them in Ships of war, with such holes and trains of powder that they may all take Fire; Place your Ship firm in the great Charger; then make a salt round about it, and stick therein egg-shells full of sweet water, you may by a great Pin take all the meat out of the egg by blowing, and then fill it up with the rose-water, then in another Charger have the proportion of a Stag made of course paste, with a broad Arrow in the side of him, and his body filled up with claret-wine; in another Charger at the end of the Stag have the proportion of a Castle with Battlements, Portcullices, Gates and Draw-Bridges made of Past-board, the Guns and Kickses, and covered with course paste as the former; place it at a distance from the ship to fire at each other. The Stag being placed betwixt them with egg shells full of sweet water (as before) placed in salt. At each side of the Charger wherein is the Stag, place a Pye made of course paste, in one of which let there be some live Frogs, in each other some live Birds; make these Pyes of course Paste filled with bran, and yellowed over with saffron or the yolks of eggs, guild them over in spots, as also the Stag, the Ship, and Castle; bake them, and place them with guilt bay-leaves on turrets and tunnels of the Castle and Pyes; being baked, A8 make a hole in the bottom of your pyes, take out the bran, put in your Frogs, and Birds, and close up the holes with the same course paste, then cut the Lids neatly up; To be taken off the Tunnels; being all placed in order upon the Table, before you fire the trains of powder, order it so that some of the Ladies may be perswaded to pluck the Arrow out of the Stag, then will the Claret-wine follow, as blood that runneth out of a wound. This being done with admiration to the beholders, after some short pause, fire the train of the Castle, that the pieces all of one side may go off, then fire the Trains, of one side of the Ship as in a battel; next turn the Chargers; and by degrees fire the trains of each other side as before. This done to sweeten the stink of powder, let the Ladies take the egg-shells full of sweet waters and throw them at each other. All dangers being seemingly over, by this time you may suppose they will desire to see what is in the pyes; where lifting first the lid off one pye, out skip some Frogs, which make the Ladies to skip and shreek; next after the other pye, whence come out the Birds, who by a natural instinct flying in the light, will put out the Candles; so that what with the flying Birds and skipping Frogs, the one above, the other beneath, will cause much delight and pleasure to the whole company: at length the Candles are lighted, and a banquet brought in, the Musick sounds, and every one with much delight and content rehearses their actions in the former passages. These were formerly the delight of the Nobility, before good House-keeping had left England, and the Sword really acted that which was only counterfeited in such honest and laudable Exercises as these.



On the Unparalell’d Piece of Mr. May His Cookery.

Ee here a work set forth of such perfection,

Will praise it self, and doth not beg protection

From flatter’d greatness. Industry and pains

For gen’ral good, his aim, his Countrey gains;

Which ought respect him. A good English Cook,

Excellent Modish Monsieurs, and that Book

Call’d Perfect Cook, Merete’s Pastery

Translated, looks like old hang’d Tapistry,

The wrong side outwards: so Monsieur adieu,

I’m for our Native Mays Works rare and new,

Who with Antique could have prepar’d and drest

The Nations quondam grand Imperial Feast,

Which that thrice Crown’d Third Edward did ordain

For his high Order, and their Noble Train,

Whereon St. George his famous Day was seen,

A Court on Earth that did all Courts out-shine.

And how all Rarities and Cates might be

Order’d for a Renown’d Solemnity,

Learn of this Cook, who with judgment, and reason,

Teacheth for every Time, each thing its true Season;

Making his Compounds with such harmony,

Taste shall not charge with superiority

Of Pepper, Salt, or Spice, by the best Pallat,

Or any one Herb in his broths or Sallat.

Where Temperance and Discretion guides his deeds;

Satis his Motto, where nothing exceeds.


Or ought to wast, for there’s good Husbandry

To be observ’d, as Art in Cookery.

Which of the Mathematicks doth pertake,

Geometry proportions when they bake.

Who can in paste erect (of finest flour)

A compleat Fort, a Castle, or a Tower.

A City Custard doth so subtly wind,

That should Truth seek, she’d scarce all corners find;

Platform of Sconces, that might Souldiers teach,

To fortifie by works as well as Preach.

I’le say no more; for as I am a sinner,

I’ve wrought my self a stomach to a dinner.

Inviting Poets not to tantalize,

But feast, (not surfeit) here their Fantasies.

James Parry.

To the Reader of (my very loving Friend) Mr. Robert May his incomparable Book of Cookery.


Ee here’s a Book set forth with such things in’t,

As former Ages never saw in Print;

Something I’de write in praise on’t, but the Pen,

Of Famous Cleaveland, or renowned Ben,

If unintomb’d might give this Book its due,

By their high strains, and keep it always new.

But I whose ruder Stile could never clime,

Or step beyond a home-bred Country Rhime,

Must not attempt it: only this I’le say,

Cato’s Res Rustica’s far short of May.


Here’s taught to keep all sorts of flesh in date,

All sorts of Fish, if you will marinate;

To candy, to preserve, to souce, to pickle,

To make rare Sauces, both to please, and tickle

The pretty Ladies palats with delight;

Both how to glut, and gain an Appetite.

The Fritter, Pancake, Mushroom; with all these,

The curious Caudle made of Ambergriese.

He is so universal, he’l not miss,

The Pudding, nor Bolonian Sausages.

Italian, Spaniard, French, he all out-goes,

Refines their Kickshaws, and their Olio’s,

The rarest use of Sweet-meats, Spicery,

And all things else belong to Cookery:

Not only this, but to give all content,

Here’s all the Forms of every Implement

To work or carve with, so he makes the able

To deck the Dresser, and adorn the Table.

What dish goes first of every kind of Meat,

And so ye’re welcom, pray fall too, and eat.

Reader, read on, for I have done; farewell,

The Book’s so good, it cannot chuse but sell.

Thy well-wishing Friend,

John Town.


The most Exact, or A-la-mode Ways
of Carving and Sewing.

Terms of Carving.

BReak that deer, leach that brawn, rear that goose, lift that swan, sauce that capon, spoil that hen, frust that chicken, unbrace that mallard, unlace that coney, dismember that hern, display that crane, disfigure that peacock, unjoynt that bittern, untach that curlew, allay that pheasant, wing that partridge, wing that quail, mince that plover, thigh that pidgeon, border that pasty, thigh that woodcock; thigh all manner of small birds.

Timber the fire, tire that egg, chine that salmon, string that lamprey, splat that pike, souce that plaice, sauce that tench, splay that bream, side that haddock, tusk that barbel, culpon that trout, fin that chivin, transon that eel, tranch that sturgeon, undertranch that porpus, tame that crab, barb that lobster.


First, set forth mustard and brawn, pottage, beef, mutton, stewed pheasant, swan, capon, pig, venison, hake, custard, leach, lombard, blanchmanger, and jelly; for standard, venison, roast kid, fawn, and coney, bustard, stork, crane, peacock with his tail, hern-shaw, bittern, woodcock, partridge, plovers, rabbits, great birds, larksdoucers, pampuff, white leach, amber-jelly, cream of B2v almonds, curlew, brew, snite, quail, sparrow, martinet, pearch in jelly, petty pervis, quince baked, leach, dewgard, fruter fage, blandrells or pippins with caraways in comfits, wafers, and Ipocras.

Sauce for all manner of Fowls.

Mustard is good with brawn, Beef, Chine of Bacon, and Mutton, Verjuyce good to boil’d Chickens and Capons; Swan with Chaldrons, Ribs of Beef with Garlick, mustard, pepper, verjuyce, ginger; sauce of lamb, pig and fawn, mustard, and sugar; to pheasant, partridge, and coney, sauce gamelin; to hern-shaw, egrypt, plover, and crane, brew, and curlew, salt, and sugar, and water of Camot, bustard, shovilland, and bittern, sauce gamelin; woodcock, lapwhing, lark, quail, martinet, venison and snite with white salt; sparrows and thrushes with salt, and cinamon. Thus with all meats sauce shall have the operation.

Directions for the order of
carving Fowl.

Lift that Swan.

The manner of cutting up a Swan must be to slit her right down in the middle of the breast, and so clean thorow the back from the neck to the rump, so part her in two halves cleanly and handsomly, that you break not nor tear the meat, lay the two halves in a fair charger with the slit sides downwards, throw salt about it, and let it again on the Table. Let your sauce be chaldron for a Swan, and serve it in saucers.

Rear the Goose.

You must break a goose contrary to the former way. B3 Take a gooseA being roasted, and take off both his legs fair like a shoulder of Lamb, take him quite from the body then cut off the belly piece round close to the lower end of the breast: lace her down with your knife clean through the breast on each side your thumbs bredth for the bone in the middle of the breast; then take off the pinion of each side, and the flesh which you first lac’t with your knife, raise it up clear from the bone, and take it from the carcase with the pinion; then cut up the bone which lieth before in the breast (which is commonly call’d the merry thought) the skin and the flesh being upon it; then cut from the brest-bone, another slice of flesh clean thorow, & take it clean from the bone, turn your carcase, and cut it asunder the back-bone above the loin-bones: then take the rump-end of the back-bone, and lay it in a fair dish with the skinny-side upwards, lay at the fore-end of that the merry-thought with the skin side upward, and before that the apron of the goose; then lay your pinions on each side contrary, set your legs on each side contrary behind them, that the bone end of the legs may stand up cross in the middle of the dish, & the wing pinions on the outside of them; put under the wing pinions on each side the long slices of flesh which you cut from the breast bone, and let the ends meet under the leg bones, let the other ends lie cut in the dish betwixt the leg and the pinion; then pour your sauce into the dish under your meat, throw on salt, and set it on the table.

To cut up a Turkey or Bustard.

Raise up the leg very fair, and open the joynt with the point of your knife, but take not off the leg; then lace down the breast with your knife on both sides, & open the breast pinion with the knife, but take not the pinion off; then raise up the merry-thought betwixt the breast bone, and the top of the merry-thought, lace down the B3v flesh on both sides of the breast-bone, and raise up the flesh called the brawn, turn it outward upon both sides, but break it not, nor cut it not off; then cut off the wing pinion at the joynt next to the body, and stick on each side the pinion in the place where ye turned out the brawn, but cut off the sharp end of the Pinion, take the middle piece, and that will just fit the place.

You may cut up a capon or pheasant the same way, but of your capon cut not off the pinion, but in the place where you put the pinion of the turkey, you must put the gizard of your capon on each side half.

Dismember that Hern.

Take off both the legs, and lace it down to the breast with your knife on both sides, raise up the flesh, and take it clean off with the pinion; then stick the head in the breast, set the pinion on the contrary side of the carcase, and the leg on the other side, so that the bones ends may meet cross over the carcase, and the other wings cross over upon the top of the carcase.

Unbrace that Mallard.

Raise up the pinion and the leg, but take them not off, raise the merry-thought from the breast, and lace it down on each side of the breast with your knife, bending to and fro like ways.

Unlace that Coney.

Turn the back downwards, & cut the belly flaps clean off from the kidney, but take heed you cut not the kidney nor the flesh, then put in the point of your knife between the kidneys, and loosen the flesh from each side the bone then turn up the back of the rabbit, and cut it cross between the wings, and lace it down close by the bone with your knife on both sides, then open the flesh of the rabbit from the bone, with the point of your knife against the kidney, and pull the leg open softly B4 with your hand, but pluck it not off, then thrust in your knife betwixt the ribs and the kidney, slit it out, and lay the legs close together.

Sauce that Capon.

Lift up the right leg and wing, and so array forth, and lay him in the platter as he should fly, and so serve him. Know that capons or chickens be arrayed after one sauce; the chickens shall be sauced with green sauce or veriuyce.

Allay that Pheasant.

Take a pheasant, raise his legs and wings as it were a hen and no sauce but only salt.

Wing that Partridg.

Raise his legs, and his wing as a hen, if you mince him sauce him with wine, powder of ginger, and salt, and set him upon a chafing dish of coals to warm and serve.

Wing that Quail.

Take a quail and raise his legs and his wings as an hen, and no sauce but salt.

Display that Crane.

Unfold his Legs, and cut off his wings by the joynts, then take up his wings and his legs, and sauce them with powder of ginger, mustard, vinegar, and salt.

Dismember that Hern.

Raise his legs and his wings as a crane, and sauce him with vinegar, mustard, powder of ginger and salt.

Unjoynt that Bittern.

Raise his legs & wings as a heron & no sauce but salt.

Break that Egript.

Take an egript, and raise his legs and his wings as a heron, and no sauce but salt.

Untach that Curlew.

Raise his legs and wings as a hen, & no sauce but salt.

Untach that brew

Raise his legs and his wings in the same manner, and no sauce but only salt.


Unlace that Coney.

Lay him on the back, and cut away the vents, then raise the wings and the sides, and lay bulk, chine, and sides together, sauce them with vinegar and powder of ginger.

Break that Sarcel.

Take a sarcel or teal, and raise his wings and his legs, and no sauce but only salt.

Mince that Plover.

Raise his leg and wings as a hen, and no sauce but only salt.

A Snite.

Raise his legs, wings and his shoulders as a plover, and no sauce but salt.

Thigh that Woodcock.

Raise his legs as a hen, and dight his brain.

The Sewing of Fish.

The First Course.

TO go to the sewing of Fish.
Musculade, Minews in few of porpos or of salmon, bak’d herring with sugar, green fish pike, lamprey, salent, porpos roasted, bak’d gurnet and baked lamprey.

The Second Course.

Jelly white and red, dates in confect, conger, salmon, birt, dorey, turbut holibut for standard, bace, trout, mullet, chevin, soles, lamprey roast, and tench in jelly

The Third Course.

Fresh sturgeon, bream, pearch in jelly, a jole of salmon sturgeon, welks, apples and pears roasted; with sugar candy, figs of molisk, raisins, dates, capt with minced ginger, wafers, and Ipocras.


The Carving of Fish.

The carver of fish must see to peason and furmety, the tail and the liver; you must look if there be a salt porpos or sole, turrentine, and do after the form of venison; baked herring, lay it whole on the trencher, then white herring in a dish, open it by the back, pick out the bones and the row, and see there be mustard. Of salt fish, green-fish, salt salmon, and conger, pare away the skin; salt fish, stock fish, marling, mackrel, and hake with butter, and take away the bones & skins; A Pike, lay the womb upon a trencher, with pike sauce enough, A salt Lamprey, gobbin it in seven or eight pieces, and so present it, A Plaice, put out the water, then cross him with your knife, and cast on salt, wine, or ale. Bace, Gurnet, Rochet, Bream, Chevin, Mullet, Roch, Pearch, Sole, Mackrel, Whiting, Haddock, and Codling, raise them by the back, pick out the bones, and cleanse the rest in the belly. Carp Bream, Sole, and Trout, back and belly together. SalmonConger, Sturgeon, Turbut, Thornback, Houndfish, and Holibut, cut them in the dishes; the Porpos about, Tench in his sauce; cut two Eels, and Lampreys roast, pull off the skin, and pick out the bones, put thereto vinegar, and powder. A Crab, break him asunder, in a dish make the shell clean, & put in the stuff again, temper it with vinegar, and powder them, cover it with bread and heat it; a Crevis dight him thus, part him asunder, slit the belly, and take out the fish, pare away the red skin, mince it thin, put vinegar in the dish, and set it on the Table without heating. A Jole of Sturgeon, cut it into thin morsels, and lay it round about the dish, Fresh Lamprey bak’d, open the pasty, then take white bread, and cut it thin, lay it in a dish, & with a spoon take out Galentine, & lay it upon the bread with red wine and powder of Cinamon; then cut a gobbin of B5v Lamprey, mince it thin, and lay it in the Gallentine, and set it on the fire to heat. Fresh herring, with salt and wine, Shrimps well pickled, Flounders, Gudgeons, Minews, and Muskles, Eels, and Lampreys, Sprats is good in few, musculade in worts, oysters in few, oysters in gravy, minews in porpus, salmon in jelly white and red, cream of almonds, dates in comfits, pears and quinces in sirrup, with parsley roots, mortus of hound fish raise standing.

Sauces for Fish.

Mustard is good for salt herring, salt fish, salt conger, salmon, sparling, salt eel and ling; vinegar is good with salt porpus, turrentine, salt sturgeon, salt thirlepole, and salt whale, lamprey with gallentine; verjuyce to roach, dace, bream, mullet, flounders, salt crab and chevin with powder of cinamon and ginger; green sauce is good with green fish and hollibut, cottel, and fresh turbut; put not your green sauce away for it is good with mustard.


Bills of FARE for every Season in the Year; also how to set forth the MEAT in order for that Service, as it was used before Hospitality left this Nation.

Page Numbering

The printed book combined two systems of page numbering. Throughout the book, the first four recto (odd, right-hand) pages of each 16-page signature are labeled as A, A2, A3... These are shown in the right margin. The left margin shows continuous page numbers, beginning with signature C (p. 1) and continuing through the end of the recipes (p. 461). In signature T, all page numbers were offset by 4 (261-276 for 257-272). The printed number is shown in (parentheses) followed by the corrected number in italics. Where there are no page numbers, folio numbers added by the transcriber are shown in [brackets].


Many compound words occur in up to three forms: with hyphen; as two separate words; and as a single unhyphenated word. Hyphens at line break were retained unless the word was consistently hyphenless elsewhere. Missing spaces between words were supplied when unambiguous.

beatten; Dear (for Deer); galon; oatmel; somtimes

These spellings are rare but each occurs at least once.


The spelling with “y” occurs only in the header for Section I. Both “boil’d” and “boiled” are used in the body text.

lay a lay of ...

The word “layer” also occurs, but “lay” is more common.


Note that the word is consistently spelled with one “b” except in the Index.


Probably a variant of “Snipe”, but in some books it is understood as a different bird.

roast, toast

Both words can be applied to meats.

give it a walm

The word “walm” is always used in this construction. It appears to mean “bring to a boil”. Some occurrences of “warm” may be errors for “walm”.


In several places, text at the beginning of a page was corrected from the catchword on the previous page:

A. You must break a goose contrary to the former way. Take a goose being roasted...

Text as printed at page break:

page image


(Listing added by transcriber using author’s headings)


To the Right Honourable my Lord Montague, My Lord Lumley, and my Lord Dormer; and to the Right worshipful Sir Kenelme Digby, so well known to this Nation for their Admired Hospitalities.

To the Master Cooks, and to such young Practitioners of the Art of Cookery, to whom this Book may be useful.

A short Narrative of some Passages of the Authors Life.

Triumphs and Trophies in Cookery, to be used at Festival Times, as Twelfth-day, &c.

On the Unparalell’d Piece of Mr. May His Cookery. (James Parry)

To the Reader of (my very loving Friend) Mr. Robert May his incomparable Book of Cookery. (John Town)

The most Exact, or A-la-mode Ways of Carving and Sewing.

Directions for the order of carving Fowl.

Bills of Fare for every Season in the Year.

Perfect Directions for the A-la-mode Ways of dressing all manner of Boyled Meats, with their several sauces, &c.

To make several sorts of Puddings.

Sheeps Haggas Puddings.

To make any kind of sausages.

To make all manner of Hashes.


Divers made Dishes or Capilotado’s.

An hundred and twelve excellent wayes for the dressing of Beef.

The A-la-mode ways of dressing the Heads of any Beasts.

The rarest Ways of dressing of all manner of Roast Meats, either of Flesh or Fowl, by Sea or land, with their Sauces that properly belong to them.

The best way of making all manner of Sallets.

To make all manner of Carbonadoes, either of Flesh or Fowl; as also all manner of fried Meats of Flesh, Collops and Eggs, with the most exquisite way of making Pancakes, Fritters, and Tansies.

The most Excellent Ways of making All sorts of Puddings.

The rarest Ways of making all manner of Souces and Jellies.

The best way of making all manner of baked Meats.

To bake all manner of Curneld Fruits in Pyes, Tarts, or made Dishes, raw or preserved, as Quinces, Warden, Pears, Pippins, &c.

To make all manner of made Dishes, with or without Paste.

To make all manner of Creams, Sack-Possets, Sillabubs, Blamangers, White-Pots, Fools, Wassels, &c.

The First Section for dressing of Fish.
Shewing divers ways, and the most excellent, for Dressing of Carps, either Boiled, Stewed, Broiled, Roasted, or Baked, &c.

The Second Section of Fish.
Shewing the most Excellent Ways of Dressing of Pikes.

The Third Section for dressing of Fish.
The most excellent ways of Dressing Salmon, Bace, or Mullet.

The fourth Section for dressing of Fish.
Shewing the exactest ways of dressing Turbut, Plaice, Flounders, and Lampry.

The Fifth Section of Fish.
Shewing the best way to Dress Eels, Conger, Lump, and Soals.

The Sixth Section of Fish.
The A-la-mode ways of Dressing and Ordering of Sturgeon.

The Seventh Section of Fish.
Shewing the exactest Ways of Dressing all manner of Shell-Fish.

To make all manner of Pottages for Fish-Days.

The exactest Ways for the Dressing of Eggs.

The best Ways for the Dressing of Artichocks.

Shewing the best way of making Diet for the Sick.

Excellent Ways for Feeding of Poultrey.


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Written and maintained by
Ronald Hunter
  Copyright © Ronald Hunter, 2005. All rights reserved.