We woke up to a wonderful morning here in Washington and the EMROC/EMMO transcribathon is now underway. We’re a full house here, all working hard on the recipe book of Rebecca Winche. The book is a recent acquisition for the Folger Shakespeare Library and we’re so excited to be working on it.
The book contains a mixture of circa 150 culinary and medicinal recipes, including an early chocolate recipe, instructions to make a stewed and stuffed pigeon, a snail water, a nutmeg and raisin cheesecake and a number of fascinating cough remedies. One of these, in particular, involved dipping a licorice stick into a tincture of white wine vinegar, hyssop water, sugar and almond oil and “licke often of it”.
A little sleuthing suggests that the book at the centre of all this whirlwind activity once belonged to the Winche family of Hawnes/Haynes in Bedfordshire.
The book bears the ownership note of “Rebeckah Winche 1666” and was likely started by Rebeckah Brown Winche who was married to Sir Humphrey Winch, 1st Baronet (1622-1703) member of Parliament for Bedford. Rebeckah helpfully provides us with a brief genealogy at the back of the notebook and so we find out that Humphrey and Rebeckah were proud parents of Rebecca (b. 1660, married Thomas Lawley, Staffordshire, in 1681).
We’re still in the thick of things here and I will post more information about the manuscript and the transcribathon in a little while. For now, I’m dashing off to join the others.
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