MADLING CAKES, 141, are a perplexing item. Jennifer Stead (private communication) has pointed out that madling in dialect can mean perplexing, and has ingeniously suggested that, since Hannah Glasse directs that the currants must be concealed within the cakes, they were intended to be a puzzle or surprise and that that is how they got their name. However, the currants are optional, so this seems unlikely. The OED, on the other hand, believes madling to be a corruption of the French madeleine. But the differences between madling cakes and the famous madeleines of Commercy are considerable. Apart from anything else, the former are raised by yeast, the latter not. No other recipes for Madling cakes have been traced. But Richard Briggs (1794, 454) reprints Hannah Glasse’s recipe almost unchanged, calling it Maudling cakes. Maudling is a version of Magdalen, of which the French is Madeleine; so if Briggs knew what he was about the OED could be right, and we would have to suppose that, not for the first time, a term of French origin had changed its meaning in England. Alternatively, we could look for some evidence, at present lacking, that Madling/Maudling cakes were a little-known English institution associated with Saint Mary Magdalene’s Day.(Glasse, 1747)

MAGMA: grounds. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MAID-SWEET is sweet cicely. (William Ellis, 1750)

MAIDEN-HAIR: possibly Clematis vitalba. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MAIDS: M 5. Labrus mixtus. Cuckoo wrasse. In French Demoiselle. A Mediterranean fish used mainly for soups and fish stews. (John Nott, 1726)

MALAGA-WINE: sweet fortified wine, imported via Malaga in Andalusia. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MALLOW STALKS: See M6 and 7. Marsh mallow stalks were considered a great delicacy by the Romans. Sir Kenelm Digby (see p. I ) gives a detailed recipe for candying them, adding that in Italy ‘these tender stalks of Mallows are called Mazzocchi, and they eat them boiled tender in sallets, either hot or cold, with Vinegar and Oyl, or Butter and Vinegar, or juyce of Oranges’. Marsh mallow was much cultivated in gardens for its many medicinal properties. (John Nott, 1726)

MANCHET, see Bread. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MANCHET: roll, or small loaf of fine white bread. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MANCHET BREAD: Fine bread made from the best wheat and the whitest flour available. Made in small loaves weighing 6 to 8 oz. Manchet was the bread of the privileged. (John Nott, 1726)


MANCHET is the fine white enriched loaf of medieval and early modern bakery. Johnson defines it as ‘a small loaf of fine bread’. (William Ellis, 1750)

MANGO. C. Anne Wilson says that jars of pickled mango first reached Britain in the second half of the 17th century ‘and were copied with the aid of home-grown cucumbers or melons, and even onions or peaches’. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MANNA is the subject of an encyclopaedic definition by Johnson. It is the exudation or juice (then solidified) of the manna-ash (Fraxinus ornus), grown in southern Italy – a variant, from the larch, came from France – it was mildly laxative. (William Ellis, 1750)

MANTLE when describing beer, is the froth. (William Ellis, 1750)

MARBLE MORTAR. This would presumably have been used for pounding substances which would taint or discolour in metal.(Glasse, 1747)

MARCHPANE, 271: marzipan. But the word meant something more than that in the 16th and 17th centuries: an elaborate confection of marzipan, usually gilded and often spiked with candied fruits, which served as the centrepiece for the ‘banketting stuffe’ which constituted dessert for the Elizabethans and in early Jacobean times (see Banquetting Stuffe, ed C Anne Wilson, 1991). By the time when May wrote, marchpane was already on the way out, making way for the later, more modest, role of marzipan as what goes on top of a fruit cake. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MARCHPANE: Marzipan. Decorated with icing and gold leaf, marchpanes were the most important of all the sweetmeats served at the banquet or dessert course. (John Nott, 1726)

MAREMAID PYE, 220-21: mermaid pie described by the OED as ‘a sucking pig baked whole in a crust’. This dish is also in Rabisha (1682), the source cited by the QED. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MARIGOLD FLOWERS, 13. The petals were used both as a yellow colouring agent and as an ingredient in salads. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MARKING IRON, used in making tarts, 75. This was presumably some sort of shaped cutter or jagging wheel, such as was referred to by Ann Cook as ‘eager-iron, or what is commonly term’d Runners (see Burnet, 1940, 129). These are still available, in boxwood.(Glasse, 1747)

MARLE. The reference, 162, is clearly to a bird, and the OED quotes a source of 1700 as giving: ‘Marrel. A bird about the bigness of a Knot . . .’ Marrel was the spelling used by Eliza Smith (1742). It is curious that the 1767 edition of Mrs Glasse’s book has Marle indexed as ‘Marie, a fish, how to chuse’. However, on looking up the page cited, one finds that the reference, as in the 1st edition, is quite clearly to a bird. The OED records the later spelling ‘marl’, but still does not identify the bird.(Glasse, 1747)

MARMALADE: a fruit conserve, originally of quinces, made much stiffer than today, thus justifying Evelyn’s comment in Receipt 18. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

MARMALADE: A thick, smooth preserve. The name derived from the Portuguese marmelo, quince. It was from that fruit that all marmalades were originally made. Later, cherries and apricots were also much used for marmalades. Orange marmalade was known towards the end of the 16th century but was, again, a smooth preserve nearly always mixed with apple jelly. Nott’s marmalade of oranges is unusual in that it is made only from oranges, but it is still a jelly-like confection, not orange marmalade as we know it today. Marmalades were stored in round or oval wooden boxes, not jars, and cut into lozenges or other fancy shapes for serving at dessert. (John Nott, 1726)

MARINATE: to salt or pickle, and then preserve in oil or vinegar. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MARROW: invariably bone marrow, not the vegetable. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

MARSHMALLOWS: Althaea officinalis, medicinal. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MARSH-TREFOIL-ROOT is buckbean (OED), although Ellis seems to be treating the two names as distinct plants. (William Ellis, 1750)

MARYGOLDS, CONSERVE OF: M 14. This seems to be more of a medical preparation than a sweetmeat. (John Nott, 1726)

MASHING-TUB, MASH-TUB. A tub in which malt was mashed to produce wort, in brewing.(Glasse, 1747)

MASSEREAU, 104, for serving a watertansey. This word was corrected in later editions to massereen, a form of MAZARINE.(Glasse, 1747)

MASTERWORT, Peucedanum ostruthium, an umbelliferous plant formerly used as a pot herb and in medicine (against boils and the like, as a purlfier, and against poison). The name was also applied to other plants, including pellitory of Spain.(Glasse, 1747)

MAUKIN or malkin, a mop for swabbing the oven floor. The word had more vulgar meanings too. (William Ellis, 1750)

MAUSE, ‘mouse-piece’: a small muscle in the shoulder. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MAW is stomach. (William Ellis, 1750)

MAYWEED, maidweed or maythe, is stinking camomile, Anthemis Cotula. (William Ellis, 1750)

MAZARENE DISH: A plate or silver serving dish fashionable during the late 17th century. It is thought to have been named after Hortense Mancini, niece of Cardinal Mazarin, later the celebrated Duchesse de Mazarin who settled in London and died at Chelsea in 1699. (John Nott, 1726)

MAZARINE, a deep dish or plate, usually of metal. An ordinary pan is given as an alternative, 51, and a patty pan as another, 83. But in both instances Hannah Glasse is copying a recipe from earlier books, complete with the suggested alternative, so the credit for these practical tips is not hers and the recipes do not provide evidence that she had a mazarine herself. Elizabeth David (in Nott, 1980 reprint) comments on the 17th century meaning of ‘Mazarene dish’ and the derivation of the term. As she has since pointed out to us, mazarine had another meaning in the middle of the 18th century, and perhaps earlier. Judith Bannister’s essay on ‘The Bristol Family Silver at Ickworth’ (Country Life, 4 September 1980) shows a silver fish dish with a pierced oval ‘mazarine’, or draining plate, which fitted into it, by Kandler, 1751.(Glasse, 1747)

MEAD or MEATH: ‘a drink made of Ginger, Sugar, Honey and Spring water boiled together’ (Randle Holme). In The Country Gentleman and Farmer’s Monthly Director, second edition, 1727, p. 20, Bradley praised mead as ‘an excellent nourishing Drink’, but wondered why it was ‘not more frequent seeing how easily it may be had’. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MEADSWEET, Mead-sutt: meadowsweet. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MEAGER SOUP, 76. Like the French Soupe maigre, a soup suitable for use on meatless days.(Glasse, 1747)

MEASURES. Those given by Hannah Glasse for weight, such as two pounds or one ounce, correspond to modern usage. In dealing with formal cook’s measures of liquid capacity it is necessary to remember that the British imperial pint was not introduced until the 19th century, so that Hannah Glasse’s pint was equivalent to 16 fluid ounces, which is what the American pint was in her time and still is. Informal, because without a legal definition, measures of capacity are more difficult to construe. What did Hannah Glasse mean by ‘a glass’, ‘a spoonful’, and ‘a teaspoonful’? Such questions have a familiar ring, because they pose themselves also in connection with much more recent recipe books; and a cook with experience, and willingness to experiment a little, should have no real problem here. However, it is worth pointing out that: a teaspoon seems to have been a larger measure in the 18th century, when its main use was for measuring rather than stirring, than the standard teaspoon of the late 20th century (see Stead, 1983, Part II, 23), so that ‘a large teaspoonful’ (? meaning a heaped teaspoon) might be the equivalent of a modern tablespoon measure (unheaped); ‘a spoonful’ is best interpreted as somewhere between I and 2 modern tablespoons (see Hess, 1981, 517); and the meaning of a glass no doubt varied in the 18th century as it does today, but it seems that the ‘glasses’ commonly in the kitchen at that time were sweetmeat and jelly glasses and that the capacity of these was something like 100-150 ml (in the region of 4 fl oz).(Glasse, 1747)

MEATH: mead. Small meath (Receipt 203) was weaker, just as small beer was the weaker of beers. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

MEDULLES, medullosus: having the texture of pith. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MEER SAUCE, 230-31. May explains how to make a sauce of this name, but the name itself is a puzzle. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MELACATTON, 249, 251 -2: now melocoton, a kind of peach. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MELLILOT or melilot, is a plant of the clover family (Melilotus altissima). In some places (cit. OED) is grew in cornfields to such an extent as to impart a rank flavour to the bread of the district. (William Ellis, 1750)

MELLIPEDES, common woodlice, used frequently in 17th century medicine, but dropped from the pharmacopeiae in the 18th century. The use of them by Hannah Glasse, 159, for Hysterical Water no doubt represents traditional practice. The recipe was taken from Eliza Smith (1742).(Glasse, 1747)

MELOLETT is a way of spelling melilot, Melilotus altissima, a plant of the clover family, probably introduced to England in the 16th century. It was used for making plasters and poultices, as well as in the traditional receipt for Plague-water, 159.(Glasse, 1747)

MELT, milt: the soft roe of the male fish, therefore the‘fine melt carpe’ in Receipt 23, is the same as Robert May’s ‘special male carp’ (Accomplisht Cook, p. 301). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

MELTS, milt, the soft roe of a (male) fish.(Glasse, 1747)

MERERY, GREEN. The word merery, 159, cannot be traced. It may be a misprint for mercury, Chenopodium bonus-henricus, otherwise known as Good King Henry, which is mentioned by Evelyn (1699) and many other authors as a pot herb and salad ingredient.(Glasse, 1747)

MERRYGOLDS, marigolds.(Glasse, 1747)

METHEGLIN, 276, ‘confected from honey with warm aromatic herbs, was a particular drink of the Welsh’ (Wilson, 1973). (Robert May, 1660/1685)

METHEGLIN: ‘a drink made of all sorts of wholesom Herbs boiled and strained with Honey and Water, and set to work with Bearm, as Ale of Beer’ (Randle Holme). (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MICHAELMAS: September 29. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MICHAELMAS: 29th September or, more generally, autumn. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

MILT, MILTS: The roes of male fish. In mammals, the spleen. (John Nott, 1726)

MILT: the soft roe of a (male) fish. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MISERERE PSALM: Psalm 50: as unit of time approximately 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MITHRIDATE, 159, an expensive medicine in the form of an electuary, made up of many ingredients and considered to be a universal antidote against poisons and infections. It took its name from King Mithridates, who was reputed to have made himself immune to poisons by constantly taking very small doses of them as antidotes.(Glasse, 1747)

MITHRIDATE is an electuary considered effective against poisons and infections. It was named after Mithridates, King of Pontus, who himself was a master of counteracting poisons – by dosing himself with small amounts to build up resistance. (William Ellis, 1750)

MITTONNER: simmer (French). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MONASTICK: M 38. An elaborate dish of rice and chicken. The name is a puzzle. A Monastick was a monastic order, also a monk. There seems to be no reason for singling out this dish as of particular monastical origin or association. (John Nott, 1726)

MORILS, MORELS: In French morilles, highly-prized mushrooms with honeycomb-like caps which appear in spring and again in autumn. It is to be doubted that Nott or his readers had much first-hand experience of morels. Nowadays morels can be bought dried—at a price— and are excellent. (John Nott, 1726)

MORILLE or MORILL (morel): Bradley was particularly partial to this edible fungus and tried to promote knowledge of it in many of his writings. In The Country Gentleman and Farmer’s Monthly Director, second edition, 1727, pp. 71-2, he said that morels were ‘so single a rarity’ that he could not avoid ‘acquainting the Farmer of their excellence, that he may not pass them by as things to be disregarded, for they make an excellent Dish either broil’d or stew’d’. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MOSSES: M 45. These appear to be purely decorative. (John Nott, 1726)

MOTHER: to become mouldy, feculent. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MOTHER OF WINE: lees. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MOTHER OF TIME, 22. Along with ‘running time’ and ‘creeping time’, a name given in Gerard (1633) for wild thyme, Thymus serpillum. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MOTHER-THYME: wild thyme, Thymus serpyllum: thought of as a hot dry herb. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MOTHERWORT. This is Leonorus cardiaca, a medicinal plant introduced into England in the Middle Ages for use in connection with heart trouble and difficult childbirth.(Glasse, 1747)

MOULDS, BRASS, OF COATS OF ARMS: Fritter moulds, or batter irons. See Fritter. (John Nott, 1726)

MOUNTAIN is mountain wine, fortified wine from Malaga grown in the mountains immediately to the north of that city. (William Ellis, 1750)

MOUNTAIN WINE, 121, a variety of Malaga wine made from grapes grown on the mountains. Referred to simply as Mountain, 124.(Glasse, 1747)

MOUSE EAR: hawkweed, Hieracium pilosella. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MOY, TARTS OF: Bone marrow tarts. Moy is a corruption of moelle, marrow. (John Nott, 1726)

MOY, TART DE, 74. A bone marrow tart, moy being a corruption of moelle, the French word for marrow.(Glasse, 1747)

MUDGELL-HOLE is not defined by OED, but perhaps means standing water in a yard that is ‘muddled’ by ducks and geese, or one that is an outlet for drains. (William Ellis, 1750)

MUGGET 25 220: the intestines of a cow or sheep. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MUGGET is the intestines of a calf or sheep. (William Ellis, 1750)

MUGWORT: Artemisia vulgaris, medicinal. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MUGWORT-WATER. Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris, was one of the best known medicinal plants, reputed to drive away evil spirits as well as simple corporeal ailments and even travellers’s weariness. The juice of mugwort was used for certain purposes, as were the roots and a decoction prepared from the leaves. It seems clear that the reference at 158 is to a decoction.(Glasse, 1747)

MUKEFIED 51, a mistake for MUSKEFIED, 147: flavoured with musk (see below). (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MUM: See M 53. A somewhat more complex beverage than would be suggested by the C.O.D’s definition: ‘kind of beer originally brewed in Brunswick’. (John Nott, 1726)

MUM: a kind of beer brewed in Brunswick, Germany, imported in large quantities into England in the 17th and 18th centuries. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MUM, a liquid which, if added to mushroom ketchup, makes it taste like foreign ketchup, 156. Dr Johnson (1755) gives a definition: ‘Ale brewed with wheat’; one quotation which shows that mum was brewed at Brunswick in Germany; and another (from Pope) to illustrate its effects: ‘The clam’rous crowd is hush’d with mugs of mum, / Till all tun’d equal send a general hum.’ Anne Wilson (1973) writes: ‘Brunswick mum, a heady and potent herbal ale matured for two years before drinking, was popular in the late seventeenth century, and for a time was retailed at special mum-houses.’ Her references for this passage include one to Houghton (1681), who gives the recipe for making it.(Glasse, 1747)

MUM is a kind of beer originally brewed in Brunswick and imported during the 17th and 18th centuries (OED). However, John Nott gives a recipe and refers to English mum-makers: the beer was aged and complex, full of aromatics and flavourings. (William Ellis, 1750)

MUMMY. The word, which occurs most often in the expression ‘boiled to a mummy’, e.g. at 52, meant a pulpy substance or mass. In medicinal usage it meant an unctuous, gummy substance, which took its power from the embalming drugs used to conserve a corpse, and was meant to do the same for the patient who ingested it. It is noteworthy in this connection that Egyptian mummies were powdered for medicinal use, but that, as the supply was limited, criminals were embalmed and then ground to ‘mummy’ for sale to druggists.(Glasse, 1747)

MURK: Corruption of marc, the husks and pips of grapes and apples left after the fruit has been pressed for wine or cider. (John Nott, 1726)

MUSCADEL, MUSCADINE: Sweet wines made from muscat grapes, originally imported from Cyprus and Crete, later from Italy. John Evelyn mentions the rare Muscatello for which Mont Alcino in Tuscany was famous Muscadel grapes were also at one time grown in England and wine made from them. In 1621 James Howell recorded mustatel grapes and wine made from them, sent every year to the King from Mr. Daniel’s estate at Long Melford in Essex (Familiar Letters 1645)

MUSCLE, an old spelling of mussel. It is interesting that in two places, 95 and 116, Hannah Glasse bids one pick out the crab if any. She is referring to a tiny crab, Pinnotherespisum, which lives inside mussel shells. Unlike Pinnotheres ostreum, the American oyster crab, which is a delicacy, it seems not to be edible.(Glasse, 1747)

MUSCOVY: musk stork’s bill, Erodium moschatum, a sweet-smelling herb. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MUSHROOMS. These were one of Bradley’s main gastronomic enthusiasms and he did everything he could to persuade English gardeners and nurserymen to adopt the French method of constructing mushroom beds, which ensured a constant supply all the year round. (For further details of this campaign, which started around 172l, see A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening, volume I, 1726, chapter 5.) Later, in 1726, Bradley noted that his observations concerning the raising of mushrooms had been ‘so well receiv’d, that there is now hardly a Garden of any Note near London without them, or where there has not been Attempts made to produce them in every Month of the Year…’. (See the chapter on truffles in the Appendix to New Improvements of Planting and Gardening, 1726.) See also the entries under MORILLE and TRUFFLE. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

MUSHROOMS. These are referred to, 164, as being grown on hot beds. The practice was already familiar to Evelyn (1699).(Glasse, 1747)

MUSK, 27, MUSKEDINE, 275. Musk, a substance with a distinctive and strong scent, is secreted by a gland common to several animals, notably the musk deer. A similar scent was detected in some plants, e g the musk-mallow, the muscat grape, and the musk melon (May’s musk-mellon’). May used muskedine as a noun which could denote either a biscuit flavoured with musk, 181, or a sweetmeat similarly flavoured, 275, or the wine used for wassel’, 296. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

MUSK: the perfume extracted from a gland (the size of an orange) in the male musk-deer, filled with a dark brown or chocolate-coloured secretion which is the consistence of ‘moist gingerbread’ when fresh, but dries to a granular texture after keeping (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition). Much used in cookery, see Receipt 37 for example, although Karen Hess argues that by the time this ms was compiled both musk and ambergris were out of fashion and more honoured in the breach than the observance of the recipes wherein they figured.. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

MUSK: Highly scented substance secreted in the abdominal glands of the male musk deer. Used in perfumery, confectionery, creams, cakes, often in conjunction with rosewater. In M 71 Nott explains how to make musk-scented sugar. (John Nott, 1726)

MUSK, a scented substance secreted in the abdominal glands of the male musk deer. Used in confectionery.(Glasse, 1747)

MUST: new wine. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

MUTTON, 161. Ram-mutton and ewe mutton need no explanation. Weather mutton was meat of a castrated male sheep.(Glasse, 1747)


MUTTON, GAMMON OF: See M 83. Mutton hams or gammons were once quite common. Nott’s formula is very fanciful. Designed perhaps to disguise the strong smell of elderly sheep. (John Nott, 1726)

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