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A loaf of bread, a carton of milk…


A shopping list has turned up under the floorboards of Knole, an ancient and huge country house in Kent. We’ve never been, but it’s just in reach of a day trip and has been on our list since forever.

The note is dated 1633 and appears to have fallen out of a trunk in the attic and worked its way down into the woodwork. It reads:

Mr Bilby, I pray p[ro]vide to be sent too morrow in ye Cart some Greenfish, The Lights from my Lady Cranfeild[es] Cham[ber] 2 dozen of Pewter spoon[es]: one greate fireshovell for ye nursery; and ye o[t]hers which were sent to be exchanged for some of a better fashion, a new frying pan together with a note of ye prises of such Commoditie for ye rest.

Your loving friend
Robert Draper
Octobre 1633

Wikipedia tells me Greenfish is used as the common name of several unrelated groups of fish: Ascension wrasse, Bluefish, Murray cod, Pollock, St. Helena wrasse. Though all of those were discovered after 1633, so most likely it’s this one: “Greenfish” was also formerly used to refer to green cod, fresh or freshly-salted Atlantic cod.

I first saw this story at The Smithsonian‘s FaceBook, which, sadly, spends too much time these days explaining to us important historic facts like the Statue of Liberty is actually a Muslim woman. I used to love that place.

More on this from the Mail and the National Trust.

They’ve been working on a multi-million pound renovation at Knole for some years now. I posted in 2014 about the witch marks found there by workmen.

OH! And a very happy Imbolg to you! Or St Brigid’s Day, if you prefer. Or even Candlemas. In theory, it means the turning toward Spring. In practice — effing February.

February 1, 2017 — 9:30 pm
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