4 Annotations

Pedro  •  Link

Lamprey and Lamprey pie...

'Lampreys were the favourite dish of the mediaeval epicures: they were always considered a great delicacy. So great was the demand for this fish in the reign of King John, as to have induced that monarch to issue a royal licence to one Sampson, to go to Nantes to purchase lampreys for the use of the Countess of Blois. The same king issued a mandate to the sheriffs of Gloucester (that city being famous for producing lampreys), forbidding them, on their first coming in, to be sold for more than two shillings a piece. In the reign of Edward III., they were some-times sold for eightpence or tenpence a piece, and they often produced a much higher price. In 1341, Walter Dastyn, sheriff of Gloucester, received the sum of £12, 5s. 3d. for forty-four lampreys supplied for the king's use

The corporation of Gloucester presented to the sovereign every Christmas, as a token of their loyalty, a lamprey-pie, which was sometimes a costly gift, as lampreys at that season could scarcely be pro-cured at a guinea a piece. The Severn is noted from its lampreys, and Gloucester noted for its peculiar mode of stewing them; indeed, a Gloucester lamprey will almost excuse the royal excess of Henry I, who died at Rouen, of an illness brought on by eating too freely of this choice fish, after a day spent in hunting.
(Book of Days)

George lee  •  Link

Unlike eels which they resemble, Lampreys are primitive jawless fish found in the Nth Atlantic. Instead of a mouth there is a sucker with rasp like teeth with which they attach themselves to other fish and feast on their body fluids. They grow to about a metre.

Bill  •  Link

A Lamprey Pie.
Wash them clean, and cut them, and season it with Mace, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Sugar, and Salt; lay them in the Pie, with dic'd Lemon, Citron, and Butter; and close it.
---Court Cookery. R. Smith, 1725.

A Lamprey pie, after the English manner.
Let your Lampreys be well cleans'd from their Slime, reserving their Blood, and afterwards put into a Pie of fine Paste, season'd with Pepper, Salt, beaten Cinnamon, Sugar candy'd Lemmon-peel, Dates, and Currans: When it is half bak'd in an Oven moderately heated, pour in the Blood and half a Glass of white Wine; adding also some Lemmon-juice before you serve it up to Table.
---The Court and Country Cook. F. Massialot, 1702.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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