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English manuscript recipe book

Identifier: MSS 0097-Item 0156

Scope and Content Note

This circa 1730 English manuscript recipe book includes approximately 300 cooking, medicinal, and domestic recipes or receipts. The volume features colorful watercolor illustrations and a vellum binding. The entries, in various hands, are written in a calligraphic style. The volume appears to have been produced as a copy and may have been a gift to Mary Baker as opposed to having been created by her.

Receipts include cookery recipes for meat, fowl, vegetables, desserts, and beverages including “plumb” cake, rice pudding, pickle cucumbers, and currant wine. Medicinal entries concern such ailments as the sting of an adder, small pox, and salves for various conditions. Additional household recipes include two for ink and a leaden “plaister.”

This volume is housed in a custom case with spine title "Cookery Manuscript Ca. 1730" and includes approximately 176 used pages and a number of blank sheets. The first two pages depict three peacocks, another bird, possibly a peahen, and four trees with small red fruit, possibly cherries. These illustrations are drawn in ink and decorated with watercolor. An incomplete table of contents and an index are included in the volume: although there are 124 pages of carefully written receipts containing about 300 different receipts, the table of contents lists no receipts after Item 240; similarly, the index at the end lists receipts up to Item 271. Following the index is a five page prayer or religious poem.


  • Creation: approximately 1730


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

The owner and possible creator of this manuscript recipe book, Mary Baker, lived in England in the 1730s.

Biographical information derived from dealer description.


1 volume (approximately 176 pages) ; 32 cm


Eighteenth-century English manuscript recipe book owned by Mary Baker, containing approximately 300 cookery and medical recipes.


Purchase, December 1999.

Materials Available in Alternative Format

A digitized copy of the manuscript recipe book is available at the University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository.

Related Materials in This Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0097 Diaries, Journals, and Ships' Logs collection.

Shelving Summary

  1. Item 0156: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

OCLC Number


Processed and encoded by Lynda Gillow, June 2007. Updated by E. Evan Echols, September 2015.

Finding aid for English manuscript recipe book
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2007 June 20
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA