Elizabeth Evans, Businesswoman and Philanthropist

Elizabeth Evans was the daughter of a wealthy, self-made businessman.  She married a man who was the son of a businessman, who was successful himself in his family’s business, and, after his death, married his half-brother.  During her second marriage, as a partner in the bank and businesses, Elizabeth utilized talents to make her mark as a businesswoman and as a philanthropist.  During the Georgian era, women were theoretically subsumed into their husbands.  However, there were some women who managed to make their marks in the business world.  Elizabeth Evans was one of them.

To read more about Elizabeth Evans, please visit the ENGLISH HISTORICAL FICTION AUTHORS blog.

Interesting Finds: Louis Ude French Chef

In the course of doing research for a non-fiction book due next year with Pen and Sword Publishing, I ran across an interesting character: Louis Eustache Ude, French chef.

Louis Eustache Ude was born around 1769, the son of a chef who cooked at the court of Louis XVI in France.  Louis was briefly apprenticed there as as well, left to try other occupations, and then returned to cooking.  He cooked for Napoleon’s mother, Maria Letizia Buonaparte for 2 years.  Moving on to England (probably late 18th-early 19th century), he went to work for William and Maria Molyneux, 2nd Earl and Countess of Sefton, with whom he stayed for almost 20 years.  The Earl and his countess were known for lavish dinners and select parties. His cuisine must have been greatly appreciated, as the Earl paid Ude 300 guineas per year, and left Ude 100 guineas in his will. While in the earl’s employ, Ude published his first cookbook, THE FRENCH COOK, in 1813. It is said that Ude left the earl’s service when the earl’s eldest son put salt in a soup Ude had prepared.  The exact dates of service for the earl are not known.

After leaving the Earl’s service, Ude went to work for the Duke of York.  After the duke’s death in 1827, he went to work for Crockford’s, a gaming club in St. James’s Street, where he was paid 1200 pounds per year to start.  He was there until late 1838 or early 1839, when he left over a salary dispute.  He was replaced at Crockford’s by Charles Elme’ Francatelli (about whom more here  ), while he moved on to work at other clubs.  His cookbook, which he re-titled THE FRENCH COOK: A System of Fashionable, Practical, and Economical Cookery, Adapted to the Use of English Families, went into numerous editions. (It is interesting to note that Mrs. Beeton is rumored to have included Ude’s recipe for turtle soup in her own cookbook.)  Ude was living in London when he died April 10, 1846.

Sources include:

Cooksinfo.com “Louis Eustache Ude” by Randall Oulton, published December 31, 2005 and updated May 10, 2018.  (c) 2010.  HERE

GoogleBooks.com THE NATIONAL REVIEW Vol 25, March-August, 1895.  pp. 784-785. London: Edward Arnold. “The Literature of Cookery (18th and 19th Centuries)” by A. Kenney Herbert. HERE

Morningmail.org “Indigestion: Dinner with high drama” (no author or post date shown). HERE

Oldcookbooks.com “Ude, Louis Eustache. The French Cook” (no author or post date shown). HERE

Diana Hill, Miniaturist

Over on the English Historical Fiction Authors’ blog, I wrote about Diana Hill, a talented artist in 18th century England.

Diana was born about 1760, possibly in London, to George Dietz, a jeweller. Her mother’s name is unknown.  Very little is known about her youth, except that she learned how to paint miniatures from Jeremiah Meyer, who painted miniatures for King George III and Queen Charlotte, and was a foundation member of the Royal Academy in 1768. Mr. Meyer had a son who went to Calcutta, and was employed as a civil servant.  In 1775, Diana Dietz exhibited miniatures at the Society of Artists. That year, for “promoting the Polite and Liberal arts” [1],  she also won a silver palette and five guineas from the Society of Arts (Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce) for her drawings of flowers.  During the period 1777-1798, she exhibited miniatures at the Royal Academy, under her own name Diana Dietz from 1777-1780. One such painting was a portrait exhibited in 1778.

 To read more about Diana, go the the English Historical Fiction Authors’ blog HERE.

[1] TRANSACTIONS OF THE SOCIETY INSTITUTED AT LONDON, FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF ARTS, MANUFACTURES AND COMMERCE, WITH THE PREMIUMS OFFERED IN THE YEAR 1784, Volume II.  p. 124.

 

The Duke of Wellington’s Female Circle: Frances, Lady Shelley

Frances Lady Shelley 001 Lady Shelley, from a miniature by G. Sanders, in the possession of Spencer Shelley Esq.

Over on the English Historical Fiction Author’s blog, we meet Frances, Lady Shelley, a dear friend and correspondent of the Duke of Wellington.

Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was known to enjoy women, particularly pretty, intelligent women. He was credited with many mistresses (whether or not true) and he had many women friends whose company he enjoyed. One of these women was Frances, Lady Shelley. Lady Shelley was a notable diarist.

Frances was born in June 16, 1787 at Preston, Lancashire. Her father was Thomas Winckley, and her mother was Jacintha Dalrymple Hesketh. Originally known as Janet or Jennet, Jacintha was the previously-widowed sister of the famous courtesan Grace Dalrymple Elliot, whose family had a connection to the Earl of Peterborough. Jacintha and Thomas were descended of Jacobite families and they married in 1785. Thomas was about 17 years older than Jacintha. Jacintha had children (5 daughters and a son) by her first husband. Apparently Thomas did not care for the Hesketh connection; only one of Lady Shelley’ half-siblings lived in the household with her and her parents, and they rarely met the Hesketh siblings. The household was not a particularly happy one; Thomas spent a lot of time with his cronies, drank heavily and liked to play pranks. Accounts indicate that Thomas was quite well off. Shortly after moving his family to Larkhill, Thomas died in 1794, leaving his widow, their daughter Frances and 2 illegitimate sons. Jacintha inherited the house and furniture; the residue of Thomas’ estate was left to Frances, who was 6 years old….

To read more, visit the English Historical Fiction Author’s blog HERE.

Illustration is a scan of the image in my personal copy of THE DIARY OF FRANCES LADY SHELLEY 1787-1817 Edited by her grandson Richard Edgcumbe. 1912: John Murray, London.

Sources are listed in the post on the English Historical Fiction Authors blog.

The Experienced English Housekeeper

THE EXPERIENCED ENGLISH HOUSEKEEPER 001

My enthusiasm for old cookbooks continuing unchecked, I was delighted when I ran across a reprint of Elizabeth Raffeld’s THE EXPERIENCED ENGLISH HOUSEKEEPER, published in 1769. This book was researched by a gentleman named Roy Shipperton, who died before it was published. It was edited and brought to life by Ann Bagnell. Having written about Georgian era recipes before, I am no stranger to dishes that would be considered unusual by modern standards, such as ox palates (see an earlier blog here). I was intrigued to see that she included 3 recipes for ox palates. However, I was very interested to learn that she seemed particularly interested in cakes and flummery. In fact, she is known for producing the first written recipe for “Bride Cake”.

Her “Bride Cake” is a single layer and requires four pounds of flour, the same of butter, two pounds of sugar, mace and nutmeg, blended with thirty-two eggs. Being a fruitcake, significant quantities of currents, almonds, citron, candied orange and lemon are included, with a pint of brandy. Her directions are very clear on how to blend the butter, eggs and flour, and the process of pouring the batter over the fruits in layers into the pan. Once in the oven, the baking time is three hours. The icing is a two-layer icing, very similar to modern icing, for which the recipes are also included. I envision a very large cake indeed!

Flummery is a molded pudding made with cream, sugar, a gelatin and a starch. Elizabeth Raffald used ground almonds for the starch and calves’foot stock for the gelatin. Her instructions for preparation of the flummery, preparing the molds and for unmolding are very clear. She also included directions for coloring the pudding pink, yellow or green.

Elizabeth Raffald was a fascinating woman, about whom I have written a post that will appear on English Historical Fiction Authors’ Blog on Thursday, April 25 here. I hope you will watch for it!

Source:
Raffald, Elizabeth. THE EXPERIENCED ENGLISH HOUSEKEEPER with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom, edited by Ann Bagnall. 1997: Southover Press, Lewes.
Image is a scan of my personal copy.

Royal Worcester Porcelain

Over on the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, I wrote about Royal Worcester Porcelain. Founded under the guidance of Dr. John Wall in 1751, beautiful porcelain was created for over 250 years. To read more, visit
the English Historical Fiction Authors blog HERE

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Cup c 1775-1790 in the collection of the Auckland Museum

Illustration: Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons HERE

The British Lying-in Hospital: Health Care for Women in Georgian England

I’ve posted on the English Historical Fiction Authors blog today on a specialized hospital for women.

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Attribution: Wellcome Collection gallery (2018-04-03): https://wellcomecollection.org/works/yhnmeumy CC-BY-4.0

Specialised health care seems such a modern concept. When we read about medicine in the past, many things seem primitive and downright frightening. An especially vulnerable population is that of pregnant women. Midwives are the primary caregivers that come to mind. Generally one imagines a woman during the Georgian era giving birth at home, surrounded by female relatives under the guidance of a midwife. Although childbirth was considered a female issue, women of wealth and position were often under the care of an accoucher (a doctor trained in obstetrics or a male midwife). Princess Charlotte the daughter of the Prince of Wales during the Regency (later George IV) was under the care of society doctor Sir Richard Croft (there was a very sad outcome but that is for another article by Regina Jeffers here). What about women who did not have the money, the female relatives or even the home for her labour? The British Lying-in Hospital for Married Women provided an answer for some. The British Lying-In Hospital for Married Women on Brownlow St. in Long Acre was not the first established but it was the first to come to my attention.

To read more, visit the English Historical Fiction Authors blog HERE.

Illustration: Wikimedia Commons HERE

Margaret Campion, Business Woman

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Over on the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, I have a new post up.

Historically, women had limited options for their lives, and Georgian England was no exception. As any reader of Jane Austen’s novels knows, this situation resulted in marriage being a primary career objective. Lack of education and property laws restricted the ability of many women to support themselves respectably, or even adequately. However, there were always exceptions. Margaret Holt Campion, known as the first Lady Banker in northern England, was one of them. Read morehere.

Illustration of Campion Bank House by Mike Kirby herefrom Wikimedia Commons

Grosvenor Chapel

On the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, a visit to Grosvenor Chapel…

St. George’s, Hanover Square was (and still is) the most venerable church in Mayfair, the most fashionable district of London by the end of the 18th century. This district was home to the bluest of blood. Consequently, St. George’s, Hanover Square was the chief site of baptisms, burials and, most importantly, weddings for the highest society in London during the Georgian era and beyond. (Over 1000 marriages were conducted there in 1816 alone.) Grosvenor Chapel, located nearby at 24 South Audley Street, is not as well known…. Read more here.