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Election Day Feasting

As lockdown continues, the usual Court gathering to elect and install a new Master in July cannot take place in Brewers’ Hall and will be happening virtually instead.  Nor, sadly, can the celebratory luncheon be served afterwards.  Feasting, fellowship and hospitality has always been an integral part of Brewers’ Company life.  The Clerk William Porlond records in his memorandum book details of the election day feast held in 1425:

21 swans
poultry
2 geese
40 capons [a specially reared rooster]
40 conies [rabbit]
48 partridges
12 woodcocks
12½ dozen smaller birds
3 dozen plovers
18 dozen larks
6 dozen little birds.

Freemen and their wives were able to attend so it must have been a large event.  A cook and four assistants were employed to prepare the feast using six turnspits.  Entertainment was provided by players (whether actors or musicians is not specified) and two harpists.

The bill for the election dinner in 1792, kept in the Company’s Scrapbook, records food items more familiar to modern palates, including vegetables, but is equally lavish:

6 dishes of fish
6 chickens
6 capons
2 hams
5 haunches of venison
1 neck
4 venison pasties
2 geese
4 ducks
9 dishes of greens and cauliflower
8 tarts
8 dishes of French beans
lobster, shrimp, anchovy
sauce, plain, butter & gravy
2 legs mutton cooked
coals and wood
currant jelly
use of Queens ware
salt, butter
2 quartern loaves [large loaves often cut into quarters for sale]

What will you be having for lunch on 9 July?