Mary Rooke of Langham Hall

We thought we’d take a little break from historic moustaches today to have a look at some more historic recipes.

Our next recipe book from the archives belonged to Mary Rooke, nee Marriott (D/DU 818/1). Mary was the daughter of Joshua Marriott and his wife Mary Edge. Joshua was a Manchester entrepreneur involved in the cloth industry, and Mary married in Manchester in 1774 to Captain George Rooke.

She began keeping her recipe book in 1770 before her marriage, when she was living in Ardwick House in Lancashire. At some point before 1777, Mary and George took up residency at Langham Hall in north east Essex.

As with the other recipe books we have looked at so far, this one contains a mixture of culinary and medicinal recipes, carefully entered and indexed. The book is mostly in Mary’s hand, although the indexes were largely entered by a second hand. The second hand must have belonged to an assistant of some kind, as Mary has gone back and corrected some of its work; she has commented on the second hand’s instructions for ‘Marseilles vinegar against the plague’ that they were a ‘disgrace to the person who began & left the receipt in such an unfinished state’.

You can view images of the whole of Mary’s book on Seax here, but we have picked out a few of our favourites to share with you, including Langham Biscuits, named after her home.

Lemon Cake (image 10)

Take fiveteen eggs leave out half the whites ten ounces of sugar beat and sifted whisk the eggs sugar and the rinds of two lemons grated half a pound of rice flour for half an hour butter your mug that it is bak’d in put it into a quick oven half an hour will bake it dozen bitter almonds will add to the cake.


Waffles (image 10)

D/DU 818/1 image 10 waffles






A pint of new milk half a pound of fresh butter four eggs a little mace or nutmeg a spoonful of brandy & as much flour as will make it as thick as a pancake make your tongs  hot fill them & turn them quick make your sauce of melted butter wine & sugar 


A Rice Pudding (image 13)

D/DU 818/1 image 13 rice pudding

Two ounces of ground rice a pint of cream set ‘em over the fire when it’s thick add half a pound of butter five eggs a quarter of a pint of sack sugar to your taste then put it on a dish with a pastry round it & bake it add to it a quarter of a pound of blanch’d almonds


Langham Biscuits (image 16)

D/DU 818/1 image 16 Langham biscuits





A pound of flour two ounces of butter a few carraway seeds knead it with warm milk roll it into thin cakes bake them two ounces of sugar