Devon Household Accounts, 1627-59, Part I
Sir Richard and Lady Lucy Reynell of Forde House, 1627-43, John Willoughby of Leyhill, 1644-6, and Sir Edward Wise of Sydenham, 1656-9
These records, of three gentry families from east, west and south Devon, are remarkable for their richness and diversity and provide a unique insight into seventeenth-century life. They illustrate every aspect of the running of the household including the duties of the servants, payments to visiting musicians, purchases of clothing, building accounts and consumption of provisions. In particular the volume includes the kitchen account for Sydenham detailingthe gentry diet, including the importing of wine, the making of venison, woodcock, salmon, quince, lumber and turkey pies, and the purchase of all provisions. The seasons of the year are clearly seen in the accounts including lists of guests for meals at Christmas through Twelfth Night.