fd-Arthur-msg - 10/13/98
Food in the Arthur legends.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 21:19:37 -0400
From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)
Subject: Re: SC - Arthurian Feast (long)
>Some friends and I are putting together a bid for an event with an
>Arthurian theme. Specifically, it will be based on Malory's Morte d'Artur.
>We're looking for ideas for the feast. Ideally, we'd love food mentioned in
>the Morte, however, I haven't had much luck to date. I started with the
>stories of the Kitchen Knight and The Poisoned Apple, neither of which
>If anyone can point me toward food referrences in the Morte, or english
>cookbooks from Malory's time period, I would greatly appreciate the help.
Well, you're in luck. It just so happens I've gleaned all the food- and
hunting-related references I could find from Sir Thomas Malory's (c.1410 -
1471) "Le Morte D'arthur" for my various book projects. Sorry, I've
neglected to add the page/line numbers:
...Than the kynge lette purvey for a grete feste, and also he lette cry
both turnementis and justis thorowoute all his realme, and the day
appoynted and sette at Allhalowmasse...
..And Merlion was so disgysed that kynge Arthure knewe hym nat, for he was
all befurred in blacke shepis skynnes, and a grete payre of bootis, and a
boowe and arowis, in a russet gowne, and brought wylde gyese in hys honde...
...Than the kynge lete make a feste that lasted eyght dayes...
...And than they wente to the batayle agayne, and so hurteled togydirs lyke
too rammes that aythir felle to the erthe...
...Than was thys feste made redy, and the kynge was wedded at Camelot unto
dame Gwenyvere in the chirche of Seynte Stephyns with grete solempnitˇ.
Than as every man was sette as hys degrˇ asked, Merlion wente to all the
knyghtes of the Rounde Table and bade hem sitte stylle, 'that none of you
remeve, for ye shall se a straunge and a mervailous adventure.'...
...And the herte wente aboute the Rounde Table, and as he wente by the
syde-bourdis the brachet ever boote hym by the buttocke and pulde outte a
pece, wherethorow the herte lope a grete lepe and overthrew a knyght that
sate at the syde-bourde...
...Than sir Gawayne and Gaherys rode more than a paas after the whyte
herte, and lete slyppe at the herte thre couple of greyhoundes. And so
they chace the herte into a castel, and in the chyef place of the castel
they slew the hert. Gawayne and Gaherys folowed afftir...
...And within a whyle they com to the hermytage and toke such lodgynge as
was there, and as grasse and otis and brede for their horsis...
...And there he had with hym ryght good chere and fared of the beste with
passyng good wyne, and had myry reste that nyght. And on the morne he
harde masse and dyned...
...Therewythall they ledde the kynge and his felawys into a fayre chambir,
and there was a clothe leyde rychely beseyne of all that longed to a table,
and there were they served of all wynes and metys that they coude thynke
of. But of that the kynge had grete mervayle, for he never fared bettir in
his lyff as for one souper...
...And three damesels turned brochis [spits], and thereon was twelve
chyldir but late borne, and they were broched in maner lyke birdis...
...they fared with the Romaynes as grayhoundis doth with harys...
...they broched barellys and brought them the wyne wyth brede and brawne
and many ryche byrdys...
...sir Launcelot layde hym downe undir this appyll-tre, and his helmet
undir his hede...
...So forthwith there com a foster with four horsys lade with fatte
venyson. And anone sir Kay seyde, 'Here is good mete for us for one
meale, for we had not many a day no good repaste.' And so that venyson was
rosted, sodde, and bakyn...
...And into the kychyn I shall brynge hym, and there he shall have fatte
browes every day that he shall be as fatte at the twelve-monthe ende as a
...'What art thou but a luske [sluggard], and a turner of brochis [spits],
and a ladyll-waysher?'...'Fye on the, kychyn knave! Wolt thou fynyssh myne
adventure? Thou shalt anone be mette withall, that thou woldyst nat for
all the broth that ever thou souped onys to loke hym in the face'...
...'Dwarff,' seyde the lady, 'I am gladde of thys tydynges. Therefore go
thou unto an hermytage of myne hereby and bere with the of my wyne in too
flagons of sylver - they ar of two galons - and also two caste [two
batches] of brede, with the fatte venyson ibake and deyntˇ foules; and a
cuppe of golde here I delyver the that is ryche of precious stonys. And
bere all this to myne hermytage and putt hit in the hermytis hondis...[to
be given to the damsel Lynet and sir Bewmaynes]...And so within a lytyll
whyle they com to the hermytage, and there they dranke the wyne and ete the
venyson and the foulys bakyn...
...dame Lyonesse, ordayned grete aray uppon hir party for hir noble
knyghtys, for all maner of lodgynge and vytayle that cam by londe and by
watir, that there lacked nothynge...
...sir Pertolope seyde, 'I pray you that at this feste I may be your
chambirlayne.'...And than sir Perimones prayde sir Gareth to graunte hym to
be his chyeff butler at the hygh feste...Than com in sir Persaunte of Inde
wyth an hondred knyghtes with hym, and there he dud omage and feautˇ,
and...he requyred sir Gareth that he myght serve hym of the wyne that day
of the hyghe feste...Than cam the Rede Knyght...[and] he asked of sir
Gareth to be his kerver...
...he laboured in huntynge and in hawkynge - never jantylman more that ever
we herde rede of. And as the booke seyth, he began good mesures of
blowynge of beestes of venery, and beestes of chaace and all maner of
vermaynes [vermin], and all the tearmys we have yet of hawkynge and
huntynge. And therefore the booke of venery, of hawkynge and huntynge is
called the booke of sir Trystrams...
...And every day sir Trystram wolde go ryde an-huntynge, for he was called
that tyme the chyeff chacer of the worlde and the noblyst blower of an
horne of all maner of mesures. For, as bookis reporte, of sir Trystram cam
all the good termys of venery and of huntynge, and all the syses and
mesures of all blowyng wyth an horne; and of hym we had fyrst all the
termys of hawkynge, and whyche were bestis of chace and bestis of venery,
and whyche were vermyns; and all the blastis that longed to all maner of
game: fyrste to the uncoupelynge, to the sekynge, to the fyndynge, to the
rechace, to the flyght, to the deth, and to strake [blow a note]; and many
other blastis and termys, that all maner jantylmen hath cause to the
worldes ende to prayse sir Trystram and to pray for his soule...
...And so uppon a day La Beall Isode gate a swerde pryvayly, and bare hit
into her gardyne, and there she pyghte the swerde thorow a plum-tre up to
the hyltis so that hit stake faste, and hit stoode breste-hyghe. And as
she wolde have renne uppon the swerde and to have slayne hirselff...
...So within a day or too kynge Marke commaunded hys knyghtes and his
hunters to be redy, and seyde that he wolde hunte on the morne. And so
uppon the morne he wente into that foreyste...
...And there they bathed hym and wayshed hym and gaff hym hote suppyngis
...and there he fared amonge tho knyghtes as a grehounde amonge conyes...
...My lorde and kynge rode unto the foreyste hereby by the advyse of thes
two traytoures, and there he chaced at the rede deare, armed at all peacis
full lyke a good knyght...
...And at the myddys of his dynar in cam sir Dynadan and began to rayle
[jest]. And than he behelde the Haute Prynce that hym semed wrothe with
som faute that he sawe: for he had a condission [characteristic] that he
loved no fysshe, and bycause [he] was served with fysshe and hated hit,
therefore he was nat myrry. And whan sir Dynadan had aspyed the Haute
Prynce he aspyed where was a fysshe with a grete hede, and anone that he
gate betwyxte two disshis and served the Haute Prynce with that fysshe.
And than he sayde thus:
'Sir Galahalte, well may I lykkyn you to a wolff, for he woll never
ete fysshe, but fleysshe.'
...And so in the meanewhyle sir Trystram chaced and hunted at all maner of
venery. And aboute three dayes afore the batayle that shulde be, as sir
Trystram chaced an harte, there was an archer shotte at the harte, and by
mysfortune he smote sir Trystram in the thyk of the thyghe, and the same
arrow slew sir Trystrams horse undir hym...
...And so on a morne sir Launcelot was ware where cam a grete bore wyth
many houndys afftir hym, but the boore was so bygge ther myght no houndys
tary hym. And so the hunters cam aftir, blowynge there hornys, bothe uppon
horsebacke and som uppon foote...
...So the kynge and all they wente unto the courte, and every knyght knew
hys owne place and sette hym therein. And yonge men that were good
knyghtes served them...
...Also there was clothys coverde uppon the erthe, and many delycious metis
...And than He [Christ] wente oute of the towne and founde in the myddis
the way a fygge-tre which was ryght fayre and well garnysshed of levys, but
fruyte had hit none. Than oure Lorde cursed the tre that bare no fruyte;
that betokenyth the fyg-tre unto Jerusalem that had levys and no fruyte...
...And so he awoke and asked her if she had ony mete, and she seyde 'Yee,
ye shall have inowghe.'
And anone there was leyde a table, and so much meete was sette thereon that
he had mervayle, for there was all maner of meetes that he cowde thynke
...And so by aventure, by evynsonge tyme, he cam to a strong towre and an
hyghe, and there was he herberowde gladly... And anone he was sette to
supper with fleyssh and many deyntees. But whan sir Bors saw that, he
bethought hym on hys penaunce and bade a squyre to brynge hym watir. And
so he brought hym, and he made soppis therein and ete them...
...And hit was in the realme of Logris [England], and so befelle there
grete pestilence, and grete harme to bothe reallmys; for there encresed
nother corne [grain], ne grasse, nother well-nye no fruyte, ne in the watir
was founde no fyssh...
...And than the bysshop made sembelaunte as thoughe he wolde have gone to
the sakeryng of a masse, and than he toke an obley [sacramental wafer]
which was made in lyknesse of brede. And at the lyftyng up there cam a
vigoure [figure] in lyknesse of a chylde, and the vysayge was as rede and
as bryght os ony fyre, and smote hymselff into the brede, that all they saw
hit that the brede was fourmed of a fleyshely man. And than he put hit
into the holy vessell agayne, and than he ded that longed to a preste to do
...'Now,' seyde he, 'the servauntes of Jesu Cryste, ye shull be fedde afore
thys table with swete metis that never knyghtes yet tasted.'...
...Than seyde He to sir Galahad,
'Sonne, wotyst thou what I holde betwyxte ny hondis?'
'Nay,' seyde he, 'but if ye telle me.'
'Thys ys,' seyde He, 'the hold dysshe wherein I ete the lambe on Estir Day...'
...And the kynge prayed hym to put of hys helmet and to repose hym and to
take a soppe of wyne...
...they holde them togydirs as borys that were chaced with doggis...
...So uppon a day, by the assente of sir Lavayne, sir Bors, and sir
Launcelot, they made the ermyte to seke in woodys for diverse erbys, and so
sir Launcelot made fayre Elayne to gader erbys for hym to make hym a bayne
...So at that tyme there was a lady that dwelled in that foreyste, and she
was a grete hunteresse, and dayly she used to hunte. And ever she bare her
bowghe with her, and no men wente never with her, but allwayes women, and
they were all shooters and cowde well kylle a dere at the stalke and at the
treste [by stalking or by lying in wait]. And they dayly beare bowys,
arowis, hornys and wood-knyves, and many good doggis they had, bothe for
the strenge [leash] and for a bate [kill]...
...And that nyght he lete make a dole, and all that wolde com of the towne
or of the contrey they had as much fleyssh and fysshe and wyne and ale, and
every man and woman he dalt to twelve pence , com whoso wolde...
renfrow at skylands.net
Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th
Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing