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fd-Arthur-msg - 10/13/98


Food in the Arthur legends.


NOTE: See also the files: fd-Celts-msg, Anglo-Saxons-msg, Arthurian-Fst-art, Arthur-bib, cl-Rom-Brit-art.





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.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    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

>helped much.


>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

porke hog...


...'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

sette thereon...


...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...


Cindy Renfrow

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




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org