Mary Hawker's recipe book

  • Mary Hawker
  • Archives and manuscripts
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Mary Hawker's recipe book. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


Manuscript containing domestic / culinary recipes, with calligraphic ownership statement, Mary Hawker, inscribed on inner leave along with the date 1691. No further details about Mary Hawker are known.

The volume is 16 x 22 cms and 26 pages in total; as well as some additional loose recipe papers folded within the manuscript. It also contains examples of early shorthand, and there seems to be another hand within the volume. Towards the reverse of the volume, there are household guidelines and instructions, such as how to remove stains from silk.

Folder 2 contains papers about the manuscript, including correspondence with record offices about the manuscript, and a document titled "Mary Hawker - her book, 1691" which was a (mostly fictionalised) account of Mary's life written by the donor's borther. Also includes the envelope that the volume was contained in since c. 1980s.

A partial transcription of the shorthand created by a researcher is saved in the collection file.



Physical description

1 volume


Ownership note

Volume inherited by donor from her grandmother. It was given to the donor's grandmother in 1930s by a friend who apparently had no family. This friend had, in turn, received the volume from an aunt. Beyond this, the donor did not know anything further about the item's provenance. The volume was offered to Wellcome as a gift in 2019.

Where to find it

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Accession number

  • 2539