St John's College U.16

The Caters Booke for the household of Lady Jane Berkeley, English, 1610-12.

Two volumes containing a daily record of kitchen and other expenditure from 30 March 1610 to 26 March 1612.

The entries mostly record expenditure on bread, cereals, meat, poultry, game, fish, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, herbs, drink, conduit water, and other supplies and repairs. Expenditure is totalled at the end of each week, at the end of each quarter, and at the end of the year 1610/11.

These accounts appear to relate to the household of Lady Jane Berkeley (d. 1617), daughter of the courtier Sir Michael Stanhope (d. 1552). Jane's first husband was Sir Roger Townshend of Raynham, Norfolk, and the couple appear to have held positions at court in the 1570s and 1580s. The Townshends were substantial landowners in Norfolk and Sir Roger acquired further land in Middlesex and Essex. Following Sir Roger's death in 1590, Lady Jane married Lord Henry Berkeley (1534-1613), although she seems to have interested herself chiefly in her first husband's family, purchasing a baronetcy in 1617 for her grandson Sir Roger Townshend.

Lady Jane owned a number of houses. Ashley House in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, was built for her between 1602 and 1607. Her Will refers to two further houses, one in the Barbican, London, where she died in 1617, and another at Kensington, constructed after 1613. The accounts in U.16 make frequent references to Ashley and Barbican Houses. The following entries will serve as examples.

Browmes for Ashly howse 4d (4 June 1610)
For a mann to helpe beate the hanginges at barbacan howse 2s (1 July 1610)
For Carring viii Lodes of Stuffe from Ashly howse to the watterside 8s (9 May 1611)
The charge in remouing from Ashly 1li 12s (9 May 1611)
For ii Carres to Remoues my Ladys Stuffe from Clarkenwell to Barbacan howse 2s (24 Sep. 1611)

The accounts record the movement of goods, and occasionally people, to and from localities around London, including Chertsey (e.g. 27 June 1610), Clerkenwell (e.g. 20 Aug. 1611), Kew (e.g. 31 Dec. 1610), Kingston upon Thames (e.g. 30 June 1610), Pimlico (e.g. 26 July 1611), Putney (e.g. 21 Apr. 1611), Queenhithe (e.g. 30 Aug. 1610), Shepperton (e.g. 6 Aug. 1610), Upton (e.g. 20 Jan. 1611/12), and Walton-on-Thames (e.g. 15 June 1610). There are also several references to provisions being brought from Norfolk (e.g. 16 June 1610). The household clearly had some connections at court, since the accounts contain a number of references to visits to Hampton Court and Nonesuch Palace (e.g. 20 Sep. 1610).

The lady of the household is referred to on several occasions, including the following.

A Combe for my Ladys dogges 1d (13 Apr. 1610)
For soope to washe the mattes in my Ladys Chamber 1d (5 July 1610)
Paide to the Carpender for settinge up a shelfe in my Ladyes Closett 1s (25 May 1611)

The accounts also contain mention of some of Lady Jane Berkeley's relations: her brother, Sir Michael Stanhope (12 Sep. and 31 Dec. 1611); Lady Stanhope (e.g. 14 May 1610); Lady Townshend, presumably Anne Townshend, her daughter-in-law (e.g. 25 Dec. 1610 and 30 Dec. 1611); George Townshend (20 Apr. 1610 and 30 Dec. 1611); and her niece, Lady Harte (e.g. 13 May 1610). These entries mostly relate to gifts given by these individuals. In addition, several references can be found to some of Lady Jane's servants: John Harbert (e.g. 4 June 1610) and possibly Richard Mason (e.g. 13 Mar. 1610/11), both of whom are mentioned in Lady Jane's Will.

Manuscript extra information

Vol. 1: 450 x 185mm, 36 fos (+ 3 blank fos at the end). Paper. Limp vellum binding, with vellum tie attached to front cover. The front cover bears the inscription 'The Caters booke beegonn the xxxth of Marche 1610', and various calculations. Single Secretary hand throughout.
Vol. 2: 460 x 200mm, 41 fos (+ 7 blank fos at the end). Paper. Limp vellum binding. The front cover bears the inscription 'The Caters Booke beegonn the xxixth of March 1610'. There are some calculations on the back cover. Same hand as vol. 1 throughout.

Both volumes bear a printed label inside the front cover which reads 'Townshend Heirlooms: Historical Papers'. They clearly formed part of the collection of papers from Raynham Hall, Norfolk, some at least of which were sold at auction in 1911. Volume 1 contains a catalogue description by James Tregaskis, an antiquarian bookseller in London. Tregaskis sold the volumes to Frederick Frost Blackman, Fellow and Steward of St John's, in July 1913, and volume 1 contains a receipt for £3.3.0. The volumes were subsequently given by Blackman's widow to the then Steward, Dr G.E. Daniel, in 1954, and from him they passed to the College Library (Library Committee Minutes 3 Nov. 1954).


James Durham, The Townshends of Raynham: Part I 1398-1600 (Cambridge: Deighton Bell, 1922). This prints extracts from Lady Jane Berkeley's Will on pp. 34-36.
John Gurney, 'Lady Jane Berkeley, Ashley House, and architectural innovation in late-Elizabethan England', Architectural History 43 (2000), 113-120.
James M. Rosenheim, The Townshends of Raynham: nobility in transition in Restoration and early Hanoverian England (Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press, 1989).