Exploring CPP 10a214 – Five Years On: Of Binaries and Collaboration

Editorial: This is the eighth of a series of reflection posts from Recipe Project contributors and editors.

By Rebecca Laroche and Hillary Nunn

When we began this blog project in February 2013, we did not know where it was going to take us. We always saw our work with College of Physicians of Philadelphia Manuscript 10a214 as a work in progress, a work on progress. Given our different backgrounds and interests, we had a sense of the themes that may emerge, but in reading back through our collaborative endeavor, we can clearly see our efforts to locate the College of Physicians manuscript in time and place, but we also have seen how avenues of inquiry have permeable definition and numerous overlaps, can evolve and change. In particular, we have seen how working with recipe books requires a different sense of textual identity, that the individuals involved are not simply individuals – fixed identities tied to one lifespan and contained geographical boundaries – but rather entities that exist together as an interrelated network of being across time and space.

After all, this is a do-si-do book: on one side a collaborator who seems to have died for the Parliamentarian cause, and on the other, likely a man who was imprisoned as a Royalist. There are two compilers, but to treat them as being in binary opposition is misleading. Furthermore, extending these political differences to their wives and mothers, named as authorities and owners of the book, would be a mistake. There are also numerous people who probably never saw the book but who nonetheless are cited within it and who therefore influenced its creation. How these voices came to be captured within one collection is part of its mystery, but it is clear that these disparate elements are not oppositional, but rather in conversation with each other. The result is a multivocal, overlapping mixture of concerns.

To say that the two of us are working in a binary structure is also a temptation, with Rebecca concentrating on the textual history and Hillary working from a different angle on the geopolitical history. But this is not actually true. Looking at source material, from John Gerard’s Herball to Lancelot Andrewes’s Private Devotions, and imagining recipe exchanges between Anne Dacre and Elizabeth Downing illuminates a text that is many texts, spanning over a century of production, at once. Similarly, finding out more about those less famous people who contributed their recipe knowledge to the manuscript brings a different sense of how domestic practices were communicated outside of print in the time period. In the course of our research, which is indexed here, we have pursued timelines of personal history for those named in the manuscript (birth to death, marriage, children, and occupational appointments), religio-political history (particularly around the English Civil War), and textual history. While most of the relevant dates fall between 1606 (birth of Calybute Downing) and 1680 (death of Edward Layfield), the cross generational circulation of recipes and the staying power of print mean that the earliest associated dates extend well back into the 16th century and forward into the 18th. What we have discovered is that our seemingly separate topics are embedded in interconnected networks. Our efforts have helped us locate the text, but we have come to realize that we may never pinpoint it, and that doing so would be inaccurate and falsely stable. In fact, we have come to see that recipe manuscripts challenge that very desire for stability.

Furthermore, our work has been influenced by a collection of other scholars and texts in a mode that no doubt mirrors the circulation that gave rise to the CPP manuscript. Numerous postings to the Recipes Project blog itself have leaked into our thinking – as have our monthly conversations with Early Modern Recipes Online Collective steering committee members. As a result, Elaine Leong’s name occurs several times in these postings, for example. But there are certainly conversations that we’ve had that have less clear-cut trails through our thinking as well. Attempting to trace these networks is at the heart of our collaborative efforts, even though there will always be elements that escape our recognition.

This is not to say that we have made no progress in articulating the complicating connections embodied in the CPP manuscript. We have realized that, while we first hoped to discover how a Parliamentarian text fell into Royalist ownership, our terminology was unhelpfully confining. Instead, we now hope to articulate how people with such seemingly different views occupied the same, or overlapping, networks. In doing so, we hope to also complicates similar ideological categorizations that might hinder our readings of other texts. In the end, we may have to ask how the fluid nature of recipes and their circulation break apart/open the historicist project.

Without the Recipes Project and the collaborative possibilities it offers, articulating these observations would have been far more difficult. Having the space, and opportunity, to report our research in increments has enlivened our project, allowing room for serendipitous discoveries in the archives, as well as in conversations with colleagues. Our work with the CPP manuscript has already taken us in some surprising directions, and our continued engagement with the text will no doubt bring other unexpected possibilities. And we can’t wait to report them all here in the coming months.

EXPLORING CPP 10A214: A New Candidate for the Layfield Hand, Part 1

By Hillary Nunn with Rebecca Laroche

The more Rebecca Laroche and I work with the College of Physicians manuscript, the more enmeshed we become with the religious politics of the mid-seventeenth century. Rebecca’s most recent post, on the transcription of the “Horologe” from Lancelot Andrewes’ Private Devotions, not only provides additional evidence for dating the manuscript in the 1640s, it connects the Layfield hand even more securely to the world of the church.

This new context makes our latest discovery even more exciting: we have a new idea of the person behind Hand 2, thanks to a new writing sample from the archives.

Looking for potential “E. Layfield”s while at the Folger Shakespeare Library, I stumbled across the following image of a signature from the State Papers Online.[1]
LayfieldSig1

The L and y immediately caught my eye: our Layfielde, I thought, had those:
Probatum Anne Layfield

But the match isn’t perfect. For one thing, the f is substantially different in this signature, as is the e. And then, of course, there’s the spelling. As much as we know early modern people often used variant spellings of their own names, the new signature’s ei is repeated in another of Edward Layfield’s signatures of the period:
LayfieldSignDraft2
I immediately knew that I needed an expert opinion. Besides, this new signature belonged to Edward Layfield, Archdeacon of Essex, and Edward Layfield, rector of Wakes Colne from 1640 to 1666, had seemed our most likely candidate. The signatures, moreover, carried the date 1660, and our recipe manuscript’s inscription says the book belonged to a Layfield – Anne – in 1640. But the similarities made it well worth pursuing.

I consulted with Heather Wolfe and Sarah Powell at the Folger, and their verdict was a resounding maybe. The idea that the newly-found signatures belonged to the same person as the CPP manuscript’s Hand 2, they told me, was “plausible, but not provable.” They noted that the distinctive h in the letters’ archdeacon does not commonly appear in the CPP manuscript, but they also pointed out that the two new Edward Layfield signatures were different from one another as well, with substantially difference ds. in Layfield. Could Mr. Layfield’s handwriting be changing in his later years?

While this verdict from the experts surely didn’t give permission for the “eureka!” I’d been stifling, it wasn’t a reason to stop this new line of pursuit, either. So we’ll be taking it further, to see what difference it makes if we consider Edward, not Edmund, as behind the Layfield hand. Church politics will most certainly be involved. More of that to come in the next posting.

 

[1] Both the Edward Layfield signatures come from The National Archives of the UK, as reproduced in State Papers Online. This first image is For University Promotions or Degrees: Certificate by Edw. Layfield, Archdeacon of Essex, and three others, in favour of the petitioner’s orthodoxy and loyalty (SP 29/9 f.130), and the second is Certificate of Edw. Layfield, Archdeacon of Essex, and two others, in behalf of Rich. Beresford (SP 29/10 f.86).

Exploring CPP 10a214: The Downings of Massachusetts Bay

By Hillary Nunn with Rebecca Laroche

The Herrman Moll Map (or the “Post Map”), Map of New England and the adjacent colonies, c. 1729.
The Herrman Moll Map (or the “Post Map”), Map of New England and the adjacent colonies, c. 1729.  Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

No one from the Downing family was at the first Massachusetts Bay Thanksgiving in 1621. It’s interesting to note, though, that the Downings – a family that Rebecca Laroche and I have been mapping into a thoroughly English network of recipe writers – made important contributions to the development of the New England colony. The family’s arrival in North America offers us tantalizing new angles for exploring our recipe manuscript – one that resides at The College of Physicians in Philadelphia, but whose authors all seem to have called England home.

The Downings missed the first Thanksgiving dinner by almost twenty years, arriving in Boston in August of 1628. Emanuel Downing – born in 1585 to Calybute Downing and Elizabeth Wingfield – was a member of the Inner Temple in London; his second wife was Lucy Winthrop, sister of the Massachusetts Bay governor John Winthrop. According to Charles Wentworth Upham, Downing and his brother-in-law “went together, with their whole heart, into the plan of building up the colony.” [1]

Downing bought a farm in Salem, and he remained in the colony until securing an appointment in Scotland in 1655. His son George became the first tutor at Harvard, ventured to the Caribbean, and later returned to England to become a wealthy financier and diplomat, obtaining a baronetcy in the process.[2] At least two of Emanuel and Lucy’s children, however, remained firmly embedded in the New England colony, marrying into the local Gardner family;[3] in fact, Anne Downing Gardner took as her second husband Simon Bradstreet, whose first wife had been the poet Anne Bradstreet.[4]

Emanuel’s Salem farmhouse, meanwhile, continued to be called Downing House; it gained a degree of infamy during the following decades, when its new resident, John Proctor, was tried and hanged for witchcraft.

The American connection forged by this branch of the Downing family offers no easy explanations for the CPP manuscript’s travels. The recipe book, after all, seems to have moved out of the direct Downing line and into the Layfield family’s possession. We have no evidence (yet) whether Anne Layfield ever left England, but her descendants may have. Perhaps they bestowed the manuscript on an American cousin?

A newspaper clipping, dated 1739, wedged inside the manuscript suggests that the book remained a household reference source well into the next century. Unfortunately, the clipping offers no indication of the newspaper’s name or city of origin, nor do the listed ingredients betray any particular local flavor.

But how did the manuscript end up in Philadelphia? The CPP records offer no hints regarding the book’s journey from England to the United States. Nor do the recipes in the book itself suggest any drastic change in location. And, even if we could trace the manuscript’s journey from the Layfield family to a distant relation from Emanuel Downing’s New England line, that would not explain the book’s move from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. We can only hope that further research on the Western half of the Atlantic brings us further clues to the manuscript’s travels.

[1] Charles Wentworth Upham, Salem Witchcraft; with an Account of Salem Village, 45. [http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/texts/tei/Uph1Wit?div_id=d1e9960, accessed 13 Nov 2014]

[2] Jonathan Scott, ‘Downing, Sir George, first baronet (1623–1684)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/7981, accessed 13 Nov 2014]

[3] Upham, 45

[4] Francis J. Bremer, ‘Bradstreet, Simon (bap. 1604, d. 1697)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/37215, accessed 13 Nov 2014]