Kitchen Accounts of Sir William Fairfax


f [4] (5 April)


Plaires in beinge my Lord Bartilles men and Tumblers both./


  • Endnote

    The Fairfax family was resident at Gilling Castle.

    'Lord Bartilles' is Henry Berkeley (1534–1613), seventh Baron Berkeley. His seats were at Yate Court, Gloucestershire, and Caludon Castle, Warwickshire, and his company usually appears as 'Lord Berkeley's Players' or less frequently 'Lord Bartlett's Players' (P&P.)

  • Document Description

    Record title: Kitchen Accounts of Sir William Fairfax
    Repository: NYCRO
    Shelfmark: ZCV(F)
    Repository location: Northallerton

    For biographical information on the Fairfax family, see the Introduction. Sir William's steward John Woodward kept daily accounts of expenditures in the kitchen. The set is virtually complete from July 1571 to March 1582, with breaks between July 1572–October 1574, October 1575–November 1578, and October 1579–March 1580. In addition to expenditures on foodstuffs, the steward records on a daily basis the presence of 'strangers' at breakfast, dinner, or supper. Most of these are Fairfax family and friends, though there are some guests of a wider national significance, such as Walter Devereux (b. 1576), first husband of Margaret Dakins (later Lady Margaret Hoby) and brother of Robert Devereux (1566–1601), nineteenth earl of Essex, who visited on several occasions in 1579–80, and (occasionally) performers as well (P&P; Hoby, Diary, p 5). These lists are clearly not exhaustive, since most conclude with the phrase 'with others.' The Great Hall at Gilling, until 2018 the dining hall of Ampleforth Junior School, underwent extensive rebuilding c 1571–85 ('St Martin's Ampleforth, Wikipedia,, accessed 5 January 2021, Yorkshire Guide,, accessed 29 December 2020; Pevsner, North Riding, p 167).

    Because of the closing of the record office due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not currently possible to provide a physical description of the manuscript.

    1–7 April 1581; English; paper; 10 leaves; 300mm x 215mm; unfoliated; repaired; mounted on modern paper with paper wrapper, title on front cover: '2nd Book | 1–7 April 1581.'

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