Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 24 No. 2 May 2009

All credit to Anne Blencowe.

Editing and interpreting The Receipt Book of Lady Anne Blencowe tells you that my main interest is in historical recipes. However as a medical herbalist I keep a select library of recipe books to encourage my patients in healthy eating. I have never thought of “The Receipt Book” as one of these, filled as it is with delicious recipes enriched with cream, sugar and alcohol. Imagine my surprise on opening a newly published 2nd edition of Healing Foods for Special Diets to find ‘Mrs. Blencowe's Green Pea Soup with Spinach’.

I recognised the recipe and there above was a note stating that Mrs. Blencowe had been the wife of a 17th century Member of Parliament. The author had clearly obtained it from the 1925 edition. In her adaptation she had omitted several herbs and the cloves, introducing garlic instead, but keeping the mace flavouring. She had inevitably also exchanged butter for olive oil, while reducing the quantity by about two thirds.

Clearly Anne Blencowe's recipe had made a great impression, for while the book inevitably contains classic recipes from several countries, this is the only one out of over 250 to be credited to a particular person. Three hundred years on, the Blencowe name shines through. Perhaps we should all be looking out for more evidence.

Tina Stapley, England
author of The Receipt Book of Lady Anne Blencowe

receipt book

In 1998 I was surprised to find the recipe for ‘Mrs. Blencowe's Green Pea Soup with Spinach’ in a diabetic cookbook.

There are still copies left of The Receipt Book of Lady Anne Blencowe by Tina Stapley.

Contact Peter Blencowe if you'd like one.


For further information on the above articles or to make contact with the contributors contact Anne at editor @

updated: 15 August 2009