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Consuming Cromwells in the Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth

This article takes as its subject a hybrid text that offered readers a novel taste of the private life of two well-known figures when it first appeared in the late seventeenth century: a satirical cookbook titled The Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth, Commonly Called Joan Cromwell, THE Wife of the Late Usurper, Truly Described and Represented, And now Made Publick for General Satisfaction. The anonymous author presents the book as the personal recipe collection of Elizabeth Cromwell, widow of the late Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. According to the author, he retrieved these recipes from a gossipy servant eager to let the world in on his former employers’ domestic secrets. He frames the recipes with a 62-page introduction, including the history of Elizabeth Cromwell’s attempts at household management throughout her husband’s military and political career. The book excoriates the Cromwells as vulgar upstarts who harbor grand ambitions but fail spectacularly in their attempts to imitate royalty. Throughout the text they appear as twin forces of disorder operating in their distinct, but connected, domains: Oliver on the battlefield, Elizabeth within the household.

Though Court & Kitchin is not published until 1664, the book’s composition has been dated to early 1660 with its completion no later than April of that year. [i] By that time, Oliver Cromwell had died, and his successor, his son Richard, had been forced out of his position as Lord Protector and into hiding because of excessive debts. Court & Kitchin alludes to these events in its opening address to the reader, as it defends its choice to target the Elizabeth and her family in spite of their apparent “miserable, and forlorn estate” (n.p.). The author excuses himself on the basis that the Cromwells still have much to answer for: “the peculiar Justice due to the monstrous enormities and unparalle’ld insolence of these upstarts, (besides the disproportion and incompetence of any revenge to their provoking impudent personation of Princes) will interestedly vindicate and defend the Author from the breach of charity” (n.p.).

Court & Kitchin sets out to offer this “peculiar Justice,” claiming in its title to reveal the truth about the Cromwells “for General Satisfaction.” The introduction constructs an audience that is hungry for vengeance, one that can trace all its miseries to the “single accursed plots and designs” of Oliver and family. The author’s reference to “many thousand loyal Subjects, who are irrecoverably lost” does not hold out much hope for an improvement in the imagined audience’s material circumstances (n.p.). Nevertheless, the book offers a consolation particular to satire, what the author calls “a little transitory mirth, for twenty years duration of sorrow” (n.p.). Melinda Alliker Rabb’s description of satire’s effects provides an apt framework for approaching Court & Kitchin : “Satire and secrecy can produce intimacy: sharing hidden meanings—ironies, confidences, allusions, inside jokes—creates a sense of community, what Swift calls ‘friends laughing in a corner.’ Perhaps the most dangerous weapon that satire deploys is the disclosure of secrets that contradict sanctioned realities and thereby destabilize them” (2). The author claims to reveal the Cromwells’ domestic secrets, inviting his readers to laugh together from a position of knowing superiority, even if their material circumstances remain depressed.

In this article, I want to focus particularly on how Court & Kitchin mixes metaphorical figurations of eating with actual recipes as it attempts to destabilize any remaining legitimacy the Cromwells might have and entertain its audience in trying times. The opening section of the book depicts Elizabeth Cromwell as a monstrous eater who feasts on the spoils of civil war battles fought by her husband. In turn, readers are invited to consume representations of the Cromwells via recipes that mingle the blood spilled by Oliver in war with that spilled by Elizabeth in her kitchen as part of her everyday culinary practice. These strategies work together to serve readers with a version of the Cromwells that relies on mockery to make the recent past a little easier to digest. The author states his aim directly in a short narrative at the end of the book that brings readers up to speed on the current declining state of the remaining Cromwells, a kind of garnish added to the primary representation the author has prepared. In his closing words, the author figures his book as a “ quelque chose, ” a culinary term used in English cookery books for a kind of fritter in which several different vegetables or meats are mixed together with egg, cream, and spices and fried in butter. This dish is offered, along with the garnish, “to help their Digestion ” as they continue to process a reality in which the Cromwells have not yet been obliterated from public life. As mocking Elizabeth and Oliver allows readers to find pleasure in remembering the recent past, it draws them into a community of defeated royalists, a political community here constructed around a shared set of domestic values depicted as fundamentally alien to the Cromwellian household.

The initial representation of Elizabeth’s housekeeping methods in the introductory section of Court & Kitchin aligns with the ideal gendered division of labor established in household guides and embraced in republican politics. Throughout the narrative of their rise to power, Oliver operates in the public realm, traditionally figured as masculine, while Elizabeth remains in the feminine space of the household, just as conduct literature prescribes. As described by Diane Purkiss, “Conduct-books understand sexual difference through an opposition between the man’s power to circulate and the woman’s absence from circulation. He is to get goods; she is to gather them together and save them” (53). Household guides like Gervase Markham’s The English Housewife honor the woman’s responsibility to gather and save at home as essential for the well-being of her family in an unpredictable world. Markham encourages readers in their duty, as “It is a rule…if we preserve any part, we build strong forts against the adversities of fortune” (7). Court & Kitchin ’s depiction of Elizabeth’s motivation draws from the same pool of imagery as Markham. Anticipating how “the Hurly Burlies of war and the Tempest of Rebellion” in which Oliver “had whirled, and with so much impatient precipitancy engaged himself,” could quickly reduce her family to rubble, Elizabeth “concluded to be more discreetly Armed” (3). Thus the Cromwells are monstrous in their household management, readers are told, not because they subvert masculine and feminine norms but because they take their prescribed roles to such an extreme. The Elizabeth Cromwell portrayed in Court & Kitchin appears to have taken Markham’s advice too literally, fortifying her home with goods pillaged from the domestic strongholds built up by others.

In the depiction of Elizabeth Cromwell’s perverse housewifery, Court & Kitchin echoes class anxieties resonant with the “world-turned-upside-down” discourse of pamphlets published earlier in the Civil Wars. These include abstract representations of violent soldiers like The Grand Plunderer (1643) and The English-Irish Soldier (1642). Described as a “huge, horrid monster, deprived of the eye of Equity,” the Grand Plunderer rampages indiscriminately and “makes no more conscience to swallow up speedily a mans estate at a bite then our Dutch doe to devoure nimbly pills of butter” (1). This vile figure “rejoyces at otheres sorrowe, and rises by their fall: He can hardly subsist but by the spoyle and ruine of his neighbor, to whom such is his implacable malice and cruelty, that for his owne ends his endeavour is to make him a sacrifice” (1). What the Grand Plunderer consumes is lost forever, as despite his gluttony he “never purge[s] for it” (1). Ungoverned by any code of honor, such figures embody the chaos of war and thus play on fears of soldiers “recruited from the dregs of society.” Purkiss argues that “what was horrifying about these figures was the unleashing of their unjust appetites” (41). Court & Kitchin portrays Oliver and Elizabeth Cromwell in this mold, recounting a nightmare scenario in which a pair of lowly plunderers ascends social and political ranks to the peak of power by feeding on the estates and identities of their opponents.

To begin with, readers are told, she “consecrated her House to be the Temple of Rapine ” and honors her chosen goddess by filling her home with property seized from the same community imagined to make up the audience of Court & Kitchin (4). The author reveals what he expects his readers already know too well: “by the manifold Surrender and Stormings of Houses and Castles, Cromwell had amassed good store of rarities, besides Meddals, and gold and silver Vessels” (the spoyls of our Captivity)” (17). Like the Grand Plunderer, the Cromwells prey upon the wreck of their neighbors. The book singles out Elizabeth in particular, and asks, “If the whole inventory of her rapinous hoard were now producible, what a Voracious Monster would she appear to be? [There is] not a Corner in the Kingdome which is not sensible of her Ravage, and which had not a share in the Lombard of her uncountable and numberless Chattels” (19). In one of its uses, the term “Lombard” refers to a kind of minced meat pie, and thus the author accuses Elizabeth of consuming not only a single estate but also the wealth of the kingdom in one vast dish.

In particular, Court & Kitchin recounts the final siege of Basing House in October 1645. Owned by John Paulet, Fifth Marquis of Winchester, Basing House was assaulted by parliamentary forces three times during the first civil war. In the last instance, soldiers under Cromwell’s command stormed the garrison, killed many of those who remained inside, plundered the house, and then demolished it. Soldiers kept some of what they took from the house, and sold other food, furniture, and salvaged building materials from the house to local people. Court & Kitchin tells a different story of property redistribution after the fall of the house: “I have heard it reported for a Truth, that most of the precious moveables, and other things of value at the storming of Basing-House by Cromwell fell into his hands either immediately or directly” (18). From his hands, they passed to Elizabeth, his “Lady Receiver,” who fulfills the housewifely duty to gather and save what her husband provides. “Those pretty things (as she express’d herself) being the best for substance and ornament, that belong to the noble Marquiss of Winchester and his Family…this she-Usurper now lifted and Catalogued for her own” (19).

This account of Elizabeth’s behavior reflects an anxiety about the dissolution of traditional boundaries during war that is common to royalist depictions of republicans from the period. The author emphasizes how the Cromwells take advantage of the chaotic violence of war to steal with impunity. All that they take, they wait to display until it seems safe: “till all propriety should be hudled up in the general ruine, out of whose mixt and confused rubbish in his new polish’d Government, they might exert their Brightnesse underivable and clear from all former title and claim” (18). Elizabeth and her husband rely on the tumult of war to obscure any history of prior ownership, assimilating everything into their personal storehouse. It is not only the loss of material wealth that troubles the author here. Whether buried in the earth or secreted away in Elizabeth’s hoard, the plundered items lose their previous symbolic function of communicating identity, status, and social relationships. This loss prompts the question, “How many rare pieces of antique Gold and Silver, are again damned to the earth from whence they were brought? and are by her mischievous Covetousnesse irrecoverably lost, which have been the glories and monumental pride of many Families and the only remains and evidence of their noble Hospitality, now buried by this Wretch in hugger mugger?” (19). Elizabeth’s crime is to hide remnants of a previous social order—materials of memory in the form of household goods which served as monuments or reminders of an aristocratic hospitality, remembered as warmer and more generous than her own.

As the author of Court & Kitchin names the sources of Elizabeth’s household goods, he therefore counteracts what he identifies as a Cromwellian project to remake the social order and conceal evidence that things were not always as they are at the present moment. He presents this task as personal and political. Throughout the introduction, the author of Court & Kitchin claims a shared victimhood with his audience and reasserts their collective claim to these items in spite of the Cromwells’ efforts to erase evidence of prior ownership. The book exposes the “secrets” of Elizabeth Cromwell’s housewifery to public view, in a sense replaying the invasion and exposure of private homes that took place during the wars. Though the homes themselves and the physical items they contained remain lost to the book’s imagined audience, at the very least the author can hold the Cromwells to account on their behalf. In addition, by revealing what was stolen, he can symbolically force the gluttonous Elizabeth to purge what she has plundered.

The depiction of Elizabeth as a monster who feeds on looted royalist estates is just one part of the attack launched in the sixty-two pages of Court & Kitchin that precede the appearance of a single recipe. [ii] The author’s stated purpose to “retaliate” against the Cromwells and “repay” them for their crimes against England’s loyal subjects could presumably be met in those sixty-two pages of prose, but then what to make of the eighty-seven pages of culinary recipes that follow? When I introduce Court & Kitchin to unfamiliar readers, they tend to expect a how-to guide for cauldrons full of unusual and dangerous ingredients like the witches’ “hell-broth” in Macbeth. However, Elizabeth’s pantry is free from any “nose of Turk” or “witches’ mummy” or even any toads (4.1.19, 29, 23). [iii] Instead, the “common ordinary diet of this family” consists mostly of plain fare, which in itself constitutes a jab at the lowly Cromwells’ attempts to keep a courtly table (45). Authorial comments appear on some of the recipes, emphasizing the couple as “ordinary and vulgar” upstarts, transparently striving to imitate their betters and failing miserably (46). One example is a recipe for venison pie “ a la mode Cromwellian ” which, to be authentic, requires that the deer be stolen (125). Nevertheless, without the comments, there would be nothing uniquely grotesque or disturbing about the recipes themselves. Thus, though the recipes provide the author with ample opportunity for mockery, I argue that the choice of a cookery book to represent Elizabeth Cromwell carries additional significance.

For one, the choice of genre allows the author to position his book as a satirical answer to the very popular The Queens Closet Opened, a book presented as the medicinal and culinary recipe collection of Henrietta Maria, exiled widow of Charles I. [iv] Both recipe books continue in the vein of other texts from 1640s and 1650s, such as The King’s Cabinet Opened and the flurry of print replies it provoked, that claim to break open the secret, sacred household spaces of the politically powerful. However, I argue that the recipe genre presents a particular opportunity for representing the Cromwells as a married pair. Royalist elegiac and satirical responses to the regicide routinely emphasized the centrality of violence to Cromwell’s political power. Certainly the reckoning made by Court & Kitchin includes Charles I’s death, but Cromwell is also made to answer for the deaths of all “those loyal persons martyred by him.” The opening narrative of Court & Kitchin proposes a new method of accounting for this loss of life, one which shifts the agency from Oliver to Elizabeth and relocates the scene from the battlefield to the kitchen as it explains the choice of cookery book as a vehicle for satire: “It is well for her if his [Oliver’s] Butchery (then which the Sun never saw a more flagitious execrable fact, and so comprehensive that it reached Caligulas wish) can be slighted into her Cookery ; and that there were no other Monument of it then in PasteUt tantum Schombros metuentia Crimina, vel Thus : That the records of his Crimes were only damn’d to an Oven.” In the following section I explore how the nature of early modern housewifery allows for such a “slighting” in potentially unexpected ways and trace the implications of this “slighting” for the book’s purpose and imagined audience.

Drawing on an extensive survey of print and manuscript recipe collections, Wendy Wall neatly sums up the atmosphere in a typical early modern kitchen: “Carnage was a household commonplace at this time” (192). Court & Kitchin does not stray from this norm. The recipe for “A Cordial Strengthening Broth” reveals the aggressive nature of the housewife’s work, directing her to “Take a red Cock, strip off the feathers with the skin, take a rolling-pin and bruise his bones to shivers” (113). Occasionally the cook must also take a life, as in the recipe “To stew a Carp,” which advises “Take a living Carp and knock him on the head, open him up in the belly take heed you break not the gall, pour in a little vinegar, and wash out all of the blood, stir it about with your hand, then keep it safe”—the blood will eventually make its way into a sauce (141). While following Court & Kitchin ’s recipes, a housewife would remove bones, break bones, mince brains, “flay” the skin off fowl and pigs, drain blood, and “hack” limbs and extremities into one another. She would spend a lot of time with her hands in guts. This view of the housewife appears in contrast to the meekly submissive feminine ideal often outlined in sermons, conduct books, and elsewhere in the culture. As butcher, cook, and healer, the early modern housewife wields power over life and death within her kitchen.

This aspect of the housewife’s role becomes emphasized when Elizabeth’s cookery is made to stand in for casualties Oliver inflicted in the wars . This substitution invites a consideration of underlying similarities between the genres of cookery book and battlefield account, genres typically associated with distinctly gendered spheres of activity. In her work on masculinity and the civil wars, Diane Purkiss argues that “the wounded, the mutilated, the spectacle of dead bodies” often is “repressed and silenced in traditional, sanctioned, authoritative accounts” of civil war battles (34). Such sights, however, cannot easily be repressed. Therefore “all battlefields and all textual accounts of them are haunted by the chaos, dissolution of boundaries, filth, loss of sight, loss of control, loss of self, which the soldier must always strive to repel both physically and psychically” (34). Kitchens, too, can be chaotic, loud, full of smoke and fire, strewn with bodily fluids, viscera, and dirt. Wounded and mutilated bodies abound. Within this space, the cook manipulates boundaries between life and death, raw and cooked, internal and external, flesh and food, and human and animal. Culinary recipes record everyday domestic practice in exactly the terms that must be repressed in authoritative battlefield accounts. Through its elaborate narrative framing of the actual recipes, Court & Kitchin does just what Wendy Wall suggests literary and dramatic representations of household labor might do: “Routine tasks might be estranged…so that their affinities with conventionally defined violence were made apparent” (198). The domestication of Oliver’s butchery into Elizabeth’s cookery allows readers to see uncanny similarities between conventional military and political violence and culinary violence in even the most mundane recipes. Through these supposed records of Elizabeth’s practice, readers can confront what would be revolting horrors in a more palatable form.

Most recipes in Court & Kitchin only reflect the affinities between battlefield and kitchen violence when viewed in light of the book’s effort to slight Oliver’s butchery into Elizabeth’s cookery. One recipe, however, makes the connection much more directly, and renders explicit the blurring of animal and human bodies . The recipe “To Bake a Pig” starts normally with claims of authenticity and efficacy and basic instructions to prepare the pig: “This is an experiment practiced by Her at Huntingdon Brewhouse, and is a singular and the only way of dressing a Pig. Take a good quantity of clay, such as they stop barrels bungs with, and having moulded it, stick your Pig, and bleed him well” (129). The next bit of instruction, however, guides the reader through a nightmarish transformation. “When he is warm, arm him like a Curassier, or one of Cromwels Iron-sides, hair, skin, and all (his intrals drawn and belly sowed up again) with this prepared clay, thick every where, then throw him below the stoak-hole under the Furnace, and there let him soak, turn him now and then, when the clay is hardned, for twelve hours, he is then sufficiently baked” (129). Readers are asked to imagine the pig as one of Cromwell’s cavalrymen, already gutted and stitched up again, then to dress it in armor made of clay, and roast its body in the fire. The reverse transformation from human to animal is just as unsettling, as the recipe easily slides back into the typical register of the cookery book, praising the crispness of the skin, the juiciness of the meat, and the flavor of the sauce, as well as recommending the versatility of the recipe, as if it had not briefly conjured the image of a human body burning in a home oven: “Then take him and break off the clay, which easily parts, and you will have a fine crispy coat and all the juice of the Pig in your dish; remember but to put a few leaves of sage, and a little salt in the belly of it, and you need no other sauce. The like you may do with any fowle whatsoever, for the clay will fetch off and consume the feathers” (129-30).

This recipe invites the royalist reader to enact violence on the body of an animal as a substitute for violence against the body of a human. The author asks his audience to practice some culinary magic and summon their courage for a return to battle against Cromwell’s forces. More than whole roasted pig, this is a recipe for coping with lingering anger, grief, or traumatic memory. Imagining the pig as “one of Cromwels Iron-sides” could perhaps lend a thrill of pleasure to sticking, draining, and roasting the animal, and that seems to be the spirit in which the instruction is meant here. However, it could provoke disturbing memories of wounded and dead soldiers on civil war battlefields . This simple instruction also raises the specter of cannibalism more fully than any other recipe in the collection. As the recipe moves to a mundane discussion of seasoning, this more dangerous possibility recedes once more into the realm of suggestion.

What the recipes, and Court & Kitchin as a whole, provide in a more sustained manner is the opportunity to “consume” the Cromwells by taking in their textual representation. The opening address to the readers predicts that Elizabeth might balk at such treatment, but suggests she should be grateful that she and her family are only served up in print. “Little satisfaction serves the English nation…and She ought therefore to be highly thankful, that the Scene of his Tyranny was laid here, for had it light upon the southern parts of the World, their nimble and vindictive rage, upon the Turn, would have limb’d and minced her Family to Atomes, and have been their own Cooks and Carvers” (n.p.). Instead of actual cannibalism, the English are satisfied with “the most biting sharpest Ink” of the satirist’s pen (n.p.). Working with the raw ingredients of personal and collective memory, the author prepares his main dish with care according to his audience’s needs. He carves the Cromwells into manageable portions for readers’ ingestion, slicing open their domestic world and revealing its inner workings as simultaneously a source of fascination and disgust.

Court & Kitchin ’s publication in 1664 was aimed more at the perceived failure of Charles II’s hospitality than at its initial targets. By that time, the book’s effort to bring down the Cromwellian upstarts had already been accomplished by the passage of time and the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. Even if they were no longer the sole targets of the book’s mockery, its treatment of the Cromwells acquired additional resonance in the years between writing and publication. Readers in 1664 would have participated in, witnessed, or at least read about collective displays of “ nimble and vindictive rage” against Cromwell and his family after the Restoration, some of which evoke the violent and cannibalistic fate foretold by Court & Kitchin. In May 1660, Mercurius Publicus reported a mock trial and execution at Sherborne, during which effigies of Cromwell and John Bradshaw, president of the parliamentary commission that tried the king, were charged with high treason. As the effigies were dragged to the gallows, the report notes “many a blow with fists, swords, halberts, and pikes, which were aimed at the execrable malefactors.” Once strung up “they were so hacked and hewed, so gored and shot threw, that in a short time but little remained besides Cromwels Buff Coat and Bloody Scarf that was worth the burning” (330). Having butchered Cromwell’s effigy, the people demanded to cook him: “would not the people be satisfied till they had made a fire between the Gibbets and burnt all they could get of their Garbage or Garments” (330). Elizabeth Cromwell faced symbolic justice in such ceremonies as well, as seen, for example, in Thomas Rugge’s diary account of celebrations accompanying Charles’s entry to London. Festivities concluded “with bonfires; in Westminster a very great fier made, and on top of the fier they put old Oliver Cromwell and his wife in sables, theire pictures lifely made like them in life, which was burnt in the fire” (qtd. in Knoppers Constructing Cromwell 173). Like Court & Kitchin, such ceremonies manufacture representations of the Cromwells to satisfy the public’s appetite for revenge and entertainment.

The most gruesome and literal example of this phenomenon occurred on January 30, 1661, the twelfth anniversary of the regicide, when the bodies of Cromwell, Bradshaw, and Henry Ireton, former Parliamentary general and signatory of Charles I’s death warrant, were disinterred from their original burial sites at Westminster Abbey, dragged to the gallows at Tyburn on hurdles, and hanged in their shrouds before enormous crowds. After hanging all day, the bodies were taken down and decapitated, and their heads placed on spikes atop Westminster Hall alongside those of freshly executed regicides. Though it uses actual bodies instead of effigies or textual representations, this ritual too carefully prepares Cromwell and his companions for public consumption. These men had died of natural causes, but that did not suit the official Restoration narrative, which required the punishment of a few symbolically significant individuals to fulfill the desire for vengeance in a focused manner and therefore allow pardon to be granted to the majority who had fought against the king. The “carcasses” of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw had to hang in a public spectacle at Tyburn—both a manner and site of death which communicates a certain signification to the bodies on display there: traitors. As it does in cookery, presentation matters in posthumous execution.

Witnesses to the event recorded how the bodies were, in Court & Kitchin ’s terms, “limb’d and minced” to satisfy the crowd. One describes the punishment of “three of those horrid Murderers, viz. Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw,” as “a signal spectacle of Justice” that “drew many thousands of people out of y e city to behold it” (Sec. Nicholas to the Earl of Orrery). The mutilation of the three corpses features in Samuel Sainthill’s account of the day: “Cromwell had eight cuts, Ireton four…and their heads we set up on the South end - of Westminster Hall.” With the heads on spikes, some less premium “cuts” from the bodies made their way into the crowd. Sainthill recalls “of [Bradshaw’s] toes, I had five or six in my hand, which the prentices had cut off” (qtd. in Knoppers Constructing Cromwell 185). Were Bradshaw’s toes to pass into the hands of a properly knowledgeable housewife, they could perhaps be repurposed as prize ingredients for a medicinal brew—toe of regicide?—as such concoctions occasionally involved human body parts. Subsequent popular exhumations of Cromwell and his accomplices in print also transform them into potential ingredients. The 1661 ballad The Last Farewell of three bould Traytors serves up the trio of headless corpses as a feast for the Devil:

Cromwel, Bradshaw, and Ireton, farwel,

with a fa, &c.

A mess under Tyburn for the Devil of hell

with a fa, &c.

From Tyburn they e’re bid adieu,

And there is an end of a stincking crew. (n.p.)

Published in 1664, Court & Kitchin resurrects Cromwell yet again and sits him back at his own table, alongside Elizabeth, as joint failures in household and state management. That this book appears in print at all, long after its intended targets had been brought low by fortune, suggests an audience still hungry for images of the Cromwells as villainous usurpers and in search of aids for digesting disappointments that linger after the Restoration.

Biographical Statement: Dana Schumacher-Schmidt is an Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of the Writing Center at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Minnesota. At SHU, Dana teaches first-year composition and medieval/early modern literature courses, as well as special topics courses on food culture and on the Harry Potter phenomenon. Dana’s research and teaching interests include gender, memory and commemoration, and food studies.

Works Cited

Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth, Commonly Called Joan Cromwell. Thomas Milbourn, 1664. EEBO. Accessed 16 September 2013.

The Grand Plunderer. 1643. EEBO. Accessed 1 March 2014.

Knoppers, Laura Lunger. Constructing Cromwell: Ceremony, Portrait, and Print: 1645-1661. Cambridge UP, 2000.

---. Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton’s Eve. Cambridge UP, 2011.

Markham, Gervase. The English Housewife. Edited by Michael R. Best, McGill-Queen’s UP, 1994.

Mercurius Publicus. no. 21, 17-24 May 1660, p. 330. EEBO. Accessed 1 March 2014.

Miles, Abraham. The last Farewell of three bould Traytors. 1661. EEBO. Accessed 1 March 2014.

Purkiss, Diane. Literature, Gender and Politics During the English Civil War. Cambridge UP, 2005.

Rabb, Melinda Alliker. Satire and Secrecy in English Literature from 1650 to 1750. Palgrave MacMillan, 2007.

Sec. Nicholas to the Earl of Orrery 2 February 1661, State Papers Ireland: Charles II 306, 546.

Wall, Wendy. Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama. Cambridge UP, 2002.

[i] This date is suggested by Laura Lunger Knoppers on the basis of contemporary references made in the text. The conclusion of the book refers to Tatham’s play The Rump, which was performed in spring 1660, and notes that Richard Cromwell is in hiding because of his debts. He went into hiding in April 1660 and left England in May 1660. See “Protectresse and Drudge: The Court and Cookery of Elizabeth Cromwell” from Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton’s Eve.

[ii] Because of these extensive opening materials, Knoppers remarks, “the text itself strains the genre of cookery book” (119). She argues that the length and detail of these opening materials work against the book’s central claim that Elizabeth Cromwell’s failure to keep a royal household is blatantly apparent.

[iii] Other printed recipe books of the time ask practitioners to collect insects, slugs, snakes, dung, blood, bones, breast milk, and human urine, none of which make an appearance in Elizabeth’s recipe collection either. The absence of these ingredients could be read as a mark against Elizabeth, because such ingredients were only used in household medicine, regarded as the housewife’s most advanced and prestigious knowledge. Intentional or not, the absence labels Elizabeth as unskilled in a significant area of housewifery.

[iv] Fifteen editions of Queens Closet Opened are printed between 1655 and 1698. The less popular Court & Kitchin is only printed once, and surviving copies are very rare.