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also, but it reteineth more of the grosse, and lesse of the pure substance of the wheat,--and this, being more sleightlie wrought up, is used in the Halles of the Nobilitie and Gentrie onlie, whereas the other either is, or should be, baked in cities and good towns, of an appointed size (according to such price as the corn doth beare), and by a Statute provided by King John in that behalf.” In Religious Houses the Ravel Bread was the coarser bread which was made for ordinary guests, and was distinguished from Panis Conventualis, which was pure Manchet or white bread.
Maslin, or Miscelin, is a provincial word, implying Bread made of mingled corn, as wheat with
rye. MORYSON, who wrote also in the reign of Queen ELIZABETH, remarks, that “ the
English husbandmen eate barley and
rye browne bread, and preferre it to “ white bread, as abiding longer in the “ stomach, and not so soone digested with
Harrison's description of England, p. 169.
“ their labour, but citizens and gentlemen eate most
white bread.” The commonest bread used in England, at that period, it is probable, was barley bread. Lord Coke mentions it, as the diet allowed to Criminals who suffered the peine forte et dure.3
Manchet and Cheat are the only kinds of Bread which are specified in the Ordinances for the Royal Household, made at Eltham, in the seventeenth year of the reign of King HENRY the Eighth, 1526.*
Beans, we have already seen, were among the kinds of provision which were distributed at St. Mary's Hospital in Ripon,—and even that
appears to have been doled out in no large measure, a Salt cellar. Though it is probable, that that domestic article in those
Itinerary, 3d part. p. 149. 3 4. Inst. c. 12.-Eden's State of the Poor, vol. i. p. 117, note.
Regulations for Royal Households, published by The Society of Antiquaries, p. 174.
Rep. VII. p. 765.
early times might have been selected, either for it's capacity or dignity. It is well known that it was long the custom at the tables of great Personages, to take particular care to place the guests according to their Rank. Nothing, however, more strongly proves the sensible change which has occurred in the Manners of Society, than in the abolition of those phrases “ Above, or Below the Salt,” denoting that marked and invidious subordination which was maintained among persons who were admitted to the same table. A large superb Silver Saltcellar was usually placed about the middle of a long table, the places above which were assigned to the guests of more distinction, those below it being appropriated to dependants, inferiors, and poor relations. Hence it is the characteristic of an insolent coxcomb, that
“ His fashion is not to take knowledge of him that is beneath him in clothes. He never drinks below the
That is, not to any one who sits below it.-NARES.
And MASSINGBR observes,
“ he believes it is the reason You ne'er presume to sit above the Salt.”
Unnatural Combat, Act iii. Sc. I.
- All the preceding denominations of Bréad occur in the Reports, together with the addition of the following kinds which may be considered, as Local,-viz. Bolted or temsed, Cobbs, Fore-right, Garb corn, Muncorn, and Wigs,—and which are respectively explained under the head of “ ANCIENT APPELLATIONS."
Few who are desirous of investigating the Popular notions and vulgar Ceremonies of our own Nation, can fail of deducing them, in their first direction, from the times when Popery was our established Religion. We shall not wonder that these were able to survive The Reformation, when we consider that although our own sensible and spirited Forefathers were, upon conviction, easily induced to forego religious tenets which had been weighed in the balance and found wanting, -yet were the bulk of the People by no means inclined to annihilate the seemingly innos cent Ceremonies of their former superstitious Faith,
It is not improbable, indeed, but that, in the infancy of Protestantism, the continuance of many Popular Customs was
| Brand's Observations on Popular Antiquities, vol. i. p. 10. edit. by Ellis.