Ox roasting at Stratford-upon-Avon Mop Fair
Scene showing an ox being roasted at the Stratford upon Avon annual Mop Fair, Warwickshire. Farm workers, labourers, servants and some craftsmen would work for their employer from October to October. At the end of the employment they would attend the Mop Fair dressed in their Sunday best clothes and carrying an item signifying their trade. A servant with no particular skills would carry a mop head hence the term Mop Fair. Employers would move amongst them discussing experience and terms, and once agreement was reached the employer would give the employee a small token of money and the employee would wear bright ribbons to indicate that they had been hired. The stalls at the fair sold food and drink, while others offered games to play.
© Mary Evans Picture Library/The Pete Frost Collection
King James I knights a tasty loin of beef - Arise Sir Loin
King James I knights a tasty loin of beef at Hoghton Tower, near Preston, Lancashire, in 1617. Historians are somewhat unsurpringly divided as to the likelihood and validity of this tale. A number of legends claim the naming of the 'sirloin' cut from it being 'knighted' by a monarch, although it is variously ascribed to Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James I. According to the Lancashire tradition, James I drew his short sword and told the Hoghton Tower pages to bring the beef to him. They went down on their knees and the king said "Arise, Sir Loin." Date: 1617
© The Russell Butcher Collection / Mary Evans Picture Library
Tacuinum Sanitatis. Late XIV century. Butchery
Tacuinum Sanitatis. Medieval Health Handbook, dated before 1400, based on observations of medical order detailing the most important aspects of food, beverages and clothing. Butchery. Miniature. Fol. 73 v.
© Thaliastock / Mary Evans
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