On This Day: 25 July 1704

On this day in 1704, Thomas Warham (cook) sent Thomas Bowrey the bill for catering for his launching dinner for the Mary Galley. Only this bill and a note in Bowrey’s hand listing other expenditure survive for the dinner and there is no such similar manuscripts for his other ships so its is unclear if this was a common festivity when a ship was launched.

The meal consisted of beer (sirloin), lobsters, fowls and chickens, boiled ham, tongue, fruit, tarts, cheesecake and bread. This was all washed down with 15 half-flasks of Florence (red Italian wine), a gallon of brandy and a gallon of Rhenish (wine). As Warham’s bill included the charge  for boat hire, it is likely that the dinner took place on the Mary Galley.

Richard Carnac Temple’s comments about this dinner include the note that Warham charged for cooking a ham but the cost of purchasing the ham is not included. He suggested doubtless … it was supplied from Mrs Bowrey’s larder, every good housewife in those days priding herself on her home-cured hams, prepared by the method handed down for generations from mother to daughter.

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