[Sca-cooks] Hartshorn in English Sources

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Wed Feb 25 15:59:26 PST 2009

I did this search in August 2006 in answer to a question on SCA Subtleties.

I took the opportunity to take a look at English sources for hartshorn.
The full text project of EEBO makes this an interesting search.

The earliest printed English reference I can locate quickly tonight is
dated 1527 or 1528.
The vertuose boke of distyllacyon of the waters of all maner of herbes
by Brunschwig, Hieronymus, ca. 1450-ca. 1512.
There is a recipe in it for "Water of harteshorne" which is made of
chopped hornes which are then distilled.

Of course it should have come as no surprise to me that it would be
mentioned in my old friend Alessio's text from 1558.From his third 
volume dated 1562 comes this recipe:

For the same another remedy tryed and proued.

MAke into very small pouder gumme Arabic, Tra|gacantha, Hartes horne
burned, of a bloodstone burned, and redde Corall burned, of eche halfe a 
Dragme, and of Bole armenicke two scruples: mixe all with the yelke of a 
rawe Egge, and geue it the Pa+cient when he spitteth bloode.

By 1590 it appears in Philip Barrough's The methode of phisicke
conteyning the causes, signes, and cures of invvard diseases in mans
body from the head to the foote.
It appears in that text in a listing of substances-- "acatia, mirrhe,
hypocichidos, hartshorn..."

I can find it again in Markham's Masterpiece in the 1610 edition and
again in the edition of Estienne that Markham edited in 1616.

Hartshorn also appears in a number of pharmacy recipes in the early part
of the 17th century
and once it becomes associated with plague cures and cures for
consumption, there are
numerous mentions. It appears in the Countess of Kent's recipe book of
1653 in a number of places, including
mentions of hartshorn jelly. There's at least 16 mentions to harts horn
in Digby's Closet, including one for
a nourishing broth and several for harts-horn gelly.
By 1670 Hannah Woolley is including it in The Queen-like Closet
under "The best sort of Hartshorn Iel|ly to serve in a Banquet.: Take
six Ounces of Hartshorn;"
It does of course also appear in the form of jellies in the
Tudor-Jacobean Booke of Sweetmeats which
makes up part of Marha Washington's Booke of Cookery.

I don't know that I can find an early use of it as a leavening in the 
English texts. Jelly-yes; water--yes; cure-- yes. Cookie--no.

AND no I haven't run a search through ECCO yet for the 18th century.


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