On March 22nd 1791, Eliza Duncumb of Sutton Coldfield, daughter of Joseph Duncumb and, later, wife of Shirley Farmer Steele Perkins, was sitting somewhere in Moat House, her pen poised to begin her collection of culinary recipes. Perhaps there was a pile of suggestions in front of her. Two, coming from Doctor John Johnstone, were the first to be entered - he, possibly, being the family physician. These were remedies for 'a Soar Mouth or Canker'. Mrs Wills' recipe for 'Calves Head Hash' followed – nothing out of the ordinary for those days, although not to be attempted by today's faint hearted cooks!

Here you will find just a small selection from Eliza' recently discovered manuscript, held by the New York Academy of Medicine Library.