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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

201: Commons Book 1579 – 80

In the sixteenth century, King’s College was one of the richest in Cambridge, with about 30 estates in freehold ownership. Book- keeping for so many estates, and an institution of almost 100 men, was a complex affair and the Commons Books recorded daily income and outgoing expenses.

These reveal a great deal about food and dining at King’s over the centuries, whether during ordinary periods or the annual audit feasts (as shown here). For everyday provisioning, King’s relied on what it could produce onsite and on what its tenant- farmers supplied, buying in anything else.

The Provost and Scholars of King’s College, Cambridge (KCAR/4/1/6/19)

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