Verral.   William     - With the bookplate of Andre Simon and Eleanor Lowenstein
A Complete System of Cookery
In which is set forth, A variety of genuine RECEIPTS, collected from several Years Experience under the celebrated Mr. de ST. CLOUET, sometime since COOK to his grace the Duke of Newcastle. BY WILLIAM VERRAL, Master of the White-Hart Inn in Lewes, Sussex. Together with an INTRODUCTORY PREFACE, Shewing how every Dish is brought to the Table, and in what Manner the meanest Capacity shall never err in doing what his Bill of Fare contains. To which is added, A true Character of Monf. de ST. CLOUET. LONDON, Printed for the AUTHOR, and fold by him; As also by EDWARD VERRAL Bookseller, in LEWES: And by JOHN RIVINGTON in St. Paul's Church-yard, London. M DCC LIX
FIRST AND SOLE EDITION: 8vo. Pp. Title Page. 12pp 'Contents' (i-xxxiv) (1-240) Fully Bound in contemporary mid brown calf with gilt tooled borders. Spine with raised bands, gilt lines, gilt lettering and brown labels with slight damage. Internally clean with minimal aging and slight browning to pages 72 - 92. A very scarce item.
- Little is known about Verral, except he was the fifth son of Richard Verral who first opened the White-Hart Inn, Lewes Sussex as an hotel in 1713. In the book we learn that the well known Cook, Mons. de St. Clouet was a huge influence on him. Verral worked under his guidance in the Kitchens of the Duke of Newcastle. Gilly Lehman informs us that after being dismissed by Newcastle, Mons. Clouet took the post of Abermarle's Maitre d'hotel at the embassy in Paris. Verral also informs, that at some time, Clouet had also become steward to 'Marshal Richelieu' Verral unusually for an English cook gives each recipe with French and English titles, and praises the French style of cookery and service. The White Hart at Lewes has a very interesting history. The fourteenth-century house was at one time the residence of the Pelham-Clintons, and there was a secret staircase to be used in cases of urgency during the period from 1485-1603. When the Commonwealth was declared, in 1649, the wine cellar was used as a dungeon for captives. Following Wm. Verrall in ownership of the White Hart was a noted caterer, William Thomas Scrase, who knew the value of keeping his larder well stocked, a cellar of the choicest wines, and neat post-chaises and saddle horses of merit for journeying to any part of England. In the eighteenth century the Hotel was a favourite resort of Thomas Paine, then regarded as a notorious revolutionary, who wrote 'The Age of Reason' whilst in prison in Paris. About 1768 he formed 'The Headstrong Club" at a meeting held in the panelled room, but seven years later he had removed to Philadelphia where he advocated the abolition of negro slavery. In 1816, Bonaparte's military carriage and personal contents taken at Waterloo by Marshal Blucher were exhibited in the yard of the White Hart for two days. Today, on the internet, we are informed the Hotel is; "Rich with history, the hotel is known as the cradle of American Independence, where Thomas Paine forged his radical policies in the debating club of the old inn. His pamphlet "Common Sense" sold half a million copies in 1776 and inspired the Declaration of Independence, signed later that year. Nowadays, wood panelling, oak beams and open fireplaces all create a welcoming atmosphere. The White Hart Hotel has been substantially developed to offer a leisure club, restaurant and lounges for guests and locals alike. (See image #5 below)" To look at Wm. Verrall's book of 1759, and then view the White Hart web pages on the internet, gives a unique sense of the historical passage over time of this very old establishment.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 10935