The Widdowes Treasure - dyes and ipocras

Here the author gives recipes for emerald and gold dyes, and for a spicy cordial drink called ipocras (hippocras).

About The Widdowes Treasure


The Widdowes Treasure was written by John Partridge, in 1595. As the title page states, the book is 'Plentifully furnished with Sundry precious and approved secrets in Phisicke and Chirurgery, for the health and pleasure of mankind.' The book contains a range of recipes for medical remedies, to treat anything from chapped lips and drunkenness to gout and even cancer. There are also recipes for confectioneries, syrups, gold and emerald dyes, and black ink, as well as for concoctions to make beards grow, or to provoke sleep.

Partridge learnt many of his recipes from the long-established practices of courtly kitchens. In the preface to the book he writes 'this Pamphlet being written (not many yeeres past as it should seeme) at the earnest request... of a Gentlewoman in the Countrie for her private use, which by these singuler practices hath obtained such fame, that her name shalbe remembred for ever to the posterities.' Only the wealthiest members of society would have had regular access to valuable key ingredients such as sugar, spices, hothouse-grown fruits or plentiful livestock. Partridge writes in the preface that the pamphlet was lent to him by 'an especial friend'


Taken from: The Widdowes Treasure
Author / Creator: John Partridge
Publisher: I. Roberts for E. White
Date: 1595
Copyright: By permission of the British Library
Shelfmark: C.104.e.32(3)