Recipe book of Elenor Mundy, 1728-c.1767

Scope and Content

The volume is identified on a finely decorated and coloured title page, which shows a beehive on a bench. The name Elenor Mundy with the date 1728 is given, with the Latin tag 'Crura Thymo Plena' ['legs full of honey']. There are 141 manuscript pages containing over 250 recipes.

The original volume was designed and written as a coherent whole. The recipes are divided into sections: soups, puddings, meat dishes, pies, fish dishes, cakes, preserves, pickles, wines and cordials, and there is a table of contents at the front. Only in the section on cordial waters is there any significant reference to medicinal recipes.

The original recipes were all written on the front side of each folio. At various later dates, recipes in other 18th-century hands have been added to the volume on the reverse sides of the folios. These later recipes are often credited with local Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire names such as 'Lady Gell', 'E. Mundy', 'Mrs Eyre', 'E. Martial', 'Mrs Wilmot of Morley', 'Mrs Willoughby of Nottingham', 'Mrs Mundy of Derby', and 'Miss Lowe'. Family members contributing to the volume include 'Sis. Willoughby', 'Cos. [cousin] Newdigate', 'Cos. Mundy', 'Aunt Willoughby', 'Cos. Pool' [Pole], and 'Aunt Leche'. A loose sheet (MS 86/2) contains a recipe for 'Doctor Lowers Tincture'.

A full transcript of the recipe headings is available for reference, as is a combined index of these recipes and recipes in MS 87/1-4.

Administrative / Biographical History

The only information explicitly given about the owner or creator of this recipe book is the name Elenor Mundy, which is inscribed on a decorative title page with the date 1728. The names of family members contributing to the volume in subsequent years include Leche, Newdigate, Pole and Willoughby. They suggest a Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire origin for the book, and analysis of the names points to a possible association with the Mundy family of Shipley Hall, Derbyshire.

One possibility for the creator of the volume is Ellen Mundy, née Slack, widow of Colonel Robert Mundy of Allestree, Derbyshire. Her third son Edward Mundy married Hester Miller, heiress of Shipley Hall, in 1729, and the volume may therefore have been given to Hester as a wedding present. Hester Miller's mother was a member of the Leche family. Hester and Edward both died in 1767. Their only son was Edward Miller-Mundy of Shipley Hall (1750-1822), whose first wife was Frances Meynell, and whose second wife Georgiana was the widow of Thomas Willoughby, 4th Baron Middleton. They had at least two daughters, Hester (d 1800), wife of Sir Roger Newdigate, 5th Baronet, and Eleanor ('Nelly'), who was unmarried. The volume may have continued to be used into the late 18th century, by descendants or relatives of Elenor Mundy.


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to the University of Nottingham.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishing to publish.

Custodial History

The volume was acquired by the library of University of Nottingham in 1955. The volume bears the bookplate of J. Butler-Bowdon of Pleasington Hall, Lancashire, a descendant of the Bowdon family of Beighton Fields, Barlborough, Derbyshire, who also acquired the Willoughby family's 18th-century recipe books (MS 87).

Related Material

Household books of Margaret Willoughby and the Willoughby family, 1737-c.1790 (reference: MS 87)



Geographical Names