CollectionGeorgian Mensils
TitleGeorgian Mensils
DateApril 1812 - March 1865
DescriptionThese books provide information regarding supplies of goods to, respectively, George III, Prince Regent, George IV, William IV, and Queen Victoria's household - for the period mentioned.

In addition, one volume gives details about presents of game received for the use of George IV, with details about the specific type of game and the name of the donors.

The names of the suppliers are usually provided (even if not in full, generally only the surname) - these are many and variable, even for a same product (variations depend on which royal residence they were serving; which sovereign; and also because there were more than one suppliers for each type of goods).
Extent29 volumes
Admin HistoryThe menu books were probably originally kept by the Lord Steward's Department, also named Household Below Stairs (later, Master of the Household's Department) which dealt with domestic and culinary matters.

The department was responsible for the catering and official entertaining at all the royal palaces, and for all the domestic arrangements. This means that the staff in the department included all who worked in the royal kitchens, the housekeeping staff, including housemaids, and some of the craftsmen who maintained the furnishings in the royal palaces. The mensils books record provisions of food or other goods (wax, soap, coal, for instances) served to, mostly, the royal household, occasionally to the royal kitchen only (eg. kitchen mensils refer to goods deliver only to the that department) in various royal residences: Carlton House, Brighton or Windsor Castle - sometimes also giving details about the room or person to whom these goods were delivered (eg: store room, housemaids, housekeepers, pages, etc.).

This department was originally presided over by the Lord Steward, who was in charge of all 'below stairs' officers and staff through the Board of Green Cloth. The Lord Steward, however, delegated much of the work to his subordinates, in particular the Master of the Household, and by the 1920s this department was renamed the Master of the Household's Department. Since the latter worked at the direct service of the Queen, his records came to join her archives, which is why these menu books are to be found in the Royal Archives.

These records of goods for the household of George III, Prince Regent, George IV, William IV, and, partly, Queen Victoria, were possibly compiled by the Clerks of the Kitchen.
ArrangementThe Mensils books collection is made up of 29 volumes, of various sizes and length, arranged by the kind of good supplies (dairy products, vegetables, coal, etc); each volume, however, internally, is organized chronologically.
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