In Victorian times, The Children's Friend was
considered suitable Sunday reading and was full of what was intended to
be uplifting and "improving" reading matter for the young.
There were pictures and hymns as well as informative articles on topics
like "How to deal with selfishness" and "How to
cure a bad temper". It was published annually and sold
chiefly as a Sunday School prize and Christmas present.
kind to the poor"
illustration from The Children's Friend of 1863
not - want not"
I must not
throw upon the floor
The crust I
many a hungry little one
it quite a treat.
take the kindest care
To get me
And so I
must not waste a bit
do others good.
from which my bread is made,
it to grow;
How sad to
waste what He has given:
both see and know.
waste brings woeful want,
And I may
live to say,
Oh, how I
wish I had that bread
I threw away.
Alex Soyer was the chef at the Reform Club in London and
a friend of Florence Nightingale. He wrote a book called A
shilling cookery for the people which was published in 1861. This is
his recipe for a soup suitable for giving out to poor people - there are
no mistakes in copying this out - the quantities are exactly as stated
4 oz meat
cut into 1 inch dice
onions, thinly sliced
turnips, cut into small dice ("the peel will do")
2 oz leeks,
thinly sliced (the green tops will do")
3 oz celery
8 oz pearl
3 ox salt
together in 18 pints of water.
Sufficient for 40 people
Soyer's cookbook cover
A roast goose was the centre-piece of an ordinary working-class
Christmas dinner. So how could a labourer earning a few shillings a week
ever afford such a luxury? The answer lay in the Goose Club to which,
week by week, small instalments were paid in until there was sufficient
for the purchase of a goose.
Most public houses ran a Goose Club and local bakers stayed open to
cook geese for poor families on Christmas Day.
From the Kitchen Journal of Prince George, later King
"On Christmas Day, 1716, a feast was prepared for the Prince
including plum broth with capon, four partridges with savoury sausages,
potage a la reine, sirloin of beef, mince pies*, chine of pork, turkey,
woodcock, stag's tongue, plum pudding, three snipe, two pheasant,
andouilles** and brawn.
His servants were fed plum
pudding and loin of veal and his master chef ate a plate of
* Mince pies
were then made from minced meat or chicken instead of the fruit used
were sausages made from the large intestines and stomach of the pig