The Lydiard Archives

Recipes and Remedies

Browse Lady Johanna's Recipe Book, where remedies for the plague, The King's Evil and Canker of the Breast are interspersed with curatives for "being bit by a mad dog" and popular seventeenth century tonics such as "Gilberts Water". Read the poignant letters between Lady Johanna and her cousin, Anne St.John Wilmot, Lady Rochester, as they exchange medicines to try to save the dying John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.

The women of the manor handled much of the wellbeing of their family--and even that of the livestock. If they consulted doctors, it was often augmenting their own diagnosis and curatives. Sometimes they threw out the doctors and carried on with their own proven medicinals and herbals. The women of the seventeenth-century St.John family left a remarkable record of their recipes and remedies, through their memoirs, letters and recipe books.

From the peaceful herb gardens of Lydiard to making broths for prisoners in the Tower of London; toasting bloaters on an open fire in the one remaining room in a derelict Lydiard House to nursing wounded cavaliers during the siege of Nottingham Castle, the St.John women were at the centre of their family's wellness. Enjoy exploring their recipes and remedies...but warning: do not try any of these at home!

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Recipes and Remedies

Featured Items

Johanna St John (1631-1705), wife of Sir Walter St John, 3rd Bt by John Michael Wright
Johanna St John (1631-1705), wife of Sir Walter St John, 3rd Bt by John Michael Wright

Medium - oil on canvasMeasurements - H 73.5 W 57 c...

Johanna St.John Recipe Book (Images)
Johanna St.John Recipe Book (Images)

Lady Johanna's Recipe Book, preserved in the Wellc...

List of items and instructions from Lady Johanna St. John, c1660
List of items and instructions from Lady Johanna St. John, c1660

The list includes children's clothes, produce etc.

John Wilmot (1647-1680), 2nd Earl of Rochester, grandson of Sir John St John 1st Baronet
John Wilmot (1647-1680), 2nd Earl of Rochester, grandson of Sir John St John 1st Baronet

Medium - oil on canvasMeasurements H 124 x W 100 c...

Letter from Lady Johanna St.John to Thomas Hardyman, March 1661
Letter from Lady Johanna St.John to Thomas Hardyman, March 1661

Letter from Lady Johanna St.John, writing from her...

Letter from Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman, 13th March 1661
Letter from Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman, 13th March 1661

Letter from Lady Johanna St.John, writing from her...

Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman c April 1661
Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman c April 1661

Letter from Lady Johanna St.John, writing from her...

Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman, c1661
Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman, c1661

Letter from Lady Johanna St.John, writing from her...

Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman 25th October 1661
Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman 25th October 1661

Letter from Lady Johanna St.John, writing from her...

Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman,  circa December 1661
Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman, circa December 1661

The letter is principally concerned with the depar...

Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman 2nd May C1661
Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman 2nd May C1661

The letter which was written from Lydiard, concern...

Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman re political unrest
Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman re political unrest

The letter includes references to recipes and a pu...

Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman, (Feb?) 1660
Letter from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman, (Feb?) 1660

The letter is chiefly concerned with the hiring an...

Letter fragment from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman  c1660
Letter fragment from Lady Johanna St. John to Thomas Hardyman c1660

The fragment contains instructions, almost certain...

Dame Johanna St.John as a medical practitioner, by Frank Smallwood
Dame Johanna St.John as a medical practitioner, by Frank Smallwood

A scholarly article examining Lady Johanna St.John...