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Elizabeth Raffald

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Title: Elizabeth Raffald  
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Subject: Dorothy Hartley, Hannah Glasse, Cauliflower cheese, Black pudding, Bubble and squeak
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Elizabeth Raffald

Engraving of Elizabeth Raffald, from the 1786 edition of The Experienced English Housekeeper

Elizabeth Raffald (1733 – 19 April 1781) was an English businesswoman and writer, author of the "extremely successful" The Experienced English Housekeeper. Her book went through 13 authorised editions and at least 23 pirated ones.[1] In 1773, she sold the copyright to her publisher for £1400,[2] equivalent to about £155,000 as of 2014. In that book, she was the first cook to offer the combination of bride cake, almond paste, and royal icing.[3]

Raffald was born in Doncaster in 1733. Between 1748 and 1763 she was employed as a housekeeper by several families, including the Warburtons of Arley Hall in Cheshire, where she met her future husband, John Rafford, Arley Hall's head gardener. In 1763 the couple moved to Manchester, where Elizabeth opened a confectionery shop and John sold flowers and seeds at a market stall. They had 16 children, all daughters.[2]

Raffald opened what was probably Manchester's first registry office in which servants could marry. She also wrote a book on midwifery, under the guidance of Charles White, one of the founders of the Manchester Royal Infirmary, but she died before its publication. Raffald is buried at Stockport Parish Church. Only three of her daughters survived her.[2]

In 2012 Arley Hall announced that some of Raffald's recipes would be sold at the hall's restaurant. General manager Steve Hamilton called her "a huge character in Arley's history and it is only right that we mark her contribution to the estate's past".[1]


  1. ^ a b "Georgian chef Elizabeth Raffald's recipes return to Arley Hall menu", BBC, retrieved 6 April 2013 
  2. ^ a b c Local History Library of the Manchester Central Library (1978), pp. 5–6
  3. ^ Wilson, Carol (2005), "Wedding Cake: A Slice of History", Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 5 (2): 69–72,  


  • Local History Library of the Manchester Central Library (1978), Men and Women of Manchester, William Morris Press 

External links

  • at Archive.orgThe Experienced English Housekeeper

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