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A. Fielden recipe book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Little is known about the identity of A. Fielden of Stansfield Cottage in Todmorden, England.

The Fielden family was prominent in 19th century Todmorden. John Fielden (1784-1849) was a British industrialist and radical member of Parliament. His father, Joshua Fielden (1749-1811), founded a cotton spinning business in Todmorden under the name Joshua Fielden and Sons. In 1816, the business was taken over by John Fielden and his brothers and renamed Fielden Brothers. The third generation of the business was run by John Fielden's sons, Samuel Fielden (1816-1889), John Fielden (1822-1893), and Joshua Fielden (1827-1887). According to Brian R. Law in Fieldens of Todmorden: a nineteenth century business dynasty, "John Fielden's family enterprise, Fielden Brothers, accumulated more capital in business than any other cotton firm in Britain before the watershed American Civil War. In the next generation, three Fielden brothers were among the wealthiest nouveau riches in Victorian Britain." (Law, 9)

Eileen le Mesurier, Lady Wolfenden (1908-2004) was the wife of Baron John Wolfenden (1906-1985), a British educationalist best known for the Wolfenden Committee report which recommended the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1957.


Law, Brian R. Fieldens of Todmorden: A Nineteenth Century Business Dynasty. G. Kelsall, 1995.

This volume contains 131 culinary, household, and medical recipes created or compiled primarily by A. Fielden of Stansfield Cottage, Todmorden, England between 1888 and 1894. This volume is bound in full leather and has an original marbled pastedown and endleaf. There are several other hands present in this volume. There is the hand of an unidentified individual from the 20th century present throughout, annotating earlier entries with genealogical information, and adding recipes starting on page 72. There are several other hands present, identified by the later contributor as their mother, Mrs. R. Barker of Thornhill (p. 2, 10-16, 46-52), Aunt Martha (p. 22), and Arame (p. 71). The writing ends on page 87, with pages 1 through 71 dating from 1888 to 1894 and pages 72 through 87 dating to the early or mid-20th century.

The recipes in this volume are attributed to several members of the Fielden family and to various other acquaintances, including Aunt Fielden (p. 4), Julie Dryer (p. 8), Aunt Mary of Peel Cottage (p. 9), Aunt Etta (p. 16), Aramie [?] Fielden (p. 18), Aunt Polly (p. 21), Cousin Hannah (p. 23), Mary Wragg (p. 34), Mrs. R. Barker of Thornhill (p. 44), Mrs. Evina Lord Elce (p. 46), Bella Lindsay (p. 56), Elizabeth Farmer (p. 59), Lady Wolfenden Eileen le Mesurier (p. 78), and Hetty Haycork (p. 82). Some recipes are also attributed to 19th century publications including Girls Own Paper (p. 14) and Household Words (p. 36).

Examples of recipes in this volume include brandy snaps (p. 4), stomach medicine (p. 5), Alexander pudding (p. 8), furniture polish (p. 17), sausages (p.18), tomato soup (p. 28), "for debility" (p. 30), scones (p. 46), Eccles cakes (p. 78), and Keema curry (p. 83).

Eccles cakes are small, round, current-filled pastries named after the Lancashire, England town of Eccles. Eccles cakes were possibly invented by Elizabeth Raffald and were first sold commercially by James Birch in 1793.


"The History behind (and Recipe for) Eccles Cakes." Wayback Machine, 5 Jan. 2007,

Sold by Alastor Rare Books, Ltd. (East Cowes, England), 2019.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge Smallwood
Finding Aid Date
2023 July 17
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A. Fielden recipe book, 1888-1894, approximately 1930-1950.

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