The shopping list, written by Robert Draper in 1633, asks a Mr Bilby to provide a fire shovel as well as “some greenfish”, or in other words cod, before it has been salted or cured.
Here is the letter in full:
Mr Bilby, I pray p[ro]vide to be sent too morrow in ye Cart some Greenfish, The Lights from my Lady Cranfeild[es] Cham[ber] 2 dozen of Pewter spoon[es]: one greate fireshovell for ye nursery; and ye o[t]hers which were sent to be exchanged for some of a better fashion, a new frying pan together with a note of ye prises of such Commoditie for ye rest.
Your loving friend
Having lain hidden for more than 400 years, all of the letters required careful cleaning and conservation.
Story: Oliver Porritt, Kent Live | Photo: National Trust