Bety Kok's Letter

 

The following anecdote was published in the Gentleman's Magazine Vol. 19 for December 1749 at Page 551.

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Mifter Urban - SUR

I haf bin a kok-med fefen yers in on famly - Afquires, and where I du lif now is Afquires, and haf liffed tree munts: And me miftris is a fery gud kok hurself - an on dey she toke fifik and did not cum doun ftars to fpit mete - wich was a furlin o beef and I fpit it and led it doun and the gak vent verry vel and the mete did not go and I put leden fkesers in and then it ftud on tother fid and I was in a grate pafhun and vent op ftars to mee miftress and tuld hur - Gud Bety - fays fhe - put in a led fkefer - I told hur I put in fiftin and nefer the betur: But Bety - fays fhe - pul out al the fkers and you'll find hanging op in the kitchin a litil pees of kroked irun [it was gust lik this S] and hang it on the fpit nex the gak lin and then hang on it a led wete of fife fefen or elefen pouns and I did hang on fefen pouns and it luked like this.

and then it vent verry vel - I thouh I wud tel u of it that it mite be med none and I expect to fee it in yur nex mag.

SUR

Aftur I writ this I fhod it to me miftris - the led it was rite enuf, but it was badly fpelt - O fed I - kok meds caunt fpel lik gentilfooks.

 

 

Diagram of a spit with a sirloin of beef ready for roasting, note the hook with the "Led Wete" used to control the turning speed.

 

 

This letter demonstrates quite nicely, how the profession of cook can be related to the name Kok which in this instance means a cook;

Med means Maid; Gak means the turning of the spit.