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Did the Feoffees Eat Horse Meat?

1630

Information

The Feoffees were a group of men who oversaw the administration of money collected and distributed to the deserving poor. They also ensured that the city was in good running order. They were selected from the upper echelons of Peterborough society and represented the city. This meant that they provided hospitality to other dignitaries and travelled to meet them. Their account books have examples of some of the expenses they occurred. In 1630 it appears that some of the men travelled to Stamford. References were made to food and drink consumed, including venison (deer meat). One curious sentence reads: For our horsmeate at Stamford and given to thosler - 6d Thosler would translate as 'the ostler' and seventeenth century ostlers cared for horses, but what have they paid him six pence for? Horse meat looks like the obvious answer, but even in the seventeenth century, eating horse meat was frowned upon because they were such valuable animals. Furthermore they would buy meat from a butcher, not an ostler. It is more likely to be a payment for food, drink and possibly stabling for their horses whilst they were in Stamford. However, it is possible that the Feoffees enjoyed a 'mane' course that was a little different.
Reference
W. T. Mellows, Minutes and Accounts of the Feoffees and Governors of the City Lands with Supplementary Documents, Northamptonshire Record Society, 1937, p67