Fish Consumption in a midieval English bishop’s household, 1406-7

Daphne J. Martin

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 81-88, Volume 5, Issue 2 – February 2002

The accounts of a fifteeth-century English bishop give details of the fish eaten in is Wiltshire household on meatless days, comprising twenty-five species of fish, and seven types of crustaceans and gastropods. This reflects the advances in ship building and fishing methods. The servants were fed imported smoked and pickled North Sea herring, ad salted and dried Icelandic cod, supplied by the Hanseatic league of German ports. The bishop, his guests and household officials ate a variety of fresh marine and freshwater species, caught in the English Channel and Severn estuary and in local rivers. The daily fish ration was 0.5-1 kg and the total annual cost of the fish was nearly 5% of the bishop’s income.

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