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but if the transplacement of fish has not been often attempted, it certainly is not because they are in
Turbot and Soles
The Bounty paid to the three persons bringing the largest quantities of Fish into Market from the 1st of October 1802, to the 1st of October 1803, was, for :Bounties.
Turbot and Soles
Tons. cwt. qrs. lbs.
9 1 1 2
L. S. d.
90 0 0 100 0 25
30 0 0
The total quantity of Fish exposed to sale in Edinburgh Market was for the years
The total Amount of the sums paid for Bounty, and the expences attending ascertaining the same, (including 6000l. remitted to Ireland for bounties in that kingdom,) is 11,260l. gs.
In the following Accounts will be seen the Price of Fish which were brought to the London Market at a very early period*, and also that which they bore upon an Average at the same place in the Year 1804. If the increased Expences of Provisions, Cordage, Bait, (Wilks for Cod bait selling now at five shillings per Bushel,) Mens Wages, &c. &c. the vast population of the Metropolis, and the Quantities of Fish now consumed, compared with the same Circumstances in the time of EDWARD the First; and if also the different value of Money be taken into the Calculation, we shall find a much less Variation between the Prices of the two Periods than might have been imagined.
"BILLINGSGATE," says Mr. PENNANT, "was antiently a small
• The FISHMONGERS had their Charter as a Company of the Livery of Lon- ̧ don A. D. 1433. The Livery Fine is £.25, and in Precedency they rank as the Fourth Company.
capable of sustaining various degrees of heat and of living in different climates; of this the Goldfish are a
port for the Reception of Shipping, and, for a considerable time, the most important place for the landing of almost every Article of Commerce. It was not till the Reign of King WILLIAM the Third, that it became famous as a Fish-market; who, in 1699, by Act of Parliament, made it a free Port for Fish, which might be sold there every day in the week, except Sunday. The object of this has been long frustrated, and the Epicure who goes (as was a frequent Practice) to Billingsgate to eat Fish in perfection, will now be cruelly disappointed.
"I cannot," adds Mr. P., “give a list of the Fish most acceptable to the SAXON Ages; but there is a List of those which were brought to Market in the Reign of EDWARD I. who condescended even to regulate the underneath Prices, that his Subjects might not, at that period, be left to the mercy of the Venders.
"The best Plaise
Ditto Bran, Sard and Betule
Ditto Mackrel in Lent
Ditto out of Lent
Ditto fresh Merlings, i. e. Merlangi, Whitings, four for 0 1 Best powdered ditto, twelve for
• 0 1
Ditto pickled Herrings, twenty
. 0 1
N. B. "This shews that the Invention of Pickling was before the time of WILLIAM BEUKELEN, who died in 1397."-See Brit. Zool. iii. Article Herring.
A dozen of best Soles
Best fresh Murril, i. e. Molva, either Cod or Ling
Ditto Dorac, (John Doree)
striking instance, being originally natives of CHINA and JAPAN. About the year 1691 they were first in
"Best fresh Herrings before Michaelmas, six for
Ditto fresh Oysters, a Gallon for
Best fresh Salmon, from Christmas to Easter
Best Smelts the hundred
A piece of Rumb, gross and fat, I suspect Holibut, which is in general sold in pieces, at
Best Sea Hogs, i. e. Porpesses
Ditto Eels, a Strike, or Quarter of a hundred
Forme of Cury, 52.
N. B. These, by their cheapness, must have been the little Lampreys now used for Baits; but we also imported Lampreys from Nantz: the first which came in was sold for not less than
A Month after at
Ditto Roche in Summer
By the high price of the Pike it is very probable that
In this List, by Mr. PENNANT, of the Fish sold at Billingsgate, the Pike and Porpuss bear the highest price.
"Among these Fish let me observe," continues Mr. P. " that the Conger is, at present, never admitted to any good Table; and to speak of serving up a Porpess whole, or in part, would set your Guests a staring. Yet, such is the difference of Taste, both these Dishes were in high esteem. King RICHARD'S Master Cooks have left a most excellent receipt for Congur in Sause*; and as for the
troduced into England, but were not generally known until 1728, when a great number were brought over
other great fish, it was either eaten roasted, or salted, or in broth, or furmente with Porpesse*. The learned Dr. CAIUS even tells us the proper sauce, and says, that it should be the same with that for the Dolphin †, another Dish unheard of in our days. From the great price the Lucy or Pike bore, one may reasonably suspect that it was at that time an exotic fish, and brought over at a vast expence.
"I confess myself (says Mr. P.) unacquainted with the words Barkey, Bran, and Betule: Sard was probably the Sardine or Pilchard: I am equally at a loss about Cropleys and Rumb: but the pickled Balenes were certainly the Pholas Dactylus of LINNÆUS, 1110, the Balanus of Rondeletius, de Testaceis, 28; and the Dattili of the Modern Italians, which are to this day eaten and even pickled."
To this list of Sea-fish which were admitted in those days to Table, may be added the Sturgeon and Ling; and there is twice mention in Archbishop NEVILL'S great Feast of a certain fish, both roasted and baked, unknown at present, called a Thirl-poole.
The Seal was also reckoned a fish, and, with the Sturgeon and Porpuss, were the only fresh fish which by the 33 of HENRY VIII. were permitted to be bought of any Stranger at Sea, between England and France, Flanders and Zealand.
Average Price of the several Sorts of Fish in the year 1804.
Plaise, 14d. to 2d.
Soles, 5d. per lb.
Cod, 6d. per lb.
Haddock, if plenty, 3s. or 4s. a basket of 24 fish.
Turbot, small, from 3s. to 5s.
Mackerel, 30s. to 31. 10s. per hundred.
Ditto, 53, 39, 56. † Caii Opuscula, 116.
Brit. Zoology, 3 vol. 320.
and presented to Sir MATTHEW DECKER, who circulated them round the neighbourhood of London, from whence they have been distributed to most parts of the country; they have been known to attain the length of eight inches, and in their native place are said to equal the size of the largest Herring, and perhaps from the observations made upon these, when kept in a glass Bowl, much information respecting the various actions of fish in the water, has been derived. Mr. White, of Selborne, has been particular in these remarks.
"It was here, (says that Gentleman,) that I first observed the manner in which fishes die. So soon as the creature sickens, the Head sinks lower and lower, and it stands, as it were, upon it; until, getting weaker, and losing all poise, the tail turns over, and at last he swims on the surface of the water, with its Belly upwards. The reason why fishes, when dead, float in that manner, is very obvious, because, when the body is no longer balanced by the
Gurnard, 4s. or 5s. a basket of 24.
Whiting, 2d. to 3d. each.
Pickled, Red, and Fresh Herrings, 4s. per hundred.
Perch, 2s. 6d. per lb.
Carp, 1s. per lb.
Oysters, 12s. per bushel.
Eels, 4d. to 6d. per lb.
Holibut, 10s. to 20s. each.
Salmon, 1s. 6d. per lb.
Smelts, early from 12s. to 15s.—2s. 6d. per hundred afterwards.
Roach, from 2s. to 3s. per hundred.
Pike, 1s. a lb.