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Scottish Crockery and Cutlery

Forks and knives were unknown around Tayside until the 16th century. In fact, until the 19th century only the "better" classes had crockery and glassware.

Country families supped from a common dish, with the cooking-pot set in the middle of the table. Later on, wooden dishes and horn-spoons came into fashion, but potatoes were still not dished as it was customary simply to turn them out of the pot on to the wooden table!

When a lad left school to start work as a ploughboy, his equipment consisted mainly of a wooden brose “cap” and a horn spoon. At the bigger farms they used thick slices of barley bread as plates. Drinking, like supping, was from a common vessel, a stoup, a bicker or a quaich. These were mainly of wood, but in the houses of the gentry they might be of silver. There was, for example, the “lion beaker” of Glamis, and of that there is a tale concerning Sir Walter Scott.

Visiting Glamis, he was honoured by having this beaker set before him, and in honour of the noble house he drank off the full measure. Sad to say, this proved too much for him, and returning to Meigle by horseback, he lost his way.

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