The Installation Feast of George Neville, Archbishop of York, 1465


de nova villaGeorge Neville was a brother of the Earl of Warwick (The Kingmaker). Richard III, then the Duke of Gloucester, attended the enthronement and the feast that followed. Richard sat at the first table in the “Cheefe Chamber”. At the same table were the two daughters of the Earl of Warwick – Isabel who later married George, Duke of Clarence, and Anne, who became Richard’s wife. George Neville officiated at both the marriage ceremonies. George tried to be neutral but his close association with his brother, the Kingmaker, brought him into conflict with the House of York. He was imprisoned after the Battle of Barnett (where the Earl of Warwick was killed) and interred at castles in France and in England. He was released just before his death in 1476.

The following is a list of the food consumed at the feast:
Wheat – 300 quarters
Ale – 300 tuns
Wines – 100 tuns
Ipocrass – 1 pipe
Oxen – 104
Wild bulls – 6
Muttons – 1,000
Veals – 304
Porkes – 304
Swanns – 400
Kidds – 204
Cranes – 204
Chickens – 2,000
Pigeons – 2,000
Connies – 4,000
Bittors – 204
Heronshaws – 400
Pheasants – 200
Pertridges – 500
Woodcocks – 400
Curliews – 100
Egrits – 1,000
Cappons – 1,000
Geese – 2,000
Piggs – 2,000
Plovers – 400
Quailes – 1,200
Rees – 2,400
Peacocks – 104
Mallards and teals – 4,000
Staggs, bucks and roes – 500 and more
Cold pastries of venison – 4,000
Parted dishes of jellies – 1,000
Plain dishes of jellies – 3,000
Cold baked tarts – 4,000
Baked cold custards – 3,000
Hot pastries of venison – 1,500
Hot custards – 2,000
Pikes and breams – 308
Porpoises and seals – 12
Spices, sugared delicates and wafers, plenty.
One glutton meal makes many hungry ones

Glossary
Ipocrass – a cordial drink made of wine flavoured with spices.
Pipe – a measure for liquid = half a tun or two hogsheads
Bittor – bittern
Heronshaws – young heron
Egrits – lesser white heron
Ree – a female sandpiper

From De Nova Villa or The House of Nevill in Sunshine and Shade by Henry J. Swallow, 1885

Janet C. Senior, Assistant Librarian