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Leach or Leche



The page opposite is from Elias Ashmole's History of the Noble Order of the Garter (London:1672). It includes this account of a garter supper and dinner both held at St George's Hall, Windsor Castle in the eleventh year of Henry VIII's reign (1520). Leche was served at the end of the courses. Another jelly, Jely Ypocras, was served at the beginning of the second course of the dinner. Though no recipes for Jely Ypocras have survived, it was almost certainly made by turning the spiced wine hypocras into a jelly with isinglass, hartshorn, calves' feet or ivory shavings.

Although no Tudor moulds have survived, there are records of jellies moulded into the shape of castles and animals at Henry's court. In the Plantagenet period, even more elaborate jellies and leches had been served to royalty. At Henry VI's coronation in Westminster Hall in 1429, his personal badge, 'an antelope with a crowne about his necke with a chayne of golde' was emblazoned on a white leach. There was also 'Gely party wryten and noted with Te Deum laudamus'.


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