The Australian CONVICT RECIPE BOOK featuring Bessie BALDWIN

Bessie Baldwin, a farm girl from Kent, was working as a baker  for Thos. Edenwell in London.  He had a bakery right next to the House of Commons in Westminister, and was the self-styled ” Pastrycook to the Honourable Members”. In 1839, Bessie was charged in the Old Bailey with “riotous behaviour”.  She had demanded a wage rise of one penny per week to bring her wages to fivepence a week.  Edenwell, the tight-arse, refused the modest request. Bessie set to wreck his shop and assaulted Edenwell by striking him with a rabbit pie and then beating him about the head with the pie dish.  She was sentenced to transportation to the Colony of Van Dieman’s Land for seven years.  She continually worked hard for female rights, and in 1842 was assigned as assistant cook and pastrycook at Government House.  Such was her virtue in the culinary field, she was eventually granted a pardon.  She left Tasmania for NSW and was not heard of again.  Her recipes are recorded, and come down as some of the finest Colonial recipes ever.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.