A Flavour of the Monmouth Rebellion

Written by ‘Monmouth’ actress Maya Pieris



Samuel Pepys diary entry of November 12th, 1661 records going to “the Grayhound in Fleet Streete, and there drank some Raspbury Sack and eat some Sasages”.

So sausages, it seems, have been a firm favourite with the British for some time! And no doubt the soldiers in both armies at the Battle of Sedgemoor would have eaten one or two in their time possibly even cooking them in the camp fire stock pot. The battle was a pivotal moment in The Monmouth Rebellion which is the subject of the next Lyme Regis community play, “Monmouth”, following hard on the heels of last summer’s award winning The Tempest of Lyme. This play saw the community play idea revived in a town which had played a pivotal part in the development of this approach to theatre back in the 1970’s led by British playwright, theatre director and actress Ann Jellicoe. Monmouth will be performed on July 6th-8th and 13th-15th at the Marine Theatre and you can phone 01297 442394 or look at the Marine Theatre website for further details.

So to help us get into “the mood” the View From Lyme will be featuring a series of seventeenth century recipes over the coming weeks to give you a flavour of those times. We hope to highlight local producers and retailers who have “enlisted” in the project and will be “raising the colours” for the play. We start with a dish of sausages cooked in currants, wine and butter and served with buttered rice, not unlike Pilau Rice, curry being a newcomer to the British diet along with the potato which was beginning to feature on the dinner tables of the wealthy, yet to be mashed as a partner for the sausage or “sosige” as it was also spelt! Serve these sausages in a dish surrounded by “sippets”, little pieces of toast probably a memory of the bread trencher “plates” of the earlier medieval period.

To Stew Sausages for two people

  • 6 good quality sausages preferably from a butcher
  • 25g currants simmered in water till plumped up
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 5g brown sugar
  • 4 fl oz white wine- either sweet or dry
  • Seasoning
  • Small piece of toast to decorate and mop up the sauce

Simmer the sausages in water for about 20 minutes till cooked, strain and put on a plate. Place the remaining ingredients in the same pan, heat gently till the butter and sugar are incorporated then add the sausages and cook further till the sauce is slightly reduced and season to taste. Serve with the toast as decoration on a bed of the following rice.

Buttered Rice

  • 110g rice
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Place the rice in a pan, just cover with water and simmer for about 10 minutes till cooked adding more water if necessary. Strain and add remaining ingredients stirring in thoroughly and serve with the sausages.