Victorian Hot Cross Buns

This image and the recipes for hot cross buns for Easter are from a book published in 1900, at the end of the Victorian era.

The_pride_of_the_household;_the_bakers'_complete_management_(1900)_(14793494933) Hot Cross Bun Recipe 1900

Text Appearing Before Image:

Copyright, 1900, by M. A. & K. M. Heinzer. TEA RUSK. 178 Tea Rusk. I pint of milk (lukewarm). 1 teaspoonful of salt. 2 tablespoonfiils of butter.2 table spoonfuls of lard. 4 tablespoonfuls of sugar.^ teaspoonful of cinnamon,^ ounce of compressed yeast.2 eggs.7 cups of flour. HOW TO MIX. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk and pour it into a wooden bowl, then add in the salt, lard, butter, eggs, sugar and cinnamon and mix lightly, then add in the flour and mix thoroughly. This dough will rise in 3 hours. When done, lap the dough over and let it stand one-half hourlonger, then place the dough on a table and break off small pieces the size of a walnut and roll them round and place them close together in a high bread pan, then let them rise45 minutes, and bake them in a moderate oven. Whenbaked, wash them over the top with molasses. These will bake in one-half hour. This will make 18 or 24 rusk. Copyright, 1900, by M. A. & K. M. Heinzer. i 1/9

Text Appearing After Image:

Copyright, 1900, by M. A. & K. M. Heinzer. HOT CROSS BUNS. 180 ^ teaspoonful of lemon extract. Hot Cross Buns. I quart of milk (lukewarm). I- ounce of compressed yeast. I teaspoonful of salt. I teaspoonful of cinnamon. •J teaspoonful of mace. i ■J pound of currants^ cup of butter.•J cup of lard.i6 cups of flour,f cup of sugar.6 eggs. HOW TO MIX. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk and pour it into a wooden bowl, then add in the salt, butter, eggs, sugar, lard, spices and extract and mix lightly, then add in the flour and mix thoroughly, add in the currants and mix i minute. This will rise in 4 hours. When done, lap the dough over and let it stand 45 minutes longer, then place it on a table and break off pieces the size of a small Qgg, then roll them round and place them on a greased pan and let them stand20 minutes, then cut them with a hot cross bun cutter, or a pair of scissors, and let them stand 10 or 15 minutes longer. Bake in the same heat as for baking bread.

The odd world of Victorian Easter cards

For Easter last year the BBC ran a story about the rising trend for Easter greeting cards in the Victorian era:

The odd world of Victorian Easter cards

The popularity of greeting cards rose over the nineteenth century as changes were made to Britain’s postal service.

While Easter cards aren’t as commonly posted in Britain anymore, they are still a big part of the holiday in some other parts of Europe.

Some of the funnier cards are below. The Jewish one in particular is very confusing (why does one of the chickens have a bandaged foot and a walking stick?), while some of the others are simply creepy to modern eyes!

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The weord world of Victorian Easter cards. Jewish._88780074_6a00d83451fc1769e200e54f09a7c78833-500wi

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On this day: the founding of a university

The University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada received its charter on the 28th of February, 1877.

The university was officially opened on the 20th of June the same year, and awarded its first degrees in 1880.



100 Objects – Victorian Tea Set

The British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects has been on loan to the National Museum here in Canberra for a while, and we finally got to it on the weekend.

I was pretty unimpressed with the idea “the world” apparently doesn’t include huge sections of it (they couldn’t manage anything from the huge Slavic societies of the east of Europe, nor huge sections of other continents, but a handful of countries are seriously overrepresented?).

However, being as crazy about the Victorian era as I am, here is a stoneware and silver English tea set from the early 1840s that is part of the exhibition. Oddly – and for the BRITISH Museum – it is about the only thing representing the British Empire, and the only thing from 19th century Britain.

However – look at it! I love it.



Victoria the Great – for fans of anything Victorian


I commented on the new television series, Victoria, and how horrified I was by the deliberate changes to history (such as making a teenage girl’s ageing mentor her love interest!).

Recently a different version of Queen Victoria’s life was on television: Victoria the Great, released in 1937 on the centenary of the real queen’s ascension to the throne.



Victoria being woken early to be informed she is now queen.

The movie version and a 19th century depiction of the moment.

Now, I don’t usually expect much of films from the 1930s (though Gone with the Wind has some spectacular crowd scenes that hold up today).

So how surprised I was to realise this old movie was the best interpretation of Queen Victoria’s life I’ve seen!

Actual, recorded historical moments are recreated beautifully, and accurately. I even learnt a few things – yes, I checked that they were true.


The queen’s (played by Anna Neagle), and Prince Albert’s (played by Anton Walbrook, all the way down to his dorky hair) costumes and hairstyles are spot-on. In an era where historical licence was practically expected, the people working on this film have all but recreated the costumes from official portraits.

The sets and filming locations are spectacular, even in black and white. Unlike so many “historical” movies today, the dances are accurate for the period (Anna Karenina, I’m looking at you!), and the women have their hair pinned up! The forms of transport they use (such as the early train they depart London on) look accurate to me.


I usually sit and nit-pick when watching historical dramas, but I couldn’t find much to complain about here.

I never liked The Young Victoria. For all the praise heaped on it, neither Emily Blunt or Rupert Friend suited their roles, and the less said about the horrific rewriting of history in the more recent Victoria, the better.

So far, this eighty-year-old film is my favourite version of the life of Britain’s most famous queen. I’m not sure how easy it is to track down these days, but it’s worth a watch.

In its time, Victoria the Great was so successful a second film was immediately made.

On this day: the founding of Essex County Cricket Club

Essex County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting in Chelmsford‘s Shire Hall on the 14th of January, 1876.


The Essex team in 1897. X

The sport of cricket had been in the area since some time in the 16th century, but no major teams were organised until the late Victorian era. Essex CCC became First-Class in 1894.

Most of the team’s home games are played in Chelmsford, the county town of Essex.