Before you could buy medicines etc. a household had to make it’s own – in the Manor House this was done in the ‘Still Room’. A still room recipe book would contain recipes for food, cosmetics, soaps, preserves, how to distil alcohol and how to prepare medicines. Some gardening information and medical lore may also have been added, as well as notes on household management.
Hillary Spurling wrote about Elinor Fettiplace’s receipt book (Still Room book), dated 1604. It is “an extraordinarily intimate glimpse into the fabric of everyday Elizabethan life”