20 May 2013

Elizabeth Raffald in Manchester and Stockport

Elizabeth Raffald (née Whitaker) was born in Doncaster in 1733 and worked at Arley Hall, Cheshire, where she became housekeeper. She met her future husband John Raffald there. The couple moved to Manchester in the early 1760s, where John had a florist's and Elizabeth was involved in a number of business enterprises, although she is most noted for her highly successful book The Experienced English Housekeeper (1769), which she dedicated to her former employer Lady Elizabeth Warburton.

In Exchange Square, Manchester:
Cookery book author and publisher of
the first Manchester trade directory
Established a cookery school, shop
and domestic service agency
near this site'
The Arden Arms in Millgate, Stockport, was rebuilt in 1815 by John and Elizabeth's nephew, George Raffald junior. It was on land originally used as a market garden and passed on from John to his brother George Raffald senior in 1760. Its interior is unusually well preserved.
Elizabeth Raffald was buried a few hundred yards from here, in the parish churchyard.


Suze said...

Hello Tony, i have been researching Elizabeth Raffald, who was a superwoman in terms of her achievements at a time when women had no legal rights, but your statement that she worked at Arley Hall for 15 years is incorrect. She moved there in Dec 1760, shortly after her future husband had moved there. (Arley now have some of her recipes on their menu) When they married in March 1763 that was when her enterprises began, along with producing at least 9 children. She seems to have been quite a mover and shaker on the Manchester scene,supporting 2 newspapers and writing a book on midwifery(never published) with the prominent surgeon Charlea White who was invokved in establishing both ManchesterRoyal Infirmary and St Mary's hospital. I think she was a person of some importance herself.
I hope this is interesting for you, I am doing further study on her life if you would like any more info.

Dr Tony Shaw said...

HI Suze

Many thanks for this comment, and I only wish more people would correct errors I make: I've now deleted the time element. I agree of course: she was quite a person.

She is said to have been buried in Stockport parish church, although I've walked around those flat stones twice and found no sign of her. The information bureau gave my partner the vicar's address, but you know how these things tend to get lost, I'm sure. So do you know if a gravestone exists?