Nearly 400 Year-Old Grocery List Found at English Estate

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Almost 400 years ago, a note was penned in beautiful handwriting requesting a shopping trip for “greenfish” and several pewter spoons. The “grocery list” of sorts was unknowingly preserved underneath the floorboards in an attic of a historic home on the Knole estate in Kent, England. It was discovered while the home was undergoing a major restoration project.

Smithsonian Magazine transcribed the note as follows:

Mr Bilby, I pray p[ro]vide to be sent too morrow in ye Cart some Greenfish, The Lights from my Lady Cranfeild[es] Cham[ber] 2 dozen of Pewter spoon[es]: one greate fireshovell for ye nursery; and ye o[t]hers which were sent to be exchanged for some of a better fashion, a new frying pan together with a note of ye prises of such Commoditie for ye rest.
Your loving friend
Robert Draper
Octobre 1633

Since the note was nicely written, historians believe that a high-ranking servant of the estate penned it. The piece of paper probably made its way upstairs when trunks full of household items were stored in the attic. says that the note now belongs to the England’s National Trust. Two more letters were found dating back to different decades in Knole, and now, all of the papers are on display at the picturesque, historic country home.