The organised amongst us may have ordered their meat for Christmas last weekend. Will it be turkey, chicken or goose? A look at “The Nuneaton Diary” for the years between 1810 and the 1840s reveals that something else may have been on christmas tables in the area.
December 21st 1822
Market day before Christ. Beef & Mutton 4d per Lb, Pork 41/2d. 32 Cows said to be killed in the parish for Christmas.
Many of the entries refer to the buying or mutton or beef locally for Christmas. By this period goose had become fashionable in London though it took time to spread across the country and it and turkey tended to be for the well off.
Of course then as now there were many who could not afford food and who were suffering hardship within this area. Each year a soup kitchen would be set up by the Board of Guardians supported by contributions from local people and from holding public dinners. In 1836 an additional charitable fund was set up to provide the poor with coal, soup and clothing.