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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 46

Public instruction in cookery; teacher: Mrs Macpherson

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Public Instruction in Cookery.

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Sydney and Parramatta: C. E Fuller, Printer, George Street.

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Public Instruction in Cookery.

Mrs. Macpherson, who has recently arrived in the colonies has been for four years a most successful teacher in the Edinburgh School of Cookery. She holds a first-class diploma from the National Training School of Cookery, South Kensington, London, is well known in most of the principal towns in the United Kingdom, and has frequently been engaged as teacher by members of various school boards, as well as by the managers of public institutions.

As the British public had long experienced the need of wider-spread information on the subject of Cookery, and as such lectures as Mrs. Macpherson's were so obviously the means of diffusing useful knowledge throughout the country, the movement has been attended by immense and unvarying success.

Mrs. Macpherson, therefore, has every confidence in resolving to offer her instructions to the people of the colonies, and has much pleasure in announcing that she is about to deliver a course of twelve lectures, with practical demonstrations. Her stove (a present from the Edinburgh School) is of the most modern description, being fitted with Bunsen burners, etc.

Mrs. Macpherson has received public testimonials from many of the towns where her lectures have been most highly appreciated. She subjoins a few of the opinions of the Press, and of the names of those who have taken part in, and allowed their names to appear in connection with, the movement. She would call attention to the amount of support she has received from the Medical Faculty, who have rightly deemed a proper knowledge of cooking to be an essential part of every woman's education, and highly conducive to the health of the community.

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  • The Duke of Westminster.
  • Lord and Lady Roseberry.
  • Sir Watkin and Lady Williams Wynne, Wynnstay, North Wales.
  • The Dowager Lady Ruthven.
  • Lady Frances Lloyd.
  • Lady Grant Macpherson.
  • Hon. Mrs. Stapleton Cotton.
  • Alexander Stephenson, Esq., M.P., Tynemouth.
  • Stanley Leighton, Esq., M.P. Oswestry.
  • Donald Macgregor, Esq., (late M.P.), Leith.
  • Archbishop Strain, Edinburgh.
  • The Bishop of Perth and Dunkeld.
  • The Dean of Chester.
  • The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and Lady Falshaw.
  • Lord Gifford.
  • Lord Shand.
  • Professor Archer, Museum of Science and Art, Edinburgh.
  • The Mayor of Newcastle.
  • The Sheriff of Newcastle.
  • The Vicar of Newcastle.
  • The Mayor of Chester.
  • The Mayor of Tynemouth.
  • The Mayor of South Shields.
  • The Sheriff of Dumfries.
  • The Sheriff of Fife.
  • The Provosts of Dumfries, Dunfermline, Leith, Portobello, Montrose, Queensferry, etc.
  • Dr. Bruce, Newcastle.
  • Dr. Mertz, Newcastle.
  • R. Spence Watson, Esq.
  • J. B. Dale, Esq., Westo, South Shields.
  • J. Foster Spencer, Esq., North Shields.
  • G. Boswell, Esq., Garallan, Ayrshire.
  • The Vicar of Oswestry, and many Clergymen of all Denominations.
  • Mr. Almond, Loretto Public School, Musselburgh.
  • Dr. Sciennes, Edinburgh University.page 5
  • Dr. Stephenson Macadam, Edinburgh.
  • Dr. Legat, North Shields.
  • Dr. Balfour, Portobello.
  • Dr. Lawrence, Cumnock.
  • Dr. M'Culloch, Dumpfries.
  • Dr. Hugh Cunningham, Dumfries.
  • Dr. John Cunningham, Dumfries.
  • Dr. Ewen Murray, Dumfries.
  • Dr. Bruce, Castledykes.
  • Dr. Lewis, Dalbeattie.
  • Dr. Watson, Montrose.
  • Dr. Robson, North Shields.
  • Dr. Turnbull, North Shields.
  • Dr. Dalziel, North Shields.
  • Dr. Dow, Dunfermline.
  • Dr. T, A. Scott, Musselburgh.
  • Dr. Stephens North Shields.
  • Dr. Davies Colley, Chester.
  • Dr. Jepthcote, Chester.
  • Dr. Caldwell, Shotts.
  • Dr. Grange, Moffat.
  • Dr. Forbes, Moffat, Hydropathic Establishment.
  • Mr. Ormiston, Shotts Iron Works.
  • The Members of the Following School Boards:—Ddin, burgh, Leith, Portobello, Newcastle, Chester, Oswestry, Dunfermline, Shotts, Queensferry, Corstorphine, Dumfries, Troqueer, etc., etc.
  • The Managers of the Free Church Training School, Moray House, Edinburgh.
  • The Managers of the Magdalene Asylum, Edinburgh.
  • The Managers of the Merchant Company's Schools, Edinburgh.

"The success of the Edinburgh School of Cookery is largely due to the hearty co-operation of the teachers of the School. As the result of these classes, Local Committees have reported not only great general improvement in the cookery and economy of the district, but many individual instances of increased comfort in the homes of the working classes. At an page 6 early date in the existence of the School of Cookery, your Committee considered by what means they could most efficiently disseminate the principles of good and economical Cookery over the country. After much deliberation they formed the opinion that this could be best achieved by sending carefully-selected teachers, who could give lessons or lectures on Cookery, with practical demonstrations, in halls that the public were accustomed to frequent. The success that has hitherto attended this scheme has surpassed their most sanguine expectations."—Report of Executive Committee of Edinburgh School of Cookery.

"By means of hard work, method, thrift, and careful attention to financial details, the Edinburgh School of Cookery finds itself, at the end of two years, with more than £1000 of actual earnings. These canny Scotch ladies have charged the smallest sum possible for admissions to their lessons. The ladies of Edinburgh have formed a very high ideal of the training required for teachers, and their only fear is that, owing to the interest felt all over the country on the subject of Cookery, inferior and half-trained persons may be sent out who will bring the movement into disrepute."—Saturday Review.

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Opinions of the Press.

"One of the important points enforced by Mrs. Macpherson was, that good cookery meant economy. A number of useful hints were given; the lectures being delivered in a simple, effective way.

"—Argus, 28th October.

"Mrs. Macpherson takes care that her pupils shall really benefit by her teaching, answering all questions fully, passing round the dishes, when finished, for inspection, and repeating her instructions in a concise form, so that they may be transferred to note-books. The course includes every variety of dish for breakfast, dinner, and supper.

"—Argus, 13th November.

"Mrs. Macpherson continues most deservedly popular with all her pupils."

Argus, 27th November.

"Mrs. Macpherson comes to the colony with an excellent reputation as a teacher of cookery. The impression she created yesterday was a most pleasant one, and there can be little doubt that her lectures here will be the means of diffusing useful knowledge on the subject of cookery. She has a happy style of expressing herself, and at once demonstrates the fact that she has carefully studied, and has been well educated in the art she professes."

The Age, 28th October.

"This lady has a most pleasing method of instructing her class in the practical as well as the theoretical mysteries of her art. The lecture was listened to with the utmost attention and page 8 interest, which Mrs. Macpherson's quick-witted sallies and anecdotes never for a moment allowed to flag."

Daily Telegraph, 28th October.

"Mrs. Macpherson has a very pleasing style, and speaks distinctly, pausing between the sentences to give her audience time to take notes. On concluding, she was loudly applauded by her fair audience."

Daily Telegraph, 24th November.

"The mission which Mrs. Macpherson has set herself to carry out ought to be heartily taken up, and raised into a propaganda by the ladies of Victoria. Cookery should be made as essential a part of every girl's education as needlework and genteel deportment. Mrs. Macpherson's energetic labours are to be heartily commended."

Daily Telegraph, 25th November.

"What pleased me most was, that the cooking done was within the power of the most moderate means of housekeepers to copy. In some cases the lecturess used materials that otherwise would go to waste. I hope the science of cooking will become so popular that Mrs. Macpherson will be tempted to prolong her stay amongst us."

Evening Herald, 12th November.

"Mrs. Macpherson delivered the last of her series of lectures on cookery at the Athenaeum, yesterday afternoon, to a full audience. At the conclusion of the lecture, Dr. Macmillan, on behalf of the ladies who had attended the course, presented the following address:—'Melbourne Athenæum, 12th December, 1879.—To Mrs. Macpherson,—Dear Madam,—We have felt so much genuine pleasure in being present at your admirable course of lectures on cookery that we cannot refrain from indulging in the further pleasure of expressing our thanks to you for coming forward to instruct in a branch of female education that is too frequently neglected. We hope it will be some satisfaction for you to be assured by us that we have profited by page 9 your instructions, and have acquired an additional help to make our present and future homes happy. In saying au revoir, we hope you will soon allow us the privilege of gaining a wider experience of the culinary art under your intelligent guidance.' The Hon. T. T. A'Beckett testified to the pleasure and advantage that had been derived from the admirable course of lectures.

Argus, 13th December.

"Mrs. Macpherson's knowledge of her subject is so wide and accurate, and her manner and method of imparting her knowledge are so successful, that the best results must accrue from her tuition. As a lecturer the lady is very popular; she succeeds in giving a sense of her thorough competency as a cook and an instructor to her listeners; and each and all who visit the courses of her lectures cannot but profit by her admirable instruction."

Australasian Sketcher, December 20th.

"Mrs. Macpherson's credentials are of the highest order, and her exhibition convinced her audience that her reputation was fully sustained. She has an attractive, cheerful manner, and expresses herself clearly and distinctly. There can be no doubt that a vast amount of comfort would be experienced in many homes, were housewives only initiated into the mysteries of the art of which Mrs. Macpherson is so clever an exponent."

Sydney Morning Herald, April 2nd.

"Mrs. Macpherson has a most pleasing delivery, her words are well chosen and to the point, and convey their exact meaning clearly to her audience. Her method of imparting practical teachings is such that a thorough knowledge of the preparation of any dish may be obtained by attention. Every ingredient she uses is not only useful as a component part of the dish being prepared, but is also employed as a means of imparting a store of thoroughly useful information to her pupils, the method of testing the quality, measuring quantities, and proper treatment of each ingredient being carefully and lucidly explained."

Sydney Daily Telegraph, April 2nd.

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"Mrs. Macpherson explained the why and wherefore of everything connected with the cooking of the good things she described, showing her audience very clearly both how to cook them well and make them nice and appetisable for the table."

Sydney Evening News, April 2nd.

"One great feature in Mrs. Macpherson's lectures is the great stress she lays upon economy in cooking, and for using up cold meat, bread, fruit, etc. She has an infinite variety of dainty dishes."

Sydney Town and Country Journal, April 17th.

"One great advantage of Mrs. Macpherson's instructions is that the dishes prepared by her are of simple ingredients, within the reach of every one; and she teaches how to make the most of the homely materials within reach."

Town and Country Journal, April 10th.

"We have among us a highly competent professor of this most useful art in Mrs. Macpherson, of the Edinburgh School of Cookery. It is impossible to listen to her lucid explanations of matters so homely—to witness her delicate manipulations, combined with quickness of movement, and readiness of re-source, and not feel how intelligence and culture may ennoble the commonest acts of life."

Geelong Advertiser, January 7th.

"When, quick as thought, she produces as by the touch of a magic wand, wondrous little invalid delicacies, and her clear voice, attuned to the most melodious of accents, tells you in what way they are designed to give strength to the weak, and health to the ailing—you see before you the exact type of woman, that in the person of Florence Nightingale, has established, for all time, an abiding place in the hearts of our countrymen. She has so much to impart that it is to the interest of everyone to know that, upon sanitary grounds alone, her advent here may be regarded as of much social importance."

Geelong Advertiser, January 24th.

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"Mrs. Macpherson has a most pleasing method of delivering her lectures. Speaking slowly and distinctly, she proceeds to show how everything is made, and pauses sufficiently long to enable her pupils to jot down in their note-books her remarks and hints in connection with cookery."

Geelong Times, January 6th.

"Mrs. Macpherson has a singularly happy method of teaching, and her pupils seem to watch the operations with engrossing interest."


"Mrs. Macpherson has proved herself to be a capital instructress, her explanation on the manipulation of each dish being made in an exceedingly clear, intelligent, and interesting manner. All speak in terms of the highest praise of the cheerful and excellent manner in which she has imparted information to her interested audiences."

Dundee Advertiser.

"The classes which are being held at the Lecture Hall, Nelson-street, are a great success. The Newcastle ladies are learning: to cook, and to cook well. They could not have a more capable teacher than the Edinburgh lady who is now initiating them into the most useful of mysteries. Mrs. Macpherson is a first-class lecturer and a first-class cook, and the thanks of the whole town are certainly merited for what is one of the most useful educational movements ever started in Newcastle. Mrs. Macpherson has performed her work so well and obligingly that she has gained for herself the commendation of all who have attended her lectures."

Newcastle Daily Chronicle.

"Mrs. Macpherson's explanatory remarks showed that, in the system of cooking, which she so ably illustrated, economy and cleanliness were not overlooked. She is eminently fitted for the office she fills. She has been well educated in the art she professes, and clearly explains her methods of compounding every dish brought under her notice."

Newcastle Daily Journal.

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"The Committee have procured the services of Mrs. Macpherson, who holds a first-class diploma from South Kensington, and who, in a simple, concise, and practical manner, explains the modus operandi of her cooking. She is a bishop among cooks.'"

Chester Chronicle and North Wales Advertiser.

"Mrs. Macpherson, who is the accredited agent and teacher of the Edinburgh School of Cookery in Chester, is a thoroughly practical teacher of the culinary art. From the acquirement of cooking potatoes properly to that of turning out an elegant and appetising dish, she expresses all she desires in good, honest, Saxon language, and illustrates her preaching by conscientious practice."

Chester Gazette.

"The Cookery Classes which are being taught in the Mechanics' Hall, Dumfries, are proving completely successful. Apart from the interesting and useful character of the subject, its treatment by Mrs. Macpherson makes the lectures of that lady a source of real enjoyment to both sexes. She is a perfect adept in the theoretical and practical mysteries of plain and fancy cooking; a sensible example of a deft and cherry housewife, who executes her work with amazing celerity and un-soiled cleanliness; a clear-minded, quick-witted, fluent woman, whose explanations of the several processes of cooking are as graphic, plain, and popular as her practical execution is free, unencumbered by any awkwardness, and uninterrupted by any hitch."

Dumfries Weekly Standard.

"Mrs. Macpherson is a lady of great intelligence, and evidently mistrsss of her subject, which she illustrates in a very homely and pleasant manner."

Dumfries and Galloway Herald and Gazette.

"Mrs. Macpherson practically illustrates that which is theoretically advanced. She explains the various dishes with page 13 great lucidity, relieving the faintest sign of tediousness by a witty sally or anecdote. She holds a first-class diploma from South Kensington, and, from the manner in which she goes about the various processes, shows that she has undergone a thorough training, and is mistress of the art. She possesses a pleasant appearance, and sustains, by the clearness of her explanations and the rapidity of her movements, the fixed attention of her audience for two hours."

Dumfries and Galloway Standard.

"The attendance at the cookery classes continues to be as large as ever, and Mrs. Macpherson's popularity is undiminished. Her instructions, as well as her manner of teaching, seem to be highly appreciated by her numerous pupils, and the succession of novelties produced sustains the interest in the proceedings."

Dumfries Courier.

"The teacher is well qualified for the task she undertakes, as she so handles and explains the different arrangements and combinations, that even the most unskilled might easily understand. Mrs. Macpherson's audience followed her with much interest, and were as much astounded at her deftness as they were pleased with her clear explanations."

Leith Burghs Pilot.

"The Executive Committee have been unfortunate in having so excellent a lady as Mrs. Macpherson to conduct the lessons She is admirably fitted for the purpose, and as she cooks she carefully explains the dishes for the benefit of her audience The Cookery Classes at South Shields are an unqualified success."

South Shields Daily News.

"The Cookery Classes established in South Shields by Mrs. Macpherson, from the Edinburgh School of Cookery, are proving a complete success, both afternoon and evening classes being crowded every day. The limitation of the lectures to a course of twelve seems far from adequate to the demand of the Shields public."

South Shields Gazette.

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"It is exceedingly satisfactory to note the gratifying success which is attending the Cookery Classes in the Albion Assembly Booms, North Shields, and the great interest which is evinced by the numerous students in the practical instructions given by Mrs. Macpherson. During the past fortnight that lady has gained many friends and admirers by her kindness and courtesy while giving her lectures, and her departure for Edinburgh, which takes place on Monday, will be looked forward to by many with regret."

North Shields Daily News.

"Mrs. Macpherson fully maintains her reputation as a highly efficient teacher. Not only is she thoroughly interested in her work, but she spares herself no trouble to make the subject interesting, also to her pupils, and, besides showing them how to prepare dainty dishes, has a happy knack of conveying much information and many useful hints in domestic matters generally."

Oswestry Advertiser.

"Mrs. Macpherson is an able teacher, and well qualified in every respect for her work. To the very last she managed to keep up the interest of her pupils in the work of the classes."

Hamilton and Airdrie Advertiser.

"Mrs. Macpherson explains and illustrates her subject in a singularly clear and lucid manner; supplies many axioms well worth remembering; whilst, in the handling of the materials, she shows herself an adept."

Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser.

"Mrs. Macpherson gained the confidence of the whole of her audiences by the clear way in which she demonstrated her lessons by word and deed. She possesses great natural gifts, her power of demonstration and handiwork being the envy of all."

Montrose, Arbroath, and Brechin Review.

"In the hands of Mrs. Macpherson what appears in genera only food for the body becomes, at the same time, food for the page 15 mind. Unusually apt in handling the requisites which she calls into use; thoroughly economical in the use of them; quick and active in the disposition of the morceaux required, she is, at the same time, a fluent instructor in the modus operandi of her work; possessed of a thorough knowledge of the nutritious or other qualities of everything which she puts through her hands; careful in her explanations; and so plain in the character of her instructions that none could possibly be misunderstood."

Ayvshire and Cummock Express.