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Archives find brews up interest

A 17th-century ‘shopping list’ discovered hidden in local archives has revealed what is thought to be one of the earliest known references to tea in England.

Rachel Conroy, curator at Temple Newsam House, Leeds, was at the West Yorkshire Archives researching for the historic property’s new ‘Beer: A History of Brewing and Drinking’ exhibition when she found an apothecary bill for medicinal ingredients bought for the estate in 1644. Included in the English Civil War-era shopping list was an order for a number of bottles of ‘China drink’ – the old name for tea – with each bottle priced four shillings.

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Where would today's family historian be without the wonders of the web? This issue we give you bespoke clues to help you mine that nugget of ancestral gold from among the billions of records available the major family history websites. But family history isn't just about researching facts. It's about recording and treasuring that family story. So to help you do just this, we also have a guide to building your own website for your genealogical discoveries - an online home for your family archive. Step up, and see where you can take your research next!