families supped from a common dish, with the cooking-pot set
in the middle of the table. Later on, wooden dishes and horn-spoons
came into fashion, but potatoes were still not dished as it
was customary simply to turn them out of the pot on to the wooden
When a lad
left school to start work as a ploughboy, his equipment consisted
mainly of a wooden brose “cap” and a horn spoon.
At the bigger farms they used thick slices of barley bread as
plates. Drinking, like supping, was from a common vessel, a
stoup, a bicker or a quaich. These were mainly of wood, but
in the houses of the gentry they might be of silver. There was,
for example, the “lion beaker” of Glamis, and of
that there is a tale concerning Sir Walter Scott.
Glamis, he was honoured by having this beaker set before him,
and in honour of the noble house he drank off the full measure.
Sad to say, this proved too much for him, and returning to Meigle
by horseback, he lost his way.