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Harvey Sauce

Sauces and Spicery

(Or Lazenby's Sauce)

An English Piquant Sauce sauce.

A 'rotten fish' sauce - based on anchovies - Harvey's seems to have originated the use of bright orange as a label colour for such sauces, still seen on Watkin's, Henderson's and most brands of Worcester.

Morning Post - Tuesday 15 October 1805

It is said to have been invented in 1760 by Peter Harvey, owner of the Black Dog Inn in Bedfont, Middlesex, in imitation of a sauce devised by the mother of Captain Charles Combers (qv), one of his customers. A certain London grocer, M. Lazenby, offered to buy the rights to it but was refused. Lazenby later married married Harvey's sister, Elizabeth, and as a wedding present, Peter Harvey gave Elizabeth the receipt (OED, Hartley 1954)

Although the receipt was held to be a secret, a version of it was published in the USA in 1851 in 'Miss Leslie's Directions for Cookery', and in England in Hartley 1954;

Original Receipt from 'Miss Leslie's Directions for Cookery' (Philadelphia, 1851)

Dissolve six anchovies in a pint of strong vinegar, and then add to them three table-spoonfuls of India soy, and three table-spoonfuls of mushroom catchup, two heads of garlic bruised small, and a quarter of an ounce of cayenne. Add sufficient cochineal powder to colour the mixture red. Let all these ingredients infuse in the vinegar for a fortnight, shaking it every day, and then strain and bottle it for use. Let the bottles be small, and cover the corks with leather.

It gets mentioned in Dickens 'Edwin Drood', in Anthony Trollope's 'Thackeray' in Rudyard Kipling, Wilkie Collins, Washington Irving and almost every book by William Makepeace Thackeray. No less than 26 of Mrs.B's receipts require it.

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