In the year of Our Lord 1796, Absalom Relish founded the House of Relish in a potting-shed, in Clodpuddle, in the County of Kent. The foundation of this business represented the consummation of a lifetime of honest endeavour. The son of humble parents, he left the land on account of an inherent weakness of the knees, and entered the service of Baron Soyle of Clodpuddle in the capacity of knife-and-boots boy. His integrity, willingness and sagacity did not escape his master’s eye, so that before twenty years had passed Absalom was elevated to the dignity of second footman, from which he worked his way, in the course of ten or twelve years, to the position of butler to the Baron, and the secrets of the recipe-book and the pantry. Punches, sauces, and metal-polish, soap-boiling, jam-making, and elderberry wine were as an open book to Absalom Relish; nor were the secrets of game-hanging and the putrefaction of Stilton cheese unknown to him. But above all, he became possessed of the recipe for the famous Soyle Pickles, which for centuries had been the envy of the nobility of the county. This was the corner stone of his house….
Beginning of “The House of Relish”