William Gorton

William Gorton

Inside the Main Kitchen at Kew


William Gorton was a former tax officer. In 1873 he was appointed Clerk of the Kitchen at Windsor by the Lord Steward of the Household.

Clerk of the kitchen

At first William Gorton was unsatisfied with his new royal appointment as Clerk of the Kitchen, particularly that he didn’t have his own dining room. However when he threatened to resign his conditions were improved.

When the Royal Family stayed at Kew, William had offices above the kitchen. As Clerk, William had the huge responsibility of feeding the Royal Household every day. One of his jobs was to record all transactions in his ledger which sat permanently on his desk. He was ultimately responsible for expenditure and no food could be ordered without his authority. William also checked all food when it was delivered. He also held the keys to the spice cupboard which stored tea, wine and spices.

That William was good at his job is evident by the fact that he was appointed Comptroller of the Household in the early 19th century.

William was fond of suet pudding with his roasts so was probably quite portly.

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