Dec 032015
 

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The Eureka Rebellion in 1854 was a rebellion of gold miners in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, who revolted against the colonial authority of the United Kingdom. The Battle of the Eureka Stockade, by which the rebellion is popularly known, was fought between miners and the colonial forces of Australia on this date in 1854 at Eureka lead mines, and named for the stockade structure erected by miners during the conflict. The rebellion lasted for less than half an hour and resulted in the deaths of at least 27 people, the majority of whom were rebels.

The event was the culmination of a period of civil disobedience in the Ballarat region during the Victorian gold rush with miners objecting to the expense of a miner’s license, taxation via the license without representation and the actions of the government, the police and military. The local rebellion grew from a Ballarat Reform League movement and culminated in the erection by the rebels of a crude battlement, and a swift and deadly siege by colonial forces.

Mass public support for the captured rebels in the colony’s capital of Melbourne when they were placed on trial resulted in the introduction of the Electoral Act 1856, which mandated full white male suffrage for elections for the lower house in the Victorian parliament, the second instituted political democracy in Australia. As such, the Eureka Rebellion is sometimes identified with the birth of democracy in Australia and interpreted by some as a political revolt.

Hiscock’s gold rush began on 12 August 1851 following the publication in the Geelong Advertiser of Thomas Hiscock’s gold findings at Hiscock’s, 3 km west of Buninyong (now Magpie, approximately 10 km south of Eureka). Just days later on 16 August 1851, Lieutenant-Governor Latrobe proclaimed in the Government Gazette crown rights for all mining proceeds and a license fee of 30 shillings per month effective from 1 September 1851.

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On 26 August, a rally of 40-50 miners opposing the fee was held at Hiscock’s gully – the first of many such protests in the colony. The miners opposed government policies of oppression including the license fee and demanded rights to vote and to buy land. This first meeting was followed by dissent across the colony’s mining settlements.

In December the government announced that it intended to raise the license fee to £3 a month, from 1 January 1852. This move incited protests around the colony, including the Forest Creek Monster Meeting of December 1851. In Ballarat, historian Weston Bate noted that diggers became so agitated that they began to gather arms. The government hastily repealed its plans due to the reaction. Nevertheless, oppressive license hunts continued and increased in frequency causing general dissent among the diggers. In addition, Weston Bate noted that the Ballarat diggings were in strong opposition to the strict liquor licensing laws imposed by the government.

On 6 October 1854, Scottish miner James Scobie was murdered at the Eureka hotel. Ten days later, on 17 October 1854, between 1,000 and 10,000 miners gathered at the hotel to protest the acquittal of James Bentley, the hotel proprietor and prime suspect in Scobie’s murder, by a corrupt magistrate. The miners rioted and Bentley and his wife Catherine fled for their lives as the hotel was burnt down by the angry mob. A small group of soldiers were unable to suppress the riot.

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On 22 October 1854, Ballarat Catholics met to protest the treatment of Father Smyth. The next day, the arrests of miners McIntyre and Fletcher for the Eureka Hotel fire provoked a mass meeting which attracted 4,000 miners. The meeting resolved to establish a ‘Digger’s Rights Society’, to protect their rights. On 1 November 1854, 3,000 miners met once again at Bakery Hill. They were addressed by Thomas Kennedy, Henry Holyoake, George Black and Henry Ross. The diggers were further angered by the arrest of another seven of their number for the Eureka Hotel fire.

On Saturday, 11 November 1854 a crowd estimated at more than 10,000 miners gathered at Bakery Hill, directly opposite the government encampment. At this meeting, the Ballarat Reform League was created, under the chairmanship of Chartist John Basson Humffray. Several other Reform League leaders, including Kennedy and Holyoake, had been involved with the Chartist (voting reform) movement in England. Many of the miners had past involvement in the Chartist movement and the social upheavals in Britain, Ireland, and continental Europe during the 1840s.The Ballarat Reform League sought to negotiate with Commissioner Robert Rede and the Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham.

In setting its goals, the Ballarat Reform League used the British Chartist movement’s principles. The meeting passed a resolution “that it is the inalienable right of every citizen to have a voice in making the laws he is called on to obey, that taxation without representation is tyranny.” The meeting also resolved to secede from the United Kingdom if the situation did not improve.

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Throughout the following weeks, the League sought to negotiate with Commissioner Robert Rede and the Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham, both on the specific matters relating to Bentley and the Scobie’s death, and the men being tried for the burning of the Eureka Hotel, and on the broader issues of abolition of the license, suffrage and democratic representation of the gold fields, and disbanding of the Gold Commission. Governor Hotham, on 16 November 1854, appointed a Royal Commission on goldfields problems and grievances. However, Commissioner Rede, rather than hear miner’s grievances, increased the police presence in the gold fields and summoned reinforcements from Melbourne.

On 28 November 1854, the reinforcements marching from Melbourne were attacked by a crowd of miners. A number were injured and a drummer boy was allegedly killed. The rumor of the drummer boy’s death was perpetuated, even with a memorial erected to him in Ballarat Cemetery for many years, although historical research has shown that the boy, John Egan, continued military service until dying in 1860.

At a meeting of about 12,000 ‘diggers’ on the following day, (29 November), the Reform League delegation relayed its failure to achieve any success in negotiations with the authorities. The miners resolved on open resistance to the authorities and to burn the hated licenses. Rede responded by ordering police to conduct a license search on 30 November. Eight defaulters were arrested, and most of the military resources available had to be summoned to extricate the arresting officers from the angry mob that had assembled. This raid prompted a change in the leadership of the Reform League, to people who argued in favor of ‘physical force’ rather than the ‘moral force’ championed by Humffray and the old leadership.

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In the rising tide of anger and resentment amongst the miners, a more militant leader, Peter Lalor, was elected. In swift fashion, a military structure was assembled. Brigades were formed, and captains were appointed. Licenses were burned, and on 1 December at Bakery Hill, the disaffected miners held a meeting where at the Australian flag of independence was solemnly consecrated and vows made for its defense, with the ‘Eureka oath’ being sworn by Peter Lalor to the affirmation of his fellow demonstrators, who encamped themselves around the flag to resist further license hunts and harassment by the authorities: “We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.”

The white and blue Eureka Flag, said to be designed by a Canadian miner, “Captain” Henry Ross, and bearing nothing but the Southern Cross, was then flown for the first (recorded) occasion; according to the Ballarat Times, which first mentioned the flag a week earlier on 24 November 1854, at “about eleven o’clock the ‘Southern Cross’ was hoisted, and its maiden appearance was a fascinating object to behold.” The Eureka flag was commonly referred to at the time as the “Australian flag,” and as the Southern Cross, with The Age variously reporting, on 28 November: “The Australian flag shall triumphantly wave in the sunshine of its own blue and peerless sky, over thousands of Australia’s adopted sons”

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During 2 December, the peak rebel force trained in and around the stockade. A further 200 Independent Californian Rangers, under the leadership of James McGill, arrived about 4pm. They were armed with revolvers and Mexican knives, and possessed horses. In a fateful decision, McGill decided to take most of the Californian Rangers away from the stockade to intercept rumored British reinforcements coming from Melbourne. Rede’s spies observed these actions. That night many of the miners went back to their own tents after the traditional Saturday night carousing, with the assumption that the Queen’s military forces would not be sent to attack on a Sunday. A small contingent of miners remained at the stockade overnight, which the spies reported to Rede.

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The stockade itself was a ramshackle affair which was hastily constructed over the following days from timber and overturned carts. The structure was never meant to be a military stockade or fortress. In the words of Lalor: “it was nothing more than an enclosure to keep our own men together, and was never erected with an eye to military defence”. Lalor had already outlined a plan whereby, “if the government forces come to attack us, we should meet them on the Gravel Pits, and if compelled, we should retreat by the heights to the old Canadian Gully, and there we shall make our final stand”.

By the beginning of December, the police contingent at Ballarat had been joined and surpassed in number by soldiers from British Army garrisons in Victoria, including detachments from the 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot and 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot. At 3 am on Sunday, 3 December, a party of 276 soldiers and police, under the command of Captain John W. Thomas approached the Eureka Stockade and a battle ensued.

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There is no agreement as to which side fired first, but the battle was fierce, brief, and terribly one-sided. The ramshackle army of miners was hopelessly outclassed by a military regiment and was routed in about 10 minutes. During the height of the battle, Lalor was shot in his left arm, took refuge under some timber and was smuggled out of the stockade and hidden. His arm was later amputated. Stories tell how women ran forward and threw themselves over the injured to prevent further indiscriminate killing. The Commission of Inquiry would later say that it was “a needless as well as a ruthless sacrifice of human life indiscriminate of innocent or guilty, and after all resistance had disappeared.” Early in the battle “Captain” Henry Ross was shot dead.[citation needed]

According to Lalor’s report, fourteen miners (mostly Irish) died inside the stockade and an additional eight died later from injuries they sustained. A further dozen were wounded but recovered. Three months after the Eureka Stockade, Peter Lalor wrote: “As the inhuman brutalities practiced by the troops are so well known, it is unnecessary for me to repeat them. There were 34 digger casualties of which 22 died. The unusual proportion of the killed to the wounded, is owing to the butchery of the military and troopers after the surrender.”

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During the battle, trooper John King the police constable, took down the Eureka flag. By 8 am, Captain Charles Pasley, the second in command of the British forces, sickened by the carnage, saved a group of prisoners from being bayoneted and threatened to shoot any police or soldiers who continued with the slaughter. 114 diggers, some wounded, were marched off to the Government camp about 2 km away, where they were kept in an overcrowded lock-up, before being moved to a more spacious barn on Monday morning. Of the soldiers and police, six were killed, including Captain Wise. Martial law was imposed, and all armed resistance collapsed. News of the battle spread quickly to Melbourne and other gold field regions, turning a perceived Government military victory in repressing a minor insurrection into a public relations disaster. Thousands of people in Melbourne turned out to condemn the authorities, in defiance of their mayor and some Legislative Councillors, who tried to rally support for the government.

Because of massive public sympathy for the diggers, those arrested and tried for sedition were either found not guilty by juries or received light sentences if found guilty. When Hotham’s Royal Commission report, initiated before the conflict, was finally handed down it was scathing in its assessment of all aspects of the administration of the gold fields, and particularly the Eureka Stockade affair. According to Blainey, “It was perhaps the most generous concession offered by a governor to a major opponent in the history of Australia up to that time. The members of the commission were appointed before Eureka…they were men who were likely to be sympathetic to the diggers.”

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The report made several major recommendations, one of which was to restrict Chinese immigration. Its recommendations were put into effect only after the Stockade. The gold licenses were then abolished, and replaced by an annual miner’s right and an export fee based on the value of the gold. Mining wardens replaced the gold commissioners, and police numbers were cut drastically. The Legislative Council was expanded to allow representation to the major goldfields, and Peter Lalor and John Basson Humffray were elected for Ballarat, although there were property qualifications with regards to eligibility to vote in upper house elections in Victoria until the 1950s. After 12 months, all but one of the demands of the Ballarat Reform League had been granted. Lalor and Humffray both enjoyed distinguished careers as politicians, with Lalor later elected as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria.

Kangaroo meat was, and is, common in the goldfields region of Victoria – once a cheap source of meat. It’s not so cheap any more, but fairly easy to find in Australia, though rare outside. Kangaroo tail soup or stew is an obvious variant of oxtail soup/stew which is an old favorite of mine. A kangaroo’s tail is extremely important for balance and support, and is big and muscular. So, as with oxtail, the meat can be very tough and requires long slow cooking. This recipe of mine can be used for either kangaroo tail or oxtail. I used to cook oxtail all the time when it was considered trash food that no one wanted, and so was dirt cheap. Then gourmets got hold of the fact that tail meat is super tasty and prices skyrocketed. You have to love market forces.

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Oxtail or Kangaroo Tail Soup/Stew

The tail should be jointed in fat sections. Use a large, heavy stockpot to brown the joints thoroughly in batches. Cover the joints with stock, add carrots, onions, celery and potatoes, and simmer, covered, for 3 to 4 hours. Your aim is to cook the meat until it falls from the bone and the vegetables are mush. Refrigerate over night.

In the morning, remove the congealed fat from the top of the pot. The stock should be thick and jellified. Heat the pot gently on the stove until the stock has liquefied and warmed through. Remove the tail bones, and keep heating the stock to a gentle simmer. Strip all the meat from the tail bones. With a potato masher, mash all the vegetables in the stock until it is thick and homogenous. Keep heating, and return the meat to the pot. Flavorings are cook’s choice. I generally add nothing but freshly ground black pepper. Some cooks add pot herbs such as parsley and thyme, plus a glass of Madeira or Port. Serve with crusty bread and a fresh green salad.

Nov 052015
 

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On this date in 1872 Susan B. Anthony voted in the U.S. presidential election in defiance of law and was later arrested and fined $100.

Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a U.S. social reformer and feminist who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement. Born into a Quaker family committed to social equality, she collected anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17. In 1856, she became the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.

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In 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who became her lifelong friend and co-worker in social reform activities, primarily in the field of women’s rights. In 1852, they founded the New York Women’s State Temperance Society after Anthony was prevented from speaking at a temperance conference because she was a woman. In 1863, they founded the Women’s Loyal National League, which conducted the largest petition drive in the nation’s history up to that time, collecting nearly 400,000 signatures in support of the abolition of slavery. In 1866, they initiated the American Equal Rights Association, which campaigned for equal rights for both women and African Americans. In 1868, they began publishing a women’s rights newspaper called The Revolution. In 1869, they founded the National Woman Suffrage Association as part of a split in the women’s movement. In 1890 the split was formally healed when their organization merged with the rival American Woman Suffrage Association to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association, with Anthony as its key force. In 1876, Anthony and Stanton began working with Matilda Joslyn Gage on what eventually grew into the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage. The interests of Anthony and Stanton diverged somewhat in later years, but the two remained close friends.

In May 1869, Anthony, Stanton and others formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). After the formation of the NWSA, Anthony dedicated herself fully to the organization and to women’s suffrage. She did not draw a salary from either it or its successor, the NAWSA, but on the contrary used her lecture fees to fund those organizations. There was no national office, the mailing address being simply that of one of the officers.

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That Anthony had remained unmarried gave her an important business advantage in this work. A married woman at that time had the legal status of feme covert, which, among other things, excluded her from signing contracts (her husband could do that for her, if he chose). As Anthony had no husband, she was a feme sole and could freely sign contracts for convention halls, printed materials, etc. With the press treating her as a celebrity, she proved to be a major draw as a speaker. Over her career she estimated that she averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year. Travel conditions in the earlier days were sometimes appalling. Once she gave a speech from the top of a billiard table. On another occasion her train was snowbound for days, and she survived on crackers and dried fish.

Both Anthony and Stanton joined the lecture circuit about 1870, usually traveling from mid-autumn to spring. The timing was right because the nation was beginning to discuss women’s suffrage as a serious matter. Occasionally they traveled together but most often not. Lecture bureaus scheduled their tours and handled the travel arrangements, which generally involved traveling during the day and speaking at night, sometimes for weeks at a time, including weekends. Their lectures brought new recruits into the movement who strengthened suffrage organizations at the local, state and national levels. Their journeys during that decade covered a distance that was unmatched by any other reformer or politician. Anthony’s other suffrage work included organizing national conventions, lobbying Congress and state legislatures, and participating in a seemingly endless series of state suffrage campaigns.

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A special opportunity arose in 1876 when the U.S. celebrated its 100th birthday as an independent country. The NWSA asked permission to present a Declaration of Rights for Women at the official ceremony in Philadelphia, but was refused. Undaunted, five women, headed by Anthony, walked on to the platform during the ceremony and handed their Declaration to the startled official in charge. As they left, they handed out copies of it to the crowd. Spotting an unoccupied bandstand outside the hall, Anthony mounted it and read the Declaration to a large crowd. Afterwards she invited everyone to a NWSA convention at the nearby Unitarian church where speakers like Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton awaited them.

The work of all segments of the women’s suffrage movement began to show clear results. Women won the right to vote in Wyoming in 1869 and in Utah in 1870. Her lectures in Washington and four other states led directly to invitations for her to address the state legislatures there.

The Grange, a large advocacy group for farmers, officially supported women’s suffrage as early as 1885. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the largest women’s organization in the country, also supported suffrage.

Anthony’s commitment to the movement, her spartan lifestyle, and the fact that she did not seek personal financial gain, made her an effective fund-raiser and won her the admiration of many who did not agree with her goals. As her reputation grew, her working and travel conditions improved. She sometimes had the use of the private railroad car of Jane Stanford, a sympathizer whose husband owned a major railroad. While lobbying and preparing for the annual suffrage conventions in Washington, she was provided with a free suite of rooms in the Riggs Hotel, whose owners supported her work. To ensure continuity, Anthony trained a group of younger activists, who were known as her “nieces,” to assume leadership roles within the organization. Two of them, Carrie Chapman Catt and Anna Howard Shaw, served as presidents of the NAWSA after Anthony retired from that position.

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The NWSA convention of 1871 adopted a strategy of urging women to attempt to vote, and then, after being turned away, to file suits in federal courts demanding that their right to vote be recognized. The legal basis for the challenge would be the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment. Section 1 of that amendment reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Anthony and nearly fifty other women in Rochester attempted to vote in the presidential election of 1872. Fifteen of them convinced the election inspectors to allow them to cast ballots, but the others were turned back. There had been earlier cases of women attempting to vote, and even some cases of success, but the reaction of the authorities had been muted. When Anthony voted, however, the reaction was different, and her case became a national controversy. Anthony was arrested on November 18, 1872, by a U.S. Deputy Marshal and charged with illegally voting. The other fourteen women were also arrested but released pending the outcome of Anthony’s trial.

Anthony spoke in all 29 towns and villages of Monroe County, New York, where her trial was to be held, asking “Is it a Crime for a U.S. Citizen to Vote?” She said the Fourteenth Amendment gave her that right, proclaiming, “We no longer petition legislature or Congress to give us the right to vote, but appeal to women everywhere to exercise their too long neglected ‘citizen’s right'”. Her speech was printed in its entirety in one of the Rochester daily newspapers, which further spread her message to potential jurors.

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Worried that Anthony’s speeches would influence the jury, the district attorney arranged for the trial to be moved to the federal circuit court, which would soon sit in neighboring Ontario County. Anthony responded by speaking in every village in that county also before the trial began. Responsibility for that federal circuit was in the hands of Justice Ward Hunt, who had recently been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hunt had never served as a trial judge; originally a politician, he had begun his judicial career by being elected to the New York Court of Appeals.

Anthony’s trial was a major step in the transition of the women’s rights movement into the women’s suffrage movement. The trial began on June 17, 1873, and was closely followed by the national press. The New York Times caught the tone of the proceedings by reporting that, “It was conceded that the defendant was, on the 5th November, 1872, a woman.”

Following a rule of common law at that time which prevented criminal defendants in federal courts from testifying, Hunt refused to allow Anthony to speak until the verdict had been delivered. On the second day of the trial, after both sides had presented their cases, Justice Hunt delivered his opinion, which he had put in writing. In the most controversial aspect of the trial, Hunt directed the jury to deliver a guilty verdict.

On the third day of the trial, Hunt asked Anthony whether she had anything to say. She responded with “the most famous speech in the history of the agitation for woman suffrage”, according to Ann D. Gordon, a historian of the women’s movement. Repeatedly ignoring the judge’s order to stop talking and sit down, she protested what she called “this high-handed outrage upon my citizen’s rights … you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored.”

She castigated Justice Hunt for denying her a trial by jury, but stated that even if he had allowed the jury to discuss the case, she still would have been denied a trial by a jury of her peers because women were not allowed to be jurors. When Justice Hunt sentenced Anthony to pay a fine of $100, she responded, “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty”, and she never did. If Hunt had ordered her to be imprisoned until she paid the fine, Anthony could have appealed her case to the Supreme Court. Hunt instead announced he would not order her taken into custody, closing off that legal avenue.

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The U.S. Supreme Court in 1875 put an end to the strategy of trying to achieve women’s suffrage through the court system by ruling in Minor v. Happersett that “the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon anyone”. The NWSA decided to pursue the far more difficult strategy of campaigning for a constitutional amendment to guarantee voting rights for women.

In 1878, Anthony and Stanton arranged for Congress to be presented with an amendment giving women the right to vote. Popularly known as the Anthony Amendment and introduced by Sen. Aaron A. Sargent (R-CA), it became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. Unfortunately Anthony died before it was enacted.

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Anthony worked internationally for women’s rights, playing a key role in creating the International Council of Women, which is still active. She also helped to bring about the World’s Congress of Representative Women at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

When she first began campaigning for women’s rights, Anthony was harshly ridiculed and accused of trying to destroy the institution of marriage. Public perception of her changed radically during her lifetime, however. Her 80th birthday was celebrated in the White House at the invitation of President William McKinley.

It is said in several places that Anthony’s favorite food was shrimp, but without specifics. However, we have this quote directly from her in reply to a query from a group of female college students about recipes for her favorite foods to include in their newspaper.

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Dear Junior Girls: My favorite cake is the old-fashioned sponge, made of eggs, the whites lashed to a stiff froth, the yolks beaten thoroughly with cups of pulverized sugar, a pinch of salt, a slight flavor of almond. Into these stir __ cups of flour – first a little flour, then a little of the white froth – and pour and pour the foaming batter into a dish with a bit of white buttered paper in the bottom. Clap into a rightly tempered oven as quickly as possible and take out exactly at the proper minute, when it is baked just enough to hold itself up to its highest and best estate. Then don’t cut, but break it carefully, and the golden sponge is fit for the gods . . .

Well, the dickens is to pay – I can not find the old cook book – so just put in any good sponge cake recipe for me, and then add: “It matters not how good the recipe or the ingredients may be, the cake will not be good unless there is a lot of common sense mixed in with the stir of the spoon.

In consequence, I suggest the same. Find a good sponge cake recipe and prepare it with common sense !!