A Bath Oliver is a hard, dry biscuit or cracker made from flour, butter, yeast and milk; often eaten with cheese. It was invented by physician William Oliver of Bath, Somerset around 1750, giving the biscuit its name.
When Oliver died, he bequeathed to his coachman, Mr. Atkins, the recipe for the Bath Oliver biscuit, together with £100 and ten sacks of the finest wheat-flour. Atkins promptly set up his biscuit baking business and became rich. Later the business passed to a man named Norris who sold out to a baker called Carter, although it is possible that several Bath bakers were producing the biscuit in competition. During the nineteenth century the Bath Oliver biscuit recipe passed to James Fortt. The company continued to produce the biscuit well into the second half of the twentieth century. Bath Olivers are currently produced by United Biscuits.
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