From the Roxburghe Ballads. University of Victoria Library.

Touching the well ordering of milk after it is come home to the dairy, the main point belonging thereunto is the housewife's cleanliness in the sweet and neat keeping of the dairy house; where not the least mote of any filth may by any means appear, but all things either to the eye or nose so void of sourness or sluttishness, that a prince's bed chamber must not exceed it.
(From Gervase Markham, The English Housewife, 1615.)

A rustic character in Lodge and Greene's play A Looking Glass for London and England cogently sums up the value of the cow in the ordinary man's diet:

Why, sir, alas, my cow is a common- wealth to me, for first, sir, she allows me, my wife and son, for to banquet ourselves withal: butter, cheese, whey, curds, cream, sod [boiled] milk, raw milk, sour milk, sweet milk and buttermilk (1. 3. 91-5).