The only recipe in Mrs Beeton (please, PLEASE prove me I'm wrong. Because right now? Looking at what other people say when they cite Mrs Beeton makes me seriously question their integrity) I can find that even resembles shepherds/cottage/china pie is on p 276 and called "Potato Pasty". This does not surprise me, and I'll explain why momentarily. In the meantime, the dish in Beeton requires _special apparatus_, which is placed between the minced meat/broth or gravy/butter on the bottom and the mashed potatos on top. To judge by the illustration, it was a pan with sides that angled out but did not curve, and there was a perforated plate with a handle in the middle (not unlike the steamer device I own, only that folds and this doesn't seem to). Mrs Beeton says you serve it in the dish you cook it in.
I should note that my edition _is_ abridged, but has the original illustrations, and is from the version by Beeton herself, not one of the later ones that preserved her name but not a whole lot else.
You can see what I'm looking at here:
Abridged out? Enough to seriously annoy. I must find a new copy of Mrs Beeton.
Other than the layer on the bottom, virtually identical to modern recipes. And yet not called pie of any sort, rather, "baked minced mutton". Unfortunately, totally unclear to me which edition of the book this is from.
And here's the beef version, "baked beef":
Note: "(this may be minced if there is not sufficient beef to cut into slices)"
Wish I knew how late an edition this was from...
ETAYA okay, really, after this I'm starting a new post:
And I now realize the OUP edition is a complete PIECE OF CRAP. Do not buy it. It is useless and horrible. How does it make any sense to abridge something to remove all the parts which the original author said she has paid "great attention" to? I'm sure there's an explanation, and it probably involves something like, oh, those are the boring ones we still make today and we want this book to look like a complete freak show of weirdo 19th century stuff?