Where’s The Beef?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Like a movie set arising from the verdant countryside, Hoghton Tower embodies everything English to me. What a great tour we had with Marion Macdonald, docent extraordinaire whose life’s passion is serving that “castle’s” history.  The 14th Baronett (one degree above a knight) lives in a wing of the tower while the rest is on display for tours and events.  It was originally built in 1109 and rebuilt in 1565 and land-granted to the de Hoghton (pronounced Horton) family for service to king and country.

OK, TMI, here’s the cool part.

When King James I of Bible translation fame, wanted to visit the area (with his entourage of 400), most neighboring nobles burned down their barns to escape from entertaining the not-so-popular king. But the Baronett opened his doors and regaled the king royally for 3 days (nearly going bankrupt in the process).

They had a huge banquet in the Great Hall and as a lark, the king knighted the fatted-calf that was to be the evening meal.  Hence forth and ever more, “Sir-Loin” was fit for a king! Really!

I did snopes this and they are unclear, but there is an etching of the knighting in the hall AND it is also noted in “The Story of Britain”, a 500+ page book I am currently reading.

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