Last Updated:  04/18/09

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"Hell bent for leather!"


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 This is the original manor house for the Houghton clan in England.  It is located between Preston and Lancaster in Lancashire which is situated in the north west of England near the Scottish border.  It is known in England as Houghton (or Hogton) Tower.   This is the banquet hall where King James I dubbed a particularly tasty cut of cow, the "Sir Loin" of beef.  Visit the Houghton Family sub-web for other information and to download the original 1912 family genealogy as well as an enhanced PDF version created from a fully electronic copy

Sirloin of Beef  - A corruption of Surloin. (French, surlonge.) La partie due baeuf qui reste aprèsqu'on en a coupél'épaule et la cuisse. In Queen Elizabeth's “Progresses,” one of the items mentioned under March 31st, 1573, is a “sorloyne of byf.” Fuller tells us that Henry VIII. jocularly knighted the surloin. If so, James I.  could claim neither wit nor originality when, at a banquet given him at HOGTON Tower, near Blackburn, he said, “Bring hither that surloin, sirrah, for tis worthy of a more honourable post, being, as I may say, not sur loin, but sir loin.”

“Dining with the Abbot of Reading, he [Henry VIII.] ate so heartily of a loin of beef that the abbot said he would give 1,000 marks for such a stomach. `Done!' said the king, and kept the abbot a prisoner in the Tower, won his 1,000 marks, and knighted the beef.”- See Fuller: Church Ilistory, vi. 2, p. 299 (1655).

Reprinted from The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by written permission of Anthony Freeman,  Data Text Publishing Ltd, UK.

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This is my personal home page for Albion College where I work as an Instructional Technologist.  This site is completely maintained by the current version of Microsoft Front Page Editor.

Ralph H. Houghton
Instructional Technologist

Albion is located in south central Michigan.  --->

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  Last Updated: Saturday, April 18, 2009



A poet from Blackpool, Jim Bennet, disagrees with me as to the definition of "near".  He says there are two counties between Houghton Tower and the Scottish border.   Given the difference between the interstates here and UK driving, he's probably right.  He is doing research on the possibility William Shakespeare was a resident at Houghton Tower in the care of my great grandfather, Thomas Houghton.