Sublime Society of Beefsteaks

There’s a dog we sometimes see in the park who has something wrong with his back legs. I might have posted about him before. His owner’s have rigged up a wheelchair for him so he can still go for walks in the park. The poodles always leave him alone which is strangely empathic of them. Anyway, we saw him today and I managed to get a photograph.

Looking wistfully at the poodles as they frolic on four legs

He always seems very happy, trundling along behind his humans. They have another dog which has the use of all of it’s legs, which bounces around all over the place.

Speaking of bouncing…this little chap suddenly appeared out of no where and surprised the girls. He looks a wee bit manic if you ask me.

Come on! Take the ball! I dare ya!

After Day-z had run away, Carmen went over to say hello and they (sort of) did a bit of socialising, though Carmen is never too sure what to do.

I'll just check that you're a girl...

That was about it for today (apart from an agonisingly dull amount of time spent on the accounts) so I thought I might talk about the Sublime Society of Beefsteaks.

It all started in 1735 in (where else?) London. There’s a few thoughts about how it started but the one I’ve chosen to go with is this: This guy called John Rich was, more or less, too busy to go home to eat so he’d sit in his office in the Covent Garden Theatre. he had a simply little gridiron upon which he would sear his beefsteaks. A friend of his, George Lambert thought this a jolly sort of jape and wanted to join in. So they decided to make it a regular thing.

Very quickly word managed to move around those that listen to these sorts of things and soon they were entertaining quite a few publicans, actors, dancers, painters, etc. “Visitors ‘of the first consideration, both in rank and talents’ called on him, and were invited to share in his beef.” And they all decided to form themselves into a club. They made all sorts of rules but the mainstay of the Beefsteakers was simplicity of fare. This meant they just ate beef steaks when the society met.

Word soon spread even further and suddenly, the toffs wanted in. A new rule was created. Anyone with pretensions to grandeur must serve as butlers to those that did not. The toffs all thought this was great fun so, each meeting, they would remove their costly coats, top hats and gloves and hand out beef steaks to the smelly masses of theatre folk.

The society lasted for many, many years and had some very well known members – William Hogarth, John Wilkes, John Montagu, fourth earl of Sandwich. In fact it was probably Wilkes who came up with the motto “Beef and Liberty”. They even had special songs they’d sing at meetings, Roast Beef of Old England being their traditional hymn. This was superseded by The Song of the Day. Here’s some of the lyrics:

No more shall fame expand her wings
To sounds of heroes, states or kings
A nobler flight the goddess takes
To praise our British beef in steaks
A joyful theme for Britons free
Happy in beef and liberty
A joyful theme for Britons free
Happy in beef and liberty

And so it goes. If you want to hear a recording of it, there’s one here – just click the little play symbol when it appears.

There’s another three verses, all praising the joys of beef. And all of this is absolutely true.

When I read this sort of thing, firstly I’m so glad I’m English, secondly, I begin to wonder whether Monty Python’s Flying Circus was really comedy and thirdly, I really, really want to join!

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2 Responses to Sublime Society of Beefsteaks

  1. mum cook says:

    Brave dog still he can get about.
    love the song.
    love mum

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  2. Mirinda says:

    And when i read this sort of thing…I’m so glad I’m not English

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