Who Invented the Sandwich and Where Did the Word “Sandwich” Come From?

For the entire duration of the American Revolution, or until March of 1782, the first lord of the British admiralty was John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

He was exceedingly unpopular, and the period of his tenure of office was notorious for graft, bribery, and general mismanagement.

The personal life of the Earl was also corrupt. Although married, he kept as his mistress a Miss Margaret or Marth Reay, by whom he had four children. She was murdered by a rejected suitor in 1779.

And he was an inveterate gambler. It was in his honor, because he was first lord of the admiralty at the time of their discovery, that the Hawaiian Islands were first called and long known as the Sandwich Islands.

But the misdemeanors of the Earl have now been forgotten and he is remembered only for his introduction of the convenient quick lunch composed of two slices of bread with a slice of meat or other filling between them.

It is said that this repast, called a sandwich in his honor, was devised at his direction during an exciting all-night session at cards when he did not wish to leave the gaming table for a full meal. But, unfortunately, no record has been found of the date of the occasion.

The sandwich cannot be said to have been invented by the Earl, however, because the Romans had a similar slight repast, called offula, many centuries before his time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *