Lancashire menu that sparked the legend King James I invented 'sirloin' sells for over three times more than asking price
The menu that sparked the legend of how King James I invented sirloin after knighting a joint of beef has sold at auction for more than three times its original asking price.
Legend says during a visit to Hoghton Tower in August 1617, James I was given a cut of beef so delicious that he decided to honour it.
The story claims that he announced to Sir Richard De Hoghton and his guests: "Loin, we dub thee knight henceforward be Sir Loin! Arise Sir Loin."
A copy of the menu printed by the Hoghtons in 1790 was found last year (2019), and was put up for auction by a private collector.
The document was originally expected to fetch between £400-£800 when it went under the hammer in Gloucestershire on Wednesday (March 4).
But the renowned menu surpassed expectations, with Dominic Winter auction house confirming an online bidder bought the menu for a staggering £3,000.
Chris Albury, specialist at Dominic Winter, said: "It's incredibly rare, and the earliest printing of this menu that we have traced.
"I suspect that it was printed to mark some now forgotten anniversary or special occasion at Hoghton Tower in the late 18th century.
"Survivals are rare and as a piece of gastronomical social history it is interesting to see what was eaten by the royals and gentry which in turn would have had a big influence on what the general populace aspired to eat themselves."
The lavish menu, which features a staggering 129 dishes, offered mutton, chicken, veal, turkey, rabbit, pig, pheasant, duck, deer, wild boar, quail and heron, as well as the famed beef.
Dishes included “swan roast, one, and one for to-morrow”, “heron’s roast cold”, “hot pheasant, one, and one for the King”, and “pear tart”.
The menu also lists the 14 members of staff that prepared and served the extravagant meals to King James, Sir Henry and their guests.