John Montagu 4th Earl of Sandwich
The origin of the word ‘sandwich’ for an item of food may have originated from a story about John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. He didn’t really ‘invent’ the sandwich but he may have made it popular.
Seated , Captain James Cook Centre – Lord Sandwich
It is said that in approx.1762, he asked for meat to be served between slices of bread, to avoid interrupting a gambling game. This story may have been rumour or adverse propaganda, put about by his rivals.
But soon people may have started ordering “the same as Sandwich”, and the name stuck!
The First ‘Sandwiches’
The 1st Century B.C. Jewish Rabbi Hillel the Elder is reported to have started the Passover tradition of putting lamb, mixed nuts and herbs between two pieces of unleavened bread. In the Middle Ages, people used thick slices of stale bread called ‘trenchers’ to double as plates on which they placed cooked meats and vegetables, a kind of ‘open sandwich’, although they probably did not eat the stale bread. The Dutch also have a long tradition of serving bread & butter with meat or fish (broodjes) or other delicious fillings & toppings.
The 2000 years old Sandwich
The first recorded mention of Sandwich was around 664 AD but there was probably some kind of settlement in Roman times as the site is very close to Risborough Roman Fort Rutupiae.
The name of the town is, most likely, Saxon in origin, approximately meaning sandy place, or the place on the sand. The word sandwich as an item of food came into being centuries later …