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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Tower remembers 'Sir Loin' legend
Hoghton Tower
The King's stop at Hoghton Tower bankrupted its owners
The legend of how Sirloin got its name has been re-enacted at a Lancashire stately home.

King James I is said to have knighted a particularly tasty loin of beef during a meal at Hoghton Tower, near Preston, Lancashire, in 1617.

The tower was playing host to the King as he and his retinue made their way back to London from Scotland.

The tourist attraction was staging a special meal to celebrate the story on Saturday evening.

'Arise, Sir Loin'

Historians are divided over whether the story is actually true.

The word Sirloin is said by some to have come from the French word 'surloynge' - which is made up of 'sur', meaning 'over' or 'above', and 'loynge' meaning 'loin'.

A number of legends claim its name came from it being 'knighted' by a monarch, although it is variously ascribed to Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James I.

According to the Lancashire tradition, James I drew his short sword and told the Hoghton Tower pages to bring the beef to him.

They went down on their knees and the king said "Arise, Sir Loin."

The king's visit is also said to have damaged the finances of the de Hoghton family so badly that the head of the family, Richard, spent a year in the Fleet Prison to pay off his debts.


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