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Humphrey (Master)


The imaginary collector of the tales in Master Humphrey’s Clock, by Charles Dickens.

To dine with Duke Humphrey. To have no dinner to go to. Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, son of Henry IV., was renowned for his hospitality. At death it was reported that a monument would be erected to him in St. Paul’s, but his body was interred at St. Albans. When the promenaders left for dinner, the poor stay-behinds who had no dinner used to say to the gay sparks who asked if they were going, that they would stay a little longer and look for the monument of the “good duke.”

To dine with Duke Humphrey in Powl’s Walk.

⁂ A similar locution is To sup with Sir Thomas Gresham. The Exchange built by Sir Thomas being a common lounge.

“Though little coin thy purseless pocket line,

Yet with great company thou art taken up;

For often with Duke Humphrey thou dost dine,

And often with Sir Thomas Gresham sup.”

Hayman: Quodlibet (Epigram on a Loafer), 1628.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Humble Bee
Humble Cow (A)
Humble Pie
Hume (David)
Humming Ale
Hummums (in Covent Garden)
Humpback (The)
Humphrey (Master)
Humpty Dumpty
Hundred Days
Hundred-eyed (The)
Hundred-handed (The)
Hundred Miles (A)
Hundred Years War (The)

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