Antedating of "Championship"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Jan 29 22:58:36 UTC 2004

This also does not illustrate the common modern sense of the word, as in "heavyweight championship", "the 2003 baseball championship," &c.

At the coronation of the British monarch, it was customary for someone to serve as the mornarch's champion, and to proclaim that "if there was anyone present who denied the new king's rightful possession of the crown, let him step forward and I will whip his ass".  This was apparently heritary in the Dymoke family for centuries.  I see in the Concise Dictionary of National Biography a mention of Sir Robert Dymoke, d 1546, who's described as "king's champion" and Sir Henry Dymoke, 1801-1865, "king's champion at George IV's coronation, 1821".

In America, this role is filled by the Supreme Court.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African
Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

----- Original Message -----
From: Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Date: Monday, January 26, 2004 5:34 pm
Subject: Antedating of "Championship"

> championship (OED 1825)
> 1791 Samuel Pegge _Curialia_ 120 (Eighteenth Century Collections
> Online)As to the Championship, it had continued, where it now
> rests, in the
> Family of _Dymoke_ for some Centuries.
> Fred Shapiro
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> -------
> Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
> Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF
> QUOTATIONS  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale
> University Press,
> Yale Law School                             forthcoming
> e-mail: fred.shapiro at
> -------------------------------------

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