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Calves' Head Club

CALVES' HEAD CLUB, a club established shortly after his death in derision of the memory of Charles I. Its chief meeting was held on the 30th of each January, the anniversary of the king's execution, when the dishes served were a cod's head to represent the individual, Charles Stuart; a pike representing tyranny; a boar's head representing the king preying on his subjects; and calves' heads representing Charles as king and his adherents. On the table an axe held the place of honour. After the banquet a copy of the king's Ikon Basilike was burnt, and the toast was "To those worthy patriots who killed the tyrant." After the Restoration the club met secretly. The first mention of it is in a tract reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany entitled "The Secret History of the Calves' Head Club." The club survived till 1734, when the diners were mobbed owing to the popular ill-feeling which their outrages on good taste provoked, and the riot which ensued put a final stop to the meetings.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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