There, he, his wife and any visiting knights would stuff themselves each morning. On fish days, when meat was forbidden, they’d simply gorge on pike, roach, plaice and eggs instead of mutton. Eating a proper breakfast didn’t do the duke much good because in the end he was executed for treason by Henry VIII, but you have to admire his enthusiasm for the meal.
Yet while it was rich Tudors who sparked the vogue for a hearty breakfast because they liked a feast before a day’s hunting, (poor Tudors had to make do with ale and bread), the idea of breakfast as we know it now was really cemented by the Victorians. The Industrial Revolution meant the common man – or woman – needed more sustenance in the morning before heading out for a gruelling shift in the colliery or the match factory. Working stomachs required eggs and bacon, tea and toast.
The habit stuck. And hurrah for that. Because is there anything more glorious than a proper British breakfast? Eggs, bacon, fat sausages, mushrooms, toast slick with butter, jars of marmalade and a hot pot of coffee. Although one of the joys about breakfast is that it can be whatever you want it to be. I think baked beans should be illegal, for example, but you may like them very much. Each to their own.