champion of England

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champion of England. The duty of the champion was to present himself in full armour on horseback at the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall, to throw down the gauntlet, and challenge anyone who denied the king's title. The office was attached to the manor of Scrivelsby (Lincs.), which belonged in the 12th cent. to the Marmion family, who claimed to have been hereditary champions to the dukes of Normandy. Philip Marmion is said to have acted at the coronation of Edward I in 1274. The manor then passed to the Dymoke family and John Dymoke certainly acted as champion for Richard II. The Dymokes performed at subsequent ceremonies, the last being the coronation of George IV in 1821. William IV decided that the banquet was expensive and unseemly and it has not been held since. There is no record of any challenge being accepted, though it was rumoured that the Jacobites in 1761 might challenge George III. They did not.

J. A. Cannon