by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing in the Daily Sentinel
John Montagu was a prominent 18th century nobleman, serving as England’s postmaster general, Northern Secretary of State, and First Lord of the Admiralty. He financed Captain James Cook’s explorations of the Pacific, was an early supporter of professional cricket leagues, and a great patron of the arts, whose scandalous affair with an opera singer led to her murder.
As the 4th Earl of Sandwich, though, Monatgu is not remembered for any of that history. Even when Cook named the Sandwich Islands after him, the name didn’t last. We now call them Hawaii. The reason he is remembered today, of course, is that he couldn’t leave the gambling table long enough to eat, so he had pieces of salted beef brought between bread slices. That way, he could eat with one hand while holding cards with the other. It was so clever that others began ordering “the same as Sandwich,” and the rest is culinary history.
What you probably didn’t know is that on that fateful day of gambling in 1762, Sandwich had inadvertently invented something else, too — global warming.