To dine with Duke Humphrey


  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To dine with Duke Humphrey to go without dinner. See under Dine.
    • To dine with Duke Humphrey to go without dinner; -- a phrase common in Elizabethan literature, said to be from the practice of the poor gentry, who beguiled the dinner hour by a promenade near the tomb of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, in Old Saint Paul's.
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In literature:

Hence the 16th-century proverb "to dine with Duke Humphrey," used of those who loitered there dinnerless.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 12, Slice 2" by Various
To secure something which he covets he is capable of pawning his coat or 'dining with Duke Humphrey.
"The Confessions of a Collector" by William Carew Hazlitt