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Blenheim House

(Oxfordshire). The house given by the nation to the Duke of Marlborough, for his victory over the French at Blenheim, in Bavaria, in the reign of Queen Anne (1704).

When Europe freed confessed the saving power
Of Marlborough's hand, Britain. who sent him forth,
Chief of confederate hosts, to fight the cause
Of liberty and justice, grateful raised
This palace, sacred to the leader's fame.

Littleton: Blenheim.

Blenheim Steps
Once noted for an anatomical school, over which Sir Astley Cooper presided. Here “resurrectionists” were sure to find a ready mart for their gruesome wares, for which they received sums of money varying from 10, and sometimes more. Such phrases as “going to Blenheim Steps,” meant going to be dissected, or unearthed from one's grave.

The body-snatchers, they have come,
And made a snatch at me;
`Tis very hard them kind of men
Won't let a body be.
The cock it crows- I must be gone-
My William, we must part;
But I'll be yours in death although
Sir Astley has my heart.

Hood: Mary's Ghost.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Blenheim House from Infoplease:

  • Blenheim House - Blenheim House (Oxfordshire). The house given by the nation to the Duke of Marlborough, for his ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: B - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "B"

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