November 17th, the day of the accession of Queen Elizabeth, first publicly celebrated in 1570, and still kept as a holiday at the Exchequer, as it was at Westminster school.
Nov. 17 at Merchant Taylors' school is a holiday also, now called Sir Thomas White's Founder's Day.
“A rumour is spread in the court, and bath come to the eares of some of the most honourable counsell, how that I on the Queen's day last past did forbidd in our college an $$$ to bee made in praise of Her Majesty's government, etc.” —Dr. Whittaker to Lord Burghley (May 14th, 1590).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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