Men of la vieille roche. Old-fashioned men; men of fossilised ideas; non-progressive men. A geological expression.
“Perhaps it may be justly attributed to a class of producers, men of la vicille roche, that they have been so slow to apprehend the changes which are daily presenting themselves in the requirements of trade.” —The Times.
Sir Boyle Roche's bird. Sir Boyle Roche, quoting from Jevon's play (The Devil of a Wife), said on one occasion in the House, “Mr. Speaker, it is impossible I could have been in two places at once, unless I were a bird.”
“Presuming that the duplicate card is the knave of hearts, you may make a remark on the ubiquitous nature of certain cards, which, like Sir Boyle Roche's bird, are in two places at once.” —Drawing-room Magic.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894