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Spurs

Ripon spurs. The best spurs were made at Ripon, in Yorkshire.

“If my spurs be not right Rippon.”

Ben Jonson: Staple of News.

The Battle of Spurs.
The battle of Guinnegate, fought in 1513, between Henry VIII. and the Duc de Longueville. So called because the French used their spurs in flight more than their swords in fight.

The Battle of the Spurs.
The battle of Courtrai, in 1302. So called because the victorious Flemings gathered from the field more than 700 gilt spurs, worn by French nobles slain in the fight.

To dish up the spurs.
In Scotland, during the times of the Border feuds, when any of the great families had come to the end of their provisions the lady of the house sent up a pair of spurs for the last course, to intimate that it was time to put spurs to the horses and make a raid upon England for more cattle.

“He dishes up the spurs in his helpless address, like one of the old Border chiefs with an empty larder.” —The Daily Telegraph.

To win his spurs. To gain the rank of knighthood. When a man was knighted, the person who dubbed him presented him with a pair of gilt spurs.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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