White Surrey

This perennial quiz favourite is of somewhat dodgy provenance, and appears to originate in Shakespeare, via Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Brewer cites a line from Shakespeare's play, when Richard calls on his steward Ratcliffe to "saddle white Surrey for the field [i.e. Bosworth] tomorrow". Contemporary evidence indicates that Richard did own "a white Syrie" – i.e. a white horse of Syrian origin – but it is by no means certain that this was actually the horse's name (see books.google.co.uk)

© Haydn Thompson 2016