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When did the English start using forks for eating?

Question #38104. Asked by mochyn.
Last updated Jun 09 2021.

Answer has 7 votes
21 year member
530 replies

Answer has 7 votes.
In the early seventeenth century, it would seem. Introduced from the continent they were at first thought an affectation.


Response last updated by gtho4 on Jun 09 2021.
Aug 29 2003, 3:05 AM
Senior Moments
Answer has 15 votes
Currently Best Answer
Senior Moments

Answer has 15 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Although the word fork dates back to about the eleventh century as the name of an implement used to pitch hay, the table fork was not used in England until 1611. It was then that a country squire named Thomas Coryate returned from a trip to Italy, where forks had been used since at least the eleventh century, bringing back with him the newfangled eating utensil and an enthusiasm for using it. Coryate's countrymen, however, thought his zeal for eating with a fork was at best a foreign affectation and at worst an affront to God: he was mocked on the stage for his effete reluctance to touch his food with his hands, and he was castigated in churches for putting a devilish fork between himself and the food that his Lord so graciously gave him.


Aug 29 2003, 11:00 AM
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