The Story of Why Over 500 Pubs in England Share the Same Name
On latest count, there are 514 pubs across the country that share the same moniker.
In England, it's not hard to stumble across a place to grab a pint. From any vantage point, there's practically one within eyesight wherever you go. But one thing that does seem to be in short supply? Names. Hundreds throughout the country share the same moniker — 514, to be exact. But why?
As with most things in England, there's plenty of history and tradition to back up the trend. The name Red Lion adorns the sign above hundreds of drinking holes throughout the country and even the world. In London alone, there are more than 20, according to the latest count of open restaurants on Google. The reason why is up for debate but on a recent trip to London, my tour guide shared the following story, which was corroborated by Historic UK.
All the way back in 1603, James VI of Scotland inherited the throne to become James I of England. The only problem was that he wasn't incredibly fond of England, seeing as though his predecessor and mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, spent over 18 years in captivity before ultimately being beheaded. The charge against her being a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. So when he ascended to the throne, he ordered that all buildings of importance display the red lion of Scotland — and that included pubs. The idea was that any Englishman or woman would constantly be reminded that their king was Scottish every time they went for a tipple.
Related:This 600-Year-Old Pub in Scotland Almost Closed, Until 'Outlander' Fans Saved the Day
And only a few years ago, there were even more Red Lion pubs, totaling over 600 at one point. But don't fret. There are still plenty open, ready to serve you a drink. The Red Lion name isn't the only repetition you'll find in designation. Pubs across the country share aliases like Crown (474 pubs), Royal Oak (401 pubs), and White Hart (299 pubs), being increasingly popular as places to stop in and grab a drink. With hundreds of years of history, you'd think there'd be at least a few more names to toss about.
So, if you find yourself planning to meet friends out for a pint, I suggest you give more concrete instructions on where to meet because the pub's name just won't cut it.
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