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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bob's your uncle

Yesterday my sister sent me a link to a National Geographic photo of Hatfield House ... the photo is here. The photo was so neat I thought I'd look up Hatfield House at wikipedia ....

Hatfield House is a country house set in a large park, the Great Park, on the eastern side of the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The present Jacobean house was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I .... The Queen Elizabeth Oak on the grounds of the estate is said to be the location where Elizabeth was told she was Queen following Mary's death. In November 1558, Elizabeth held her first Council of State in the Great Hall ...

I remembered Robert Cecil from various movies about Queen Elizabeth, like Anonymous ....

But little did I know that the expression, Bob's your uncle, so ubiquitous I've even heard it used on Stargate :), was in reference to another and later Cecil, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury .......

The British phrase 'Bob's your uncle' is thought to have derived from Robert Cecil's appointment of his nephew, Arthur Balfour, as Minister for Ireland.

You can see more of Hatfield House at the website


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two different Roberts, Crystal. The Elizabethan Robert lived from 1565 to 1612. He was never Prime Minister; the office did not exist at the time.

The Prime Minister was his descendant of several generations, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil (1830-1903), better known as Lord Salisbury, who was Prime Minister for three separate terms between 1885 and 1903. He was noted for appointing family members to government offices, and in particular appointed his nephew, Arthur
Balfour, to a succession of political offices. Balfour was in fact a very competent man, and rose to become Prime Minister himself after Lord Salisbury's death, but at the time it was suggested by many that he had been appointed only because of his family connection to Salisbury. Hence, "Bob's your uncle".


4:58 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Oh, thanks for the correction! Have made edits :)

5:12 PM  

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