Sandwich, John Montagu, 4th earl of

Sandwich, John Montagu, 4th earl of,

1718–92, British politician. He served variously as secretary of state (1763–65, 1770–71) and first lord of the admiralty (1748–51, 1763, 1771–82). He earned (1763) great unpopularity for his charges of obscenity against John WilkesWilkes, John,
1727–97, English politician and journalist. He studied at the Univ. of Leiden, returned to England in 1746, and purchased (1757) a seat in Parliament.
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, because not only had he been Wilkes's friend but he was himself notoriously dissolute. His reputation has suffered chiefly, however, and somewhat unjustly, because he presided at the admiralty over the British defeats of the American Revolution. In fact, he was an able, if corrupt, administrator, and his naval policy was apparently sound. He was shackled, however, by the stringent economies of Lord North and unable to expand the navy as needed. The Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands were named after him by Capt. James Cook. The sandwichsandwich,
a piece of meat or other food placed between two slices of bread. Although food in this form has long been used, the term sandwich originated in the 18th cent.
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 was also named after him; he supposedly ate food in that form rather than leave the gaming table.
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