The Beefeaters Heritage

August 23, 2014

"The guards at the Tower of London are called Yeoman Warders. Their nickname is Beefeater. The name Beefeaters is often thought to come from the French word - 'buffetier'. (Buffetiers were guards in the palace of French kings. They protected the king's food.) However, the name Beefeater is more likely to have originated from the time when the Yeomen Warders at the Tower were paid part of their salary with chunks of beef. This took place right up until the 1800s." [1].

On the Road with the Chief Beefeater at the Tower of London

The Beefeaters in the Boar's Head Festival, like their counterparts in the Tower of London, add a festive flair over the performance in their beautiful red uniforms and regimental marching. If you enjoy "pomp and circumstance" with our English roots, come to see the Boar's Head Festival.

Like the real Beefeaters, our performers hold rank as some of the "senior" tenures in the performance, with Phil Hagner holding the title of most senior with 66 years in the 75 year old pageant at Christ Church Cathedral (his secret is that he started as a child sprite).

Beefeaters in the 2006 Festival. Phil Hagner, left front, is the most senior performer. Standing next to Phil is his brother-in-law Ron Lyons.
C.K. Wang, photo

Our Beefeaters red flannel uniforms are an exact replica of the Yeoman Warders (the official name).

©2014 Barry Carlin
The State dress uniforms date from 1552 and are worn on state occasions. The uniform consists of a knee-length scarlet tunic, scarlet knee-breeches and stockings, and a round brimmed hat called a Tudor bonnet. Queen Elizabeth I introduced the distinctive white neck ruff.  The uniforms of Yeoman Warders include the thistle, rose and shamrock, emblems of Scotland, England and Ireland.  The Initials ER on their uniforms stand for Elizabeth Regina (Regina is latin for queen).  The initials refer to Elizabeth the Second, who is the present Queen." [1]

Beefeaters in the 1960s - George Schneider, Alan Schatz, 
Greene Gabbard and Theodore Wiche
Photo from Boar's Head archive

Photo from Boar's Head archive

Beefeater George Schneider with Page Mark Pritchard, 1962
Photo from Boar's Head archive

1."The History of the Yeoman Warders and the Yeoman of the Guards.", Project Britain, Retrieved 2014-9-22.

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