Surely this is the best pub quiz stat related to Sandwiches. What iconic island group (archipelado) used to be known as the Sandwich Islands?

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

In the “good old days*” of the British Empire, the rule was that “new lands†” were named after the person who funded the voyage. As First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich approved Admiralty funds for the purchase and fit-out of the Resolution, Adventure and Discovery - ships for Cook’s second and third expeditions of exploration in the Pacific Ocean.

Captain Cook, therefore named the Sandwich Islands in the Pacific after him, as well as Montague Island off the south east coast of Australia, the South Sandwich Islands in the Southern Atlantic Ocean and Montague Island in the Gulf of Alaska. Quite a few then! 

Never heard of the Sandwich Islands? No, the name hasn’t really stuck. They were renamed (using the indigenous language) after the largest island in the archipelago – Hawaii. Much better.

*Note the sarcasm there, other than making sandwiches cool, there was a lot of bad stuff that went on during these times, too.

†When we say new, it seems to be the term used to describe places that Europeans hadn’t been to before. It wasn’t new to the native people who’d lived there for years!

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Gethin Evans

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E: gethin@sandwich.org.uk