Image: Cardinal Richelieu (Courtesy Philippe de Champaigne)
A common utensil in our life
We owe to a churchman,*
The table knife.
*Cardinal Richelieu of France (1585-1642). Richelieu was the Chief Minister of King Louis XIII. He was largely responsible for centralizing the power of the throne by weakening that of the nobility. One way he did this was to raze their fortified castles. He also systematically denounced dueling, private armies, and the use of weapons, such as knives. The table knife grew out of the last of these. With its round base and single edge, the table knife was less likely to stab or cut. And so much easier to butter up the king.
Filed under: History by day