The occasion? Following the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 Sir Robert Throckmorton, a noted and prominent Catholic of Coughton Court, Warwickshire, became, in 1831, the first Catholic since the Reformation, to sign the Oath of Allegiance and to take his seat in the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament.
If ever an event called for a feast it was this one. It might be worth recounting just what Catholics had to put up with since the 17th Century. We were not allowed to vote, our churches could not be built near a main road but had to be accommodated down a side street, our land ownership attracted higher taxes than our Protestant countrymen and if anyone took a fancy to our horses, they could claim them as their own and we would have to hand them over without a quibble. The horse was, of course, more vital than a car in today's world so imagine someone walking up to you today and laying hold of the keys to your beloved BMW or Fiesta. You might be more than a little miffed!
So small wonder that the Throckmorton family rejoiced at this post Emancipation progress and invited the great and the good to join with them in a feast. The dining room at Coughton accommodates around twenty people, sadly, I have no information as to whom they were.
For the trenchermen amongst you, here is the menu of the day:-