The sandwich was undoubtably around before the Earl of Sandwich (1718 to 1792). But during a long session at the gaming table, he asked for “beef between two slices of bread”. His friends then began to order “the same as Sandwich”.
The Earl had an unhappy end to his love life. He separated from his wife Dorothy who later became insane. For many years he had a mistress, Martha Ray, an opera singer. They had at least five illegitimate children and they went everywhere together as a couple.
But in 1779 a jilted lover shot Martha dead on the steps of Covent Garden theatre. The Earl of Sandwich died 13 years later. His family manor Hinchingbrooke House is now a school. The Earldom continues.