The luxurious Savoy Hotel on the Embankment in London was constructed in the 19th century more or less where another famous house had stood until it was burnt down by a furious London mob. That house was called the Savoy too, and it was built by a man important in British history called John of Gaunt (q.v.), a son of Edward III who became Duke of Lancaster and the richest man in England. The hoi polloi burnt the Savoy to the ground because they had been told John of Gaunt was planning to take the throne from Richard II, a grandson of Edward III.
The name Savoy is ancient, and comes from an alpine area in what is now Switzerland and France. It existed from the middle part of the 11th until the 19th century under that name. (more…)