Where does the term four-in-hand come from and What does four in hand mean?

Today most of us think of the term four-in-hand only as a necktie, to be tied in its own special loop.

But the horsemen among us may have another notion.

To them it means four horses harnessed to a single vehicle and driven by one person.

And it is to these sportsmen of the nineteenth century we are indebted for the necktie and its name.

They formed themselves into “Four-in-Hand Clubs,” and vied with one another for distinctive garb, especially as to neck scarfs.

Just as some unknown sportsman evolved the knot which, commemorating the racecourse, is still called an ascot, so another anonymous individual along about 1890 produced for his fellow members, and the rest of us, the four-in-hand.