18th and 19th Century: Historical Custom: The Flitch of Bacon Custom

Historical customs have long existed. For instance, in Scotland there has been a long tradition of wearing kilts, and, the custom continued despite efforts to weaken Scottish support for the restoration of the James II of England by passing the Dress Act of 1746 that forbade “Highland Dress.” Another long-time custom is Lent—forty days of fasting, both from food and festivities—and there is the custom of primogeniture that allows a deceased person’s estate to go to the firstborn male child. However, one of the more unusual, and perhaps less known customs, is a tradition known as the Dunmow flitch of bacon custom.

The Dunmow flitch of bacon custom was “the custom of presenting a flitch of Bacon to any married couple who could swear that neither of them in a twelvemonth and day from their marriage had ever repented of his or her union.” Sometimes the custom was referred to as the “Dunmow Flitch Trials” partly because it was practiced at the Priory of Dunmow in Essex supposedly since the “days of yore,” although one British historian reports it was actually…

Source: 18th and 19th Century: Historical Custom: The Flitch of Bacon Custom

4 thoughts on “18th and 19th Century: Historical Custom: The Flitch of Bacon Custom

  1. The flitch of bacon is part of the lore of my own county, Yorkshire… one version of the coat of arms of the county carries a flea, a fly, a magpie and a flitch… the story goes:-

    A flea, a fly, a magpie, an’ bacon flitch
    Is t’Yorksherman’s Coit of Arms.
    A’ t’ reason they’ve chosen these things so rich
    Is becoss they hev all speshal charms.
    A flea will bite whoivver it can –
    An’ soa, my lads, will a Yorksherman!
    A fly will sup with Dick, Tom or Dan –
    An soa, by gow! will a Yorksherman!
    A magpie can talk for a terrible span, –
    An’ soa, an’ al, can a Yorksherman
    A flitch is no gooid whol it’s hung, y’ell agree–
    No more is a Yorksherman, don’t ye see.


    Liked by 2 people

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