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Flitch of Bacon, The

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Alternative title: The Dunmoe Flitch

Performer: Goode, Archer
Place Collected: Charlton Kings
Date collected: 1974
Collector: Davies, Gwilym
Roud Number: V12222

Every four years, a trial is held in Dunmoe, Essex, to award a flitch of bacon to married couples from anywhere in the world, if they can satisfy the Judge and Jury of 6 maidens and 6 bachelors that in ‘twelvemonth and a day’, they have ‘not wisht themselves unmarried again’. It is claimed that the custom dates back to 1104, which may or may not be verifiable but certainly by the 14th century the custom was known and was even referred to by Chaucer. Various songs have been written on the subject. Mr Goode’s claim that the song dates back to 1797 may well be true but by the same token, it is likely that he learnt the song from a printed rather than oral source. It certainly has not been found in tradition apart from this version.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 23 June 2015


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