"So Just Why Is It Lucky To See A Chimney Sweep At A Wedding?"
After months of extensive research and communications with The British Museum, The National Archives, The Royal Archives and Kensington Palace, this is what we have been able to put together.
The earliest legend dates back to 1066 and King William.
It is said that the King whilst out walking strayed into the path of a runaway horse and carriage. By chance a passing sweep was able to push the King out of the way saving him from harm. The King wanted to express his gratitude and believing that the sweeps appearance had been lucky, invited the sweep to the wedding of his daughter.
It is also claimed the it was this King William who permitted sweeps to wear top hats, normally the reserve of the distinguished. However as top hats were only invented in the late 1700's, this part of the tale can be dismissed.
"A very efficient service which I will highly recommend to anyone. You were excellent value for money and the entertainment made everyone smile. This tradition should not be forgotten. Keep up the good work."
Julie Marklew, Polesworth.
Another story is that whilst working on a roof, the unlucky sweep lost his footing and fell. Good luck intervened and his leg got trapped by the gutter. As he hung there, a young lady saw him outside her window and acting swiftly, helped him get free and back into the building. The young couple felt an attraction to each other and soon married.
Sadly, no data has been found to support this charming little tale.
"We were very happy with the entertainment you supplied and I would recommend your service to everybody. It was also good value for money and we would most certainly consider you for future events."
Marie Gibbons, Whitworth.
Back in the early 1700's, the King was out riding when a growling dog appeared from nowhere and frightened his horse. The King lost control of the panic-struck horse but was aided by a passing sweep, who helped calm the horse.
As way of thanks, King George II declared henceforth that all sweeps should be considered bringers of good luck and should be treated with honour and respect.
It is interesting to note to this end that it was not uncommon to see men bow and ladies curtsy to sweeps at the beginning of the 20th century.
"Very, very happy with service would not hesitate to recommend. Truly made the day extra special."
Mark & Marie Ward, Burton upon Trent.
As you can see, exactly why it came to be lucky is lost with the passage of time.
My intensive study has found no written Royal Decree to give us the true facts and some confusion as to which King George to credit. The instance with the horse is said to have happened between 1730 -1740 which is during the reign of King George II (1727 - 1760) but as the Top Hat came about in the 1770's, it's easy to see why some people would believe it could have been King George III (1760 - 1820).
No matter which story you choose one simple folk law remains, seeing a sweep at your wedding, shaking his hand and having him steal a kiss from the bride will bring good luck.
Sadly as time has passed, this tradition has all but died out but for a hand full of chimney sweeps who are still willing to attend weddings.
Now, thanks to magician Cliff Cowling, this tradition is making a comeback and as Charlie Brush, you can have something totally unique, a Chimney Sweep to bring good luck and magical entertainment before the meal at your reception.
"Everyone was surprised and delighted to see you and I can safely say your services may be called upon again by our friends when their daughter gets married. Everyone enjoyed your magical performance at the hotel and your details have been passed on for future bookings."
Julie & Paul Winstanley, Ashton in Makerfield.