Exhibition recalls Piel Island’s best knights to remember
Last updated at 17:02, Monday, 20 August 2012
AN exhibition has been offering a glimpse into the history of one of Cumbria’s oddest traditions.
The Knights of Piel Island have been under the spotlight in a display at Barrow Archive Centre, based in the town’s library, as part of the 50th anniversary of Cumbria County Council’s archive services.
The exhibition featured guest books from Piel Island Hotel describing knighting ceremonies, which date from between 1856 and 1941, and pictures from the 1970s.
Susan Benson, an archivist at the centre, said: “I think people just don’t realise what we have got here in Cumbria, it’s fun to see things like this.”
Those hoping to become a knight should be ‘for drinking, smoking and be a lover of the fairer sex’.
Anyone fulfilling these criteria must be seated in an ancient Oak chair wearing a helmet and holding a sword, and have alcohol poured over their head.
Ceremonies are performed by a fellow knight or by the ‘King’ of Piel Island, a title bestowed to the landlord of the island’s pub, The Ship Inn.
The cost of becoming a knight is to buy a round of drinks for everyone present.
Benefits include a promise of free board and lodging at the Ship Inn if a knight is shipwrecked on the island.
The tradition is thought to date back to 1487 when pretender to the English throne, Lambert Simnel, declared himself king after landing on the island.
First published at 16:34, Monday, 20 August 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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Cumbria??? It's a Lancashire tradition. Talk about rewriting history
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