Wednesday 6 April 2011

A Suffolk Superstition, and St Edmund

As an addendum to yesterday's post about Edmund of East Anglia, here is a strange bit of local superstition recorded from Hoxne, Suffolk (traditionally the site of Edmund's martyrdom):

After being beaten by the Danes at Thetford [it was said], Edmund fled, and, being closely pursued, hid beneath a bridge which spanned the river Dove. A newly-married couple, crossing the river, saw the image of the king’s golden spurs reflected in the water. They went and betrayed him to the Danes. When he was caught, Edmund cursed the place. Until a very late date, young people intent on matrimony used to go miles around to avoid the bridge.
Noted in Grant Loomis, ‘The Growth of the Saint Edmund Legend’, Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature 14 (1932), 83-115.

No comments: