The Dunmow Flitch

There is a longstanding tradition in Dunmow, Essex of giving a flitch of bacon to happily married couples. It is a surprisingly long practice, apparently dating to a noble lady called Juga of the Black Nuns, about 1104. It became a male monastery at some later date.

Any person, from anywhere in England could go there and kneel on two stones at the church door and demand from the prior a gammon or glitch of bacon after taking the following solemn oath:

Men who took the oath included

Richard Wright of Badenorth in Norfolk, in 1445,

Stephen Samuel of Little Easton in Essex in 1468,

John Ley of Coggeshall in Essex, 1487

So it seems there were few who either qualified or who were in need of free bacon.

The stones were still there in the 17th century at least.

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