Mudcat Café message #3886805 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3886805
Posted By: Jack Campin
04-Nov-17 - 05:08 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Robert Chambers, in his Book of Days, 1862-1864, describes a betrothal custom using a 'gimmal' or linked ring:
'Made with a double and sometimes with a triple link, which turned upon a pivot, it could shut up into one solid ring... It was customary to break these rings asunder at the betrothal which was ratified in a solemn manner over the Holy Bible, and sometimes in the presence of a witness, when the man and woman broke away the upper and lower rings from the central one, which the witness retained. When the marriage con?tract was fulfilled at the altar, the three portions of the ring were again united, and the ring used in the ceremony'.

There is a kind of linked wedding ring from Turkey (and maybe other places) which has several links in a puzzle-like arrangement. The folklore explanation is that women are supposed to be too stupid to reassemble them if they take them off to have an affair. If the husbands really believed that, their wives would be playing the field en masse.

Chambers must have been talking about rather wealthy people.