handfast blacksmith

Hand-fæstning, promisio, quæ sit stipulata manu,
sive cives fidem suam principi spondeant,
sive mutuum inter se matrimonium inituri,
a phrasi fæsta hand,
quæ notat dextram dextræ jungere.
-Glossarium Northanhymbricum, 1543 CE
on the subject of Hand-Fasting, for a Danish marriage contract

Such unions were often carried out at blacksmith shoppes, with the “Blacksmith Priest” officiating at the “marriage anvil”.  The Handfasting was considered “official” when the Hammer was brought down upon the Anvil.  This ringing sound would have been heard through the entire village, so that those who cared, would celebrate with the new couple.

 

 

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