When it comes to lucky symbols and talismans, chimney sweeps are right up there with four-leaf clovers, horseshoes, and the number seven. Chimney sweeps have long been considered a symbol of good luck; shake a chimney sweep’s hand, and some might consider you the luckiest person alive. But why? What is it about chimney sweeps that makes them supposedly so lucky? Read on to learn more.
Roots in Folklore
King William and the Out-of-Control Carriage
In a tale from 1066, King William of Great Britain found himself directly in the path of an out-of-control, reckless carriage. Legend has it that a chimney sweep, alert and on the scene, pushed him out of the carriage’s path and saved his life. King William then invited the chimney sweep to his daughter’s wedding and declared that all chimney sweeps are good luck.
King George and the Frightened Horse
Centuries later in the 1700s, King George III was in a similar incident involving both a carriage and a chimney sweep (perhaps carriages are in fact unlucky?). While riding along, the King’s horse was frightened and the carriage jolted dangerously, almost tipping over. Luckily, a chimney sweep was standing nearby and steadied the carriage, sparing the King from a serious accident.
After this incident, King George added his own declaration that chimney sweeps are good luck. It is also rumored that he then bestowed on all chimney sweeps permission to wear tophats, making them the only working-class citizens who had this honor.
The Falling Chimney Sweep
In another legend, which surprisingly does not include a king or a carriage, a chimney sweep slipped and fell off of a roof. He was able to grab onto a gutter and hold on, be he was in deep trouble. A woman spotted him and pulled him inside to safety. After this, they fell deeply in love and later married.
Because of this story and King William’s story from 1066, you might want to consider having a chimney sweep at your wedding for good luck. Reportedly, Prince Philip even made sure to shake a chimney sweep’s hand before marrying Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) in 1947.
Are We Lucky? Come See!
You will have to decide for yourself whether chimney sweeps are a lucky charm. But, luck or no luck, hiring a chimney sweep bodes well for your safety at home. Our chimney sweeps are friendly and dedicated to keeping your chimney clean and safe. And who knows, maybe they’ll bring you some good luck!