The sin-eater was a ‘long, leane, ugly, lamentable poor raskal’ in the words of 17th century antiquary John Aubrey. A sin-eater was employed by a recently bereaved family to (literally) consume the dead person’s sins, taking this eternal burden upon his - or sometimes her - own soul by eating a loaf of bread and drinking a bowl of beer (the food and drink represented the sins of the deceased) and receiving sixpence in compensation. The practice was prevalent in Wales and the English countries bordering on the principality. Richard Munslow, who died in Shropshire in 1906, was reported to have been the last sin-eater (presumably he went on to have a particularly tough time in Hell).
In this talk, Dr Helen Frisby surveys the evidence for this fascinating old funerary character and their mysterious rituals in service of the souls of the deceased. As it turns out things aren’t quite what they might first seem - but Helen will suggest that it’s the sin-eater’s very elusiveness which has enabled them to rise again in present-day film, TV and literature.
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Disclaimer: All information given is correct at the time of compiling the listings. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.2021-10-31 13:30 2021-10-31 13:30 Europe/London The Sin-Eater - Lives and Afterlives Dr Helen Frisby surveys the evidence for this fascinating old funerary character and their mysterious rituals in service of the souls of the deceased. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2021/10/31/the-sin-eater-lives-and-afterlives-274208 Brompton Cemetery,Fulham Road,,London