The Coronation Glove, BuckinghamshireThe phrase folk custom seems to imply that such matters are concerned only with the masses, but the truth is far different: the rent of a single red rose paid to the Lord Mayor of London for a footbridge that no longer exists brings that significant figure into the picture; the Quit Rents Ceremony links the City with the Crown, via its officers; and in the tradition of the Coronation Glove the Monarch him- or herself is physically involved.
In 1539 Henry VIII granted the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury Worksop Abbey and some other properties in exchange for various lands the king himself wanted. One of the properties given up by the Earl was Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire, but that was held under a special tenure, a grand sergeant, which involved a duty to present a fine linen right-hand glove to the sovereign on his or her coronation day, and to support that arm during the ceremony for as long as it held the sceptre. The Earl did not wish to forego that honour, so it was agreed that the duty would pass to the Lord of the Manor of Worksop .
It was not then hereditary, but linked to ownership. Thus when the Duke of Newcastle bought the property for £375,000 from the Duke of Norfolk (whose family had inherited the manor and the role in the 17th century) in 1842 he gained the right to present the coronation glove and to support the Monarch’s arm (that latter part of the task last done when Edward VII was crowned), the glove presentation still apparently holding good.
More British Folk Customs?