Montreal Standard, 1 July 1911, page 14


Bride Knives

Of the many dainty and curious relics belonging to old wedding customs, none are more interesting and beautiful in themselves than the once indispensible bride knives, specimens of which still linger here and there among the cabinets of old country houses in England. You scarcely realize as you examine them that without her wedding knives, attached to her girdle the medieval and seventeenth century bridge would hardly have considered herself dressed.

So complete a part of the marriage costume were they and so important an item of the ritual of the ceremony that they once came to be considered almost as necessary to the orthodox marriage as the veil and the ring itself. The old plays teem with allusions to them.  It is very curious to learn that many of the finest English specimens emanated even in those remote days fromSheffield. The precise origins of the custom of wearing wedding knives is lost in obscurity, but their decline from favour seems to have set in after the reign of William and Mary.