Biddenden Maids cake and newspaper cutting, England, 1801-1900

Made:
1801-1900 in England
maker:
Unknown
Group shoot of from left to right, A4788 pt1, Old newspaper cutting describing the Biddenden maids' cakes, English, Group shoot of from left to right, A4788 pt1, Old newspaper cutting describing the Biddenden maids' cakes, English,

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Group shoot of from left to right, A4788 pt1, Old newspaper cutting describing the Biddenden maids' cakes, English,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Group shoot of from left to right, A4788 pt1, Old newspaper cutting describing the Biddenden maids' cakes, English,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

A cake of the Biddenden maids, with newspaper cutting, English, 19th century

The Biddenden maids, Elisa and Mary Chulkhurst (1100-1134), were conjoined twins named after their home town of Biddenden, in Kent, England. They lived for 34 years joined at their hips and shoulders until they died, six hours apart. The twins are said to have left land to the Church, the rental income from which was to be used to purchase food for the poor to be distributed on Easter Sunday. Souvenir cakes made from plaster and bearing their image were also distributed. Today, cakes are distributed to the elderly on Easter Monday. The items are shown here with Biddenden bread casts (A203659).

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A4788
Materials:
bread and in-complete
type:
newspaper cutting
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture