When you think of a chimney sweep, Dick Van Dyke’s portrayal of Bert in Disney’s Mary Poppins likely comes to mind; he’s a cultural icon. Throughout the film, Bert repeatedly mentions to the children and Mary Poppins that “a sweep is a lucky as lucky can be” and that the “good luck will rub off” when he shakes hands with you. This somewhat strange, folkloric idea of the sweep as a good luck charm has been around for quite some time, and there are three common legends as to how it came about.

King William and the Carriage Mishap

As the story goes, in 1066, King William of Great Britain was in danger of being hit by an out-of-control carriage when a chimney sweep pushed him to safety. Because the sweep saved his life, King William declared that all chimney sweeps must bring good fortune.

King George and the Carriage Mishap

Apparently, kings of England are unlucky with horse-drawn carriages. In the 1700s, King George III was traveling when his horses suddenly spooked. A chimney sweep came to his rescue and prevented the carriage from overturning. King George then declared chimney sweeps to be lucky.

The Chimney Sweep and the Wedding

In this story, a chimney sweep fell and was dangling from the roof. A woman in the house spotted him and pulled him to safety. They immediately fell in love and had a long and happy marriage. Because of this, it became considered good luck to shake a sweep’s hand before your wedding. Prince Philip reportedly took this legend seriously and ran out of Kensington Palace to shake a chimney sweep’s hand before marrying Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II).

Your Brick + Ember Outfitters certified chimney sweeps might not sport a cockney accent or dance around on your roof, but we would certainly be happy to shake hands when we arrive to clean and inspect your chimney. We feel lucky to be doing the work we do, ensuring that your chimney is in safe and working order. Schedule a sweep with Brick + Ember Outfitters today!