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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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