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Tweet Arval Cake
(Or Arthel, Arthal, Averill, Arvil, Arvall)
Rich cake, or bread, served at a funeral.
The term 'arval' for funeral food is well known and may derive from the old Norse 'Arf' = inheritance, 'Al' = ale.
TT Wilkinson's 'Lancashire Folklore' of 1867 has;
"Usually at country funerals, after the interment, the relations first, and next their attendants, threw into the grave sprigs of bay, rosemary, or other odoriferous evergreens, which had been previously distributed amongst them. In some cases, a messenger went round the neighbourhood, "bidding" parties to the funeral, and at each house where he gave the invitation, he left a sprig of rosemary, &c. After the rites at the grave, the company adjourned to a neighbouring public-house, where they were severally presented with a cake and ale, which was called an arval."
... and from the 'Derby Daily Telegraph' of Tuesday 24 March 1931:
Helping the Widow
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