Would You Like to Pay Your Rent with a Single Peppercorn?

(Photo: Go to Bermuda)

That's what the Freemasons in Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, do. In 1816, the Crown leased to the local chapter of the Freemasons a fine old building from 1620 called the Old State House. The payment was small: a single peppercorn, rendered annually.

This is the origin of the Peppercorn Ceremony, which takes place on the Wednesday closest to St. George's Feast Day, which is April 23. It is a time of grand parades featuring a march of the Royal Bermuda Regiment and the most esteemed citizens of Bermuda in antique style livery.

(Video Link)

The climax of the event is the actual payment. The Governor of Bermuda, acting on behalf of the Crown, demands the payment. The leader of the Freemasons presents the single peppercorn on a velvet cushion which itself rests on a silver tray.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the business arrangement.

-via Marilyn Terrell

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