Cauls were believed to be a charm against drowning. My grandfather's caul was carried abroad by my relative, Lily Hale, who was a Tiller Girl who danced in Paris and elsewhere in the 1920s.
My grandfather, Jesse Harrup, was born in 1849 at Great Horwood, near Buckingham, and married Anne Hughes. They were victims of the influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919, and died within two days of each other. This double tragedy probably resulted in the request contained with the caul not being fulfilled.
The request said, 'Birthright of Jesse Harrup born 28th February 1849' and 'this is Jesse Harrups to be Beread with him when he dides is Berth Right as Born with it.'
This tells something of superstition. Cauls were sold, especially to mariners, for as much as 15 guineas in the 1820s.