121-year-old chocolate bar found intact in English mansion

A 121-year-old chocolate bar was found in its original can in the attic of a mansion in England. The sweet find is a special edition commissioned by Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901) for British troops who were in combat in South Africa.

According to the Reuters news agency, the chocolate belonged to Henry Edward Paston-Bedingfield, an English aristocrat who participated in World War II. Boers (1899 – 1902). The relic was found inside the man’s helmet case at his family’s home, Oxburgh Hall, which was built 500 years ago in Norfolk, in eastern England. The discovery came after the death of Henry’s daughter, Frances Greathead, at the age of 100, last year.

“Although you don’t want it [chocolate] as its Easter treat, it’s still complete and it’s a remarkable find, “said Anna Forrest, curator of cultural heritage at the National Trust, a charity that runs Oxburgh Hall.

On the lid of the can is a message, supposedly in Victoria’s handwriting, and phrases: “I wish you a Happy New Year” and “South Africa 1900”, as well as the portrait of the queen.

The 226-gram chocolate was ordered by the queen as a way to cheer up British troops fighting two independent South African states led by Boers, descendants of Europeans who lived in the African country, in a region with gold and diamonds.

According to the National Trust, it is likely that some other cans ordered by the queen survived, but it is very difficult to know who owns the can and, even more complex, to find the chocolate intact since many have consumed the candy.


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