Monday, November 26, 2007

Who what? Excuse me. What did you say?

Who hung the monkey?

On a bleak winter's day in the North East of England during the Napoleonic Wars a French ship floundered off the coast of Hartlepool.

It is believed all souls were lost to the sea. Then, as villagers wandered through the flotsam along the beach someone saw an amazing sight! A small hairy creature clinging to wreckage. (Like all good tales, there are several versions of the story.)

The villagers, apparently somewhat psychologically unsophisticated folk at that time, wondered if their fear about a French invasion was imminent. Could this creature be a French spy? Never having seen a Frenchman before, they were unsure.

Do follow the links and read the story for yourself. Having been to Hartlepool, I am aware of many historical features of far greater relevance than the story of the poor monkey's plight. However, the story is a part of my heritage. It is in fact one of my earliest memories.

I am a descendant of James Swales b.1810. He was Mayor of Hartlepool in 1867 and several times thereafter.

Thank you for visiting my site. You are most welcome to drop by anytime.

Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

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