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Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey

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THE HARTLEPOOL MONKEY


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: Hartleypool / Hartlepool Monkey (61)
Lyr Req: comic song about Hanging a Monkey (16)
Lyr Add: Fishermen Hung the Monkey O! (5)
Lyr Req: napoleonic wars song about a monkey (6)
Lyr Req: The Hartleypool Monkey (6)
Hartlepool Monkey (3)
Lyr Req: monkey song (2) (closed)


GUEST,alinact 19 Jun 03 - 09:47 AM
MMario 19 Jun 03 - 09:54 AM
okthen 19 Jun 03 - 10:03 AM
IanC 19 Jun 03 - 10:03 AM
GUEST 19 Jun 03 - 10:11 AM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jun 03 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,noddy 19 Jun 03 - 11:58 AM
Rapparee 19 Jun 03 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,petr 19 Jun 03 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,alinact 19 Jun 03 - 12:36 PM
IanC 19 Jun 03 - 12:38 PM
IanC 19 Jun 03 - 12:40 PM
TheBigPinkLad 19 Jun 03 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,alinact 19 Jun 03 - 01:20 PM
nutty 19 Jun 03 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jun 03 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Val 19 Jun 03 - 01:33 PM
Midchuck 19 Jun 03 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,MCP 19 Jun 03 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,petr 19 Jun 03 - 04:14 PM
vectis 19 Jun 03 - 08:00 PM
Abuwood 20 Jun 03 - 03:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Jun 03 - 04:12 AM
IanC 20 Jun 03 - 05:50 AM
Joybell 11 May 07 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,Billy 11 May 07 - 09:46 PM
Dave'sWife 11 May 07 - 09:55 PM
Carol 12 May 07 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 12 May 07 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Hartlepudlian 16 Jan 08 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Hartlepudlian 16 Jan 08 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,PMB 16 Jan 08 - 07:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Jan 08 - 08:08 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Jan 08 - 08:26 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 16 Jan 08 - 08:57 AM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Jan 08 - 01:45 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Jan 08 - 02:47 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Jan 08 - 06:04 PM
Effsee 16 Jan 08 - 09:02 PM
GUEST 17 Jan 08 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,DaveH 17 Jan 08 - 04:21 AM
Herga Kitty 17 Jan 08 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Briser 04 Jul 08 - 07:33 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 04 Jul 08 - 11:07 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 04 Jul 08 - 11:10 AM
Little Hawk 04 Jul 08 - 12:46 PM
Colin Randall 04 Jul 08 - 04:53 PM
Gurney 04 Jul 08 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 05 Jul 08 - 12:38 AM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 08 - 12:47 AM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 05 Jul 08 - 02:10 AM
GUEST,Nerd 05 Jul 08 - 07:49 PM
Gurney 06 Jul 08 - 05:27 PM
Ptarmigan 17 Jan 09 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Jan 09 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 18 Jan 09 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Joe G 18 Jan 09 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,mart the fart 11 Feb 09 - 06:36 AM
smurf 11 Feb 09 - 07:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 11 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM
KEVINOAF 10 Mar 09 - 06:44 AM
Joe G 10 Mar 09 - 09:02 AM
Effsee 11 Mar 09 - 12:18 AM
KEVINOAF 11 Mar 09 - 10:02 AM
Charley Noble 03 Jul 12 - 05:36 PM
GUEST 03 Jul 12 - 10:17 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 09:47 AM

I posted this in John from Hull's Monkeys thread:

"Heard a story at the pub the other night that the people swear is true - or they were just trying to take the mickey out of a visiting Aussie.

Anyway, the story goes that during the Napoleonic wars, a monkey was washed up on a beach up Newcastle way (presumably a pet of some matelot who was shipwrecked) and when the locals, who obviously lived very sheltered lives back then, found it they thought it was a Frenchman, so they hung (hanged?)it.

I'm not saying whether I believe it or not but has anybody ever heard of this? and, if it is true, surely there has to have been a song created about it?"

but got no response, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

Any ideas, anyone?

Allan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: MMario
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 09:54 AM

have heard arguments one way or the other.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: okthen
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 10:03 AM

It was Hartlepool, (they elected a monkey as Mayor this year) but true, the original monkey was the pet of a French ships captain, shipwrecked during the Napoleonic wars and washed ashore. The monkey was dressed in a sailors costume and as it didn't speak English (and there were no French sailors left alive) the good residents of Hartlepool tried the monkey as a spy, found it guilty and hanged it.
I think there are some web sites about the story.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: IanC
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 10:03 AM

It's well verified as true ... reported in local papers at the time, I think.

Here's a site (there are many with) The Hartlepool Monkey legend.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 10:11 AM

It is true and happened in Hartlepool. The residents of Hartlepool are to this day proud of their achievment. Lets face it, it is an easy mistake to make. The local football team are called the Monkey Hangers and their mascot is a monkey called Hangus!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 11:39 AM

The story has been discussed at some length here a number of times, and I think at least two songs on the subject posted. The search engine will give you details if you ask it to. Just type in hartlepool.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 11:58 AM

It is true... if you want it to be.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:12 PM

Does truth really matter in a good song?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:35 PM

to be pedantic, the only time that 'hanged' is used is when it is a
person, otherwise 'hung' is correct, I remember this point from my
grade 8 English teacher. Since a monkey doesnt qualify as a human
then 'hung' would be the correct term.

any comments?
petr


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true?
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:36 PM

Thanks, fellas. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this, especially with Vin Garbitt singing a song about it.

Now, as to whether I believe it or not!?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Hartlepool on the north-east coast of England, i.e. on the French side, and only, what, 20 or 30 miles away? I know the English led a very insular existence back then, in that they didn't stray far from home, but surely there must have been some interaction between them and the French?

Also, all the songs seem to be modern. If the story was "leaked" at around the time it happened, I'm surprised there isn't a more contemporary song.

Anyway, who cares - it's a great story and I'm glad I found out about it.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: IanC
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:38 PM

Actually, Petr, "hanged" means executed by breaking the neck using a rope. If done correctly, part of one of the neck vertebrae goes though the spine causing instant death. People are therefore executed by being hanged.

However, if the death is to be prolonged then the person is hung like any other animal. Hence, you are "Hung, drawn and quartered".

;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: IanC
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:40 PM

Hartlepool is roughly on the "French" side of England, bu rather nearer 300 miles from France.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:52 PM

GUEST - alinact said: I know the English led a very insular existence back then, in that they didn't stray far from home,

I think you'll find the English were in the throws of building the biggest empire the world has ever known (if you don't count Macdonalds). Nothing insular about them, then or since.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:20 PM

IanC - point taken.

Big Pink - I'm thinking more of "village" life. Of course, by the time of the Napoleonic wars, the Poms had even re-discovered Australia!

Allan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: nutty
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:29 PM

The people of Hartlepool were possibly wiser than most people think.

As I understand it, if the wreck was abandoned it became the property of the crown.

If it still had crew on board, the people of Hartlepool could claim salvage. It would be worth getting laughed at just for that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:31 PM

Allan, to quote from the page IanC linked to:

Some people increasingly believe that this unfortunately is not true. There are many theories why but the main one is this: Hartlepool has always been a seafaring town with inhabitants since the 9th Century; it gained its' Royal Charter in 1201. Sailors have been synonymous with simians ever since they started trading, so for the people of an important sea trading town never to have saw a one before 1805 is a ridiculous notion.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:33 PM

I'm from Hartlepool originally and it is true that it is a widely held belief. Whether it is actually true or not is a different matter. Seaports were (and are) very cosmopolitan places and I personally find it hard to believe that, as late as the Napoleonic Wars, even the folk in Hartlepool hadn't seen a monkey before - at a travelling fair, for instance.

As for the locals being proud of it...the football team may be nicknamed 'The Monkey Hangers' and the electorate may have elected a monkey as mayor BUT take my advice and don't go out on a Friday night down Church Street, asking 'Who hung the monkey?'. Hartlepool people can laugh at themselves but woe betide anyone else who does!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Midchuck
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 03:34 PM

In US terminology, most men fear being hanged but would like to be hung.

P.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 03:37 PM

Keith Gregson in his Corvan - A Victorian Entertainer And His Songs devotes a section to the tale when discussing Ned Corvan's song on this - essentially the version that appeared in Allan's Tyneside Songster and given by Conrad Bladey in the Lyr Add thread in the links. He discusses the truth of the legend (and I speak as a native of Middlesbrough with no axe to grind) as below:

"It is one of the few Corvan songs to have survived in balladsheet form and the Public Library at Hartlepool of 'Who Hung The Monkey'...

'Who Hung The Monkey' proved to be the original of a song which appeared in Allan's Tyneside Songs as 'The Fisherman Hung The Monkey, O'. The main difference between the two versions is that the earlier one, written down from Corvan's act, was slightly cruder than the version which appeared in Allan's...<examples excised - MCP>...

The later version of the song is well-known in Hartlepool but neither Allan's Tyneside Songs nor Hartlepudlians have given Corvan enough credit for creating the myth <myth excised - MCP>...

Few people have ever maintained that this story was true and the tendency has been to trace its origins to the new town of West Hartlepool where, in the 1840's the inhabitants were only too ready to scoff at hte past deeds of those from the old town. This being the case, Corvan's contribution was merely to take a myth already in existence and turn it into a song to please local audiences.

Robert Wood <local historian - MCP> researched thoroughly into the origins of the myth of the Monkey and found very little that could link the story as it is told today with the Hartlepools of the 1840's. Strange tales of monkeys did exist in the area at the time but nothing that would link in with the idea of the Napoleonic spy. Only after Corvan's appearances in Hartlepool is there strong evidence for the development of the Monkey story and it is possibly on Tyneside, thirty miles to the north, that a clue to the myth's origin can be found...

Corvan grew up and performed in an area where 'monkey stories' were already in existence and, what is more important, where they existed in the form of songs...<2 examples excised - The Sandhill Monkey 1827 and The Baboon - based on a monkey dressed as a soldier brought by some Cossacks to the Tyne during the Napoleonic wars, this latter song referring both to Bonaparte's uncle and a hairy French spy>...

Was it merely coincidence that the Monkey in Corvan's song should turn up as both 'Napoleon's uncky' and the 'hairy French spy'? Certainly The Baboon is a song which...Corvan must have known...If the origin of the Hartlepool Monkey story does lie here, and Corvan simply used it to mock the fishermen in his audiencethen he may well have played a larger role in the development of the myth than was previously thought."


Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 04:14 PM

thanks for pointing that out IanC, I of course meant 'hanged' in the execution sense. The question is whether the term would be applicable to a monkey as it isnt a person.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: vectis
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 08:00 PM

Geoff Higginbotham sings a song about the hanging. He seems to think the story is true. I'm not 100% sure he wrote the song himself though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Abuwood
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 03:58 AM

It is a good song - I followed the link and found the tune- has anyone got the words before I start typing?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 04:12 AM

It's as true as the Westhoughton cow 'yeds and the Bishops Canning moonrakers!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 05:50 AM

Petr ... of course it would include a monkey that was executed.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Joybell
Date: 11 May 07 - 09:00 PM

Maybe I've said this before somewhere. Got this idea I have but can't find the thread.
I've always wondered if this story fits with the idea of the "Gotham Tales". That is a tale about the stupidity of the people of a rival town.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 11 May 07 - 09:46 PM

There is a similar story of the folk of Boddam in Aberdeenshirehere


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 11 May 07 - 09:55 PM

so the schoolkids never got there bananas when the Monkey was elected Mayor?

What a rotter. Typical politcian, eh?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Carol
Date: 12 May 07 - 04:59 AM

I was also given to understand that it could have been a 'powder monkey' they hung - which would be a boy. Being a Hartlepudlian I'm quite proud of the story!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 12 May 07 - 05:33 AM

Hartlepudlian? Liverpudlian? Does this make we Poole people 'Pudlians?'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Hartlepudlian
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 07:01 AM

Please check you facts people, the story is not true, it is only folklore....

History of the Monkey Song in Hartlepool:

West Hartlepool had come into being as a direct result of the docks and railways. The increase in demand for coal caused the formation of docks and railway companies both in Hartlepool and West Hartlepool. There was great rivalry between the two companies.

They engaged in a pamphlet war and the bad feeling between the neighbouring towns dragged on for years. In the 1850s when feelings were very intense a song portraying the old fishermen of Hartlepool as a little less than intelligent or admirable would gain popularity in the new West Hartlepool.

In Hartlepool Museum's Robert Wood collection of ephemera there is a poster that mentions "aquatic monkeys" but the now obscure jibe seems to be aimed at the supporters of the West Dock (which became West Hartlepool).

The Truth behind the Monkey Legend

There is no evidence of any truth in the legend, or that it is very old. The first mention of the Monkey is in the mid 19th Century, when Ned Corvan, a famous Geordie comic singer and songwriter, first performed the 'Monkey Song'.

Ned Corvan was influenced in his act by Billy Purvis, another Geordie comic, who had been very popular in Hartlepool earlier in the century. He composed a song about Purvis, who had died in Hartlepool, which was very well received. Corvan soon became very popular in Hartlepool and played there regularly.

He toured his show from North Yorkshire to the Scottish lowlands. About this time he may have come into contact with the song 'And the Boddamers hung the Monkey O', a song about the villagers of the seaside village of Boddam near Peterhead in Scotland, who hanged a monkey because it was the only survivor from a local shipwreck and the salvage rights could only be claimed if there were no survivors from a wreck. The similarity between the choruses of the two songs is very striking.

Monkey Song by Ned Corvan

In former times, when war and strife
The French invasion threaten'd life
An' all was armed to the knife
The Fisherman hung the monkey O !
The Fishermen with courage high,
Siezed on the monkey for a French spy;
"Hang him !" says one; "he's to die"
They did and they hung the monkey Oh!
They tried every means to make him speak
And tortured the monkey till loud he did speak;
Says yen "thats french" says another "its Greek"
For the fishermen had got druncky oh!

Hammer his ribs, the thunnerin thief
Pummel his pyet wi yor neef!
He's landed here for nobbut grief
He's aud Napoleon's uncky O!
Thus to the Monkey all hands behaved
"Cut off his whiskers!" yen chap raved
Another bawled out "He's never been shaved",
So commenced to scrape the Monkey, O!
They put him on a gridiron hot,
The Monkey then quite lively got,
He rowl'd his eyes tiv a' the lot,
For the Monkey agyen turned funky O!.
Then a Fisherman up te Monkey goes,
Saying "Hang him at yence, an' end his woes,"
But the Monkey flew at him and bit off his nose,
An' that raised the poor man's Monkey O!

In former times, mid war an' strife,
The French invasion threatened life,
An' all was armed to the knife,
The Fishermen hung the Monkey O!
The Fishermen wi' courage high,
Seized on the Monkey for a spy,
"Hang him" says yen, says another,"He'll die!"
They did, and they hung the Monkey O!. They tortor'd the Monkey till loud he did squeak
Says yen, "That's French," says another "it's Greek"
For the Fishermen had got drunky, O!
"He's all ower hair!" sum chap did cry,
E'en up te summic cute an' sly
Wiv a cod's head then they closed an eye,
Afore they hung the Monkey O!.

As you can see the original lyrics to that song have a lot of geordie dialect


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Hartlepudlian
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 07:04 AM

And the nickname of Hartlepool United is 'Pools' not 'The Monkey Hangers', although 'Monkey Hangers' is what the fans of Hartlepool United are called by rival fans ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 07:56 AM

The only thing dafter than believing the monkey story is being bothered to refute it! There are many of these stories around, seldom with more than a hint of fact behind them. Where did they put the pig on the wall to watch the brass band go by? Where were the housewives so houseproud that they blackleaded the tramlines? Which town sold the church bible to buy a bear?

As for the nickname of Hartlepool United, it depends whether it's YOUR name for them, or other people's. Still, don't knock them, they used to be the most consistent team in the league... always bottom!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 08:08 AM

They turned up an alleged monkey bone on the beach at Hartlepool back in 2005... See http://monkeydaynews.blogspot.com/2005/06/hartlepool-hanging-monkey-legend.html


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 08:26 AM

Monkeys clearly had a bit of a time of it in the 18th century. Here's a story that comes from near me, in a village called Culverthorpe in Linconshire:

"Culverthorpe Hall, a building in the Italian style, was the seat of the NEWTON family. On January 4th, 1733, the last male heir to that family, John NEWTON, Viscount Coningsby, was stolen from his cradle by a pet monkey (some versions of the story say baboon). Being pursued, the monkey fled to the roof of the hall and dropped the infant over the parapet, killing him. The father, Sir Michael NEWTON, died on April 6th, 1743. The Countess died in 1761."

The villagers of nearby Oasby commemorate this event with Baboon Night in November:

"We appease the memory of the Viscount by marching around our small village with flaming torches and making a huge row while we herd the Baboon (A villager in a costume) towards the pub.

At the pub we are denied admission by the landlord until an effigy of the ape is hurled over the roof, only then can we enter to hear the famous poem written for the occasion by Sleaford resident Jeff Challoner.

...Bring drums, pots and pans, whistles or anything you can find to make a racket and scare the living daylights out of the beast.

The Oasby Morris Baboon Dancers will perform and there will be music and verse in the pub afterwards, along with a collection for Children in Need."

The tradition is only about 12 years old.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 08:57 AM

Guest Hartlepudlian, please check your facts:

You shouldn't start your post with please check your facts people, when almost everything in your post had been mentioned before in this thread:

My post of 19 Jun 03 - 03:37PM gives all the Corvan-related information.

Guest Billy's post of 11 May 07 - 09:46 PM mentioned the similarity to the Boddam story. (Though the link given there is no longer live; current link is The Boddamers Hinged the Monkey with some fragments of the song).

The version of the song from Allan's Tyneside Songster has been posted at least twice - the first 2 links at the top of the page both have it - and the Boddam fragment is in the first of the links also. (Though as a guest you might be forgiven for not checking the links out).

And as Guest PMB points out a team's nickname depends on who you are.



Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 01:45 PM

I rather think that, if the incident actually occurred, it was not because of an ignorant misidentification but as a kind of joke, a way of publicly implying that the French are/were monkeys. A communal jest, as it were.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 02:47 PM

My father was a bulldozer driver for McAlpines and he said an Irishman he worked with would regularly start a fight with navvies from the N.E, of England by claiming to be the man who hung the man who hung the monkey
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 06:04 PM

The story as related at several sites indicates that rather than being ignorant provincials, the residents had a very good, and somewhat clever(?), reason for hanging the monkey as a Frenchman.

The ship was wrecked and had been abandoned by the crew. Under the laws of the time, it was thus "salvage" (flotsam vs jetsam vs captured enemy stuff comes into interpreting the rules). If found without any crew on board, it was "the property of the Queen/King."

As the only "person" on board, it was quite necessary that the monkey be "found in court" to be a "French crewman," and hanged as an enemy, making the ship "a captured vessel" which could be kept, with whatever salvageable contents it contained, by the town.

There appear, from some sources, to be records affirming that this really did happen. Since even with a "lawfully convened court acting according to law" the action was a little on the shady side of the hill, it is understandable that the records might be a bit obtuse - so some still question the details.

In its full detail, the elements of "common folk who screwed the Queen" combined with "ridiculing the French" as looking/being like monkeys, does make it a tale begging to be contrived by a clever songster. Take your own pick on believing it all.

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Effsee
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 09:02 PM

Of course it's true...Vin Garbutt sez so! I can remember his intro from 30 years ago..."Since he refused to answer questions, and said not a word in his defence, he was found "Guilty" and hanged!
My goodness, was that really 30 years ago...seems just like the other day! Tempus fugit.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:40 AM

GuestJon, I suggest that you DON'T say that "sailors are synonymous with simians" in a naval town.

You could say that they were familiar with them, but even that could be misunderstood.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: GUEST,DaveH
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:21 AM

The bone featured in Sedayne's link is actually the left tibia of a deer of some kind. I'm an archaeo-osteologist so I see this all the time. I've also had police surgeons turning up with sheep teeth and asking "is this human?" Sheesh!

DaveH


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:18 PM

Terry McDonald - but you have a puddle as well as a poole... (not to mention what the puddle used to be!)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Briser
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 07:33 AM

Similar legend from Boddam, Aberdeenshire...

Eence a ship sailed round the coast
And a' the men in her was lost
Burrin' a monkey up a post
So the Boddamers hanged the monkey-O

Noo the funeral was a grand affair
All the Boddam folk was there
It minded you o' the Glesga Fair
Fin the Boddamers hanged the monkey-O


Noo a' the folk frae Peterhead
Cam oot expectin' tae get a feed
So they made it into potted heid
Fin the Boddamers hanged the monkey-O


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 11:07 AM

I wonder was the Monkey's "Last Speech from the Scaffold" ever taken down? Apropos--



<>


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 11:10 AM

Deleted, bigad! Try again:

"I, Frederique Fromage, ze famous French midshipmonkey, defy you English slaves to do your worst! I proclaim ze Droits de l'Homme and hurl defiance in your red, beefy, Imperialist faces! I bare my yellow teeth and turn to you my impressive Cul!! Oui, it is I, Le Citoyen Singe, who speaks! Le singe meurt et ne se rend pas! The monkey dies but never surrenders! Merde!"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 12:46 PM

Very good.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Colin Randall
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 04:53 PM

If Ned Corvan's tours took him only to northern England and Scotland, why is the same story - monkey hanged/hung ss French spy - also told in Westward Ho in north Devon? Maybe all the travelling performers were at it.

But I have to be careful here....my wife is French and I grew up 20 miles from the beach where Napoleon's dastardly spy came ashore to face the gallows


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Gurney
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 11:01 PM

As Effsee says, Vin Garbutt sings it. In the blurb of his LP, he advises travellers to Hartlepool not to mention monkeys. He further advises monkeys to avoid Hartlepool.

Must have been quite a job, hanging it. One man on the legs, one on the arms, and a boy on the tail?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 12:38 AM

There is a dockside museum in Hartlepool with a section about the monkey and a gift shop that sells Monkey song post cards. I have been there. I have one of the postcards.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 12:47 AM

You cannot hang a monkey unless you somehow immobilize all five of his prehensile limbs, tail included, as Gurney pointed out above. The monkey would simply climb the rope and perch atop the scaffold hurling abuse (and possibly other things as well)!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:10 AM

If yee bashes 'ees leetle 'ead in first yee can!

Now 'urry up and bash 'em afore 'is Majesty's Navy shows up and claims yon wessel!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:49 PM

No, LH, you don't have to immobilize all four limbs and the tail. (I'd like to see a monkey climb up a rope that is wrapped round his neck using only his tail.)

If you hanged a monkey the same way you hang a man (with his hands tied behind), you'd succeed, I think, in killing him. Lash his ankles together if you're worried he'll use his feet. It wouldn't be all that difficult.

Of course, I still don't think it really happened, but I don't see why it's necessary to claim that it's not feasible...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 05:27 PM

Nerd, LH and I were commenting on the technical difficulties that would be involved, not trying to prove anything.

Both of us have a diagonal sense of humour, I suspect, judging by his posts.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:37 AM

"An Aberdeen University study claims the tale originated in Scotland.

........ Fiona-Jane Brown, a folklorist at Aberdeen University's Elphinstone Institute, suggests the Hartlepool legend stems from a similar incident off the village of Boddam, near Peterhead, in 1772.

The villagers could only claim salvage rights if there were no survivors from the wreck, so they allegedly hanged the monkey."

Study queries monkey legend roots

Interestingly, on another forum, Fiona-Jane goes on to say this:

" ... as the author of the research thought I would also mention a few other things that clinch the monkey song as originating in Boddam rather than Hartlepool;

1. The Boddam monkey was hanged because the people wanted to salvage from the wreck of the ship - in Scots Law you could only do that if there were no living souls left aboard!

2. David Ferguson's book: Shipwrecks of NE Scotland where I got the 1772 reference, also says there were loads of examples of wrecking and illegal salvaging in the area

3. Boddam got a lighthouse in 1825 - before that date wrecking would have been an easier job, predating Ned Corvan's music hall version of 'The Hartlepool Monkey' which was composed in 1854

4. The tune mostly used by folk in the North East is William Watt's 'The Tinkers' Waddin', which was possibly published around 1835, again before Corvan wrote his words, and borrowed the tune. BUT Watt was inspired by the earlier tune and song 'The Blythsome Bridal' attr Francis Sempill c. mid 1600s - the tune was known as a 'Scotch Tune' even before that by broadside balladiers.

5. The Hartlepool monkey song borrows the line (which Ptarmigan didn't print but is known) about the monkey biting off the fisherman's nose

6. Ned Corvan was inspired by the Baboon song, based on an urban legend in County Durham where the pet baboon of a group of Russian Cossacks apparently stationed in Hartlepool during the Napoleonic Wars that was dressed up in a uniform and ran amok, the ignorant folk thought he was a Jew, a spy, a black man etc. Corvan wanted to exploit the rivalry between Old Hartlepool (Seaton Carew area) and West Hartlepool, founded in 1830s - the latter being the new industrial district, so made up the monkey song based on the Boddam one and the Baboon song.

Corvan STOLE it fae us!! ;-)

The Boddamers are quite happy to leave it to the Poolies, as they HATE the song even to this day!"

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 12:45 PM

Just a correction to the above - Old Hartlepool aka The Headland or the Heugh is actually to the north east of West Harlepool and Seaton Carew is to the south


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 09:35 AM

As the spouse of a Hartlepudlian, I can report that all my relatives by marriage up there (there's a lot of 'em) think it's a great story and they are quite proud of it. In fact there's a bronze monkey in the Marina collecting money for charity.

I was once on a course with a bunch of Geordies who had moved down to work in the Notts pits (shows you how long ago it was). In the pub at lunchtime, I incautiously mentioned that I was married to somebody from Hartlepool. Instant deafening chorus of "WHO KILLED THE MONKEY?"   

Whether the story is true is doubtful - but no noose is good noose.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 01:43 PM

We used to hang the monley up every week at the Hartlepool Folk Club and I still have a very shrunken tee shirt with the hanging monky on it so I don't think we get too upset - mind you I am from West Hartlepool - the Heughers may think diferently!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST,mart the fart
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:36 AM

I spank the monkey quite often.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: smurf
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 07:06 AM

Having been to Hartlepool, I strongly believe that the monkey had a quick look round the town and hung itself ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:01 PM

Here's something cute - a monkey playing with a dead mouse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atN8qQfcsGc


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:23 PM

I've heard of this tale before, whether true or not is a matter of debate. I've also seen other coastal locations mentioned in the telling of the tale. As is said, there's no smoke without fire.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: KEVINOAF
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 06:44 AM

If its not true its believable! the sort of stupidity described is still endemic today in britain's backwaters, 200 years ago they must have really been retarded!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Joe G
Date: 10 Mar 09 - 09:02 AM

Thanks for calling my home town a backwater KevinOaf

Admittedly it is off a spur of the A19 but I'm not sure a town of 100,000 people quite suits that title!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Effsee
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 12:18 AM

KevinOaf...says it all really doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Mon
From: KEVINOAF
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 10:02 AM

FC a barman in a backwater imagines himself a wit :I suppose he"s half right


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 05:36 PM

refresh!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this story true? - Hartlepool Monkey
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 10:17 PM

Just noticed this

"From: KEVINOAF
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 10:02 AM

FC a barman in a backwater..."

Who me? I'm a retired Electronic Engineer who has certainly worked as a barman in the past in Dundee, Aberdeen, Weston-super-Mare, Singapore, Thurso...hardly backwaters...and your point is?(Should you still be around!)


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