That Time When Hartlepool Hanged a Monkey

On the coast of northeast England, lies the town of Hartlepool, and from this large town in County Durham comes a humorous legend about a monkey. The legend dates back to the early 19th century, during the Napoleonic Wars, an era marked by heightened fear and wary, and suspicion of potential French invasion.

According to the tale, on a stormy night, a French ship was discovered sinking off the coast of Hartlepool. Among the wreckage, the townspeople found a lone survivor—the ship's monkey, dressed in a tiny military uniform, likely for the entertainment of the crew. The people of Hartlepool were unfamiliar with monkeys and had never encountered a French person before. However, they had seen British cartoons that depicted the French as monkey-like beings with tails and claws.

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