History Jokes: British humor, history of England


Funny anecdotes and short stories are a great source of examples in public speeches. This website contains short funny stories, clean jokes and humorous legends of kings and queens, politicians, famous literary figures and artists from many books and sources. The styles of writers from different time periods was preserved - they often enhance the stories in an amusing way. Enjoy and have fun!

Sir Walter Scott 
Thursday, March 6, 2008, 12:04 AM - British humor, history of England, Jokes and anecdotes of famous people
Posted by Court Jester
Sir Walter Scott, when a boy, gave very slight indications of genius, nor did he shine in his early career as a scholar. In Latin, he did not advance far until his tenth year, when Dr. Pater- son succeeded to the school at Musselburgh, where young Scott then was. Dr. Blair, on a visit to Musselburgh, soon after Dr. Paterson took charge of the school, accompanied by somn friends, examined several of the pupils, and paid particular attention to young Scott. Dr. Pater- son thought it was the youth's stupidity that engaged the doctor's notice, and said, " My predecessor tells me, that boy has the thickest skull in the school.""May be so," replied Dr. Blair, "hut through that thick scull I can discern many bright rays of future genius." How fully the prediction has been verified, need not be told.
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The Oxford Dragon 
Jacob Bobart the younger, and son of a German
horticulturist of the same name, who superintended
the Physic Garden in Oxford, in the
seventeenth century, once played an ingenious
hoax on the learned of that university. He
found a large dead rat in the garden, and transformed
it by art into the shape of a dragon, as
represented in old and curious books of natural
history, particularly in Aldrovandus. This was
shown to various learned men, all of whom believed
it to be a genuine and invaluable specimen
of the dragon. Many fine copies of verses were
written by the literati, in honor of Bobart and
his matchless discovery, and persons flocked
from all parts to see it. Bobart owned the cheat
some years after, but it was for a long time preserved
as a masterpiece of art.

From The Percy Anecdotes
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Coronation of George I 
Nothing of special interest marks the Coronation of George I., except that, as he was unable to speak English, and scarcely anyone round him could speak German, recourse had to be had to Latin. As all the various ceremonies had to be laboriously explained to him in this language, the Coronation was consequently a long and tedious affair with many interruptions. In connection with this a common joke among the people at the time was that much bad language had passed between the King and his ministers on the day of the Coronation. The wife of George I., like the wife of his descendant, George IV., was not permitted to take any part in the great celebration, but was left a prisoner in Germany, where she remained in captivity for thirty years.

From The Windsor Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women
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"King Arthur" Merry-making at sea 
Sunday, March 2, 2008, 11:33 PM - British humor, history of England
Posted by Court Jester
This is another gameused at sea,
when near the line, or in a hot latitude.
It is performed as follows.

A man, who is to represent King Arthur,
ridiculously dressed, having a large wig
made out of oakum, or of some old
swabs, is seated on the side, or over a
large vessel of water. Every person in
his turn is to be ceremoniously introduced
to him, and to pour a bucket of water over
him, crying, "Hail, King Arthur!" If
during this ceremony the person introduced
laugh- or smiles, (to which his majesty
endeavours to excite him, by all sorts
of ridiculous gesticulations), he
changes place with, and then becomes,
King Arthur, till relieved by some
brother tar, who has as little command
over his muscles as himself.

From The Olio, Or, Museum of Entertainment
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Prince of Wales and a German oboe player 
Another joke was played off upon poor Fischer
by the Prince of Wales this merrymaking season,
to this effect: after the concert, which Fischer
attended twice a week at Richmond or at Kew,
wherever the King and Queen were, he used eagerly
to seize upon the supper before he went to London.
Upon one occasion the Prince came in and said, ' I
have ordered something that I know you like;' a
dish was brought in, and when the cover was lifted,
out jumped a rabbit. Germans have a particular
dislike to that animal in every shape and form ;
therefore it is easy to conjecture poor Fischer's
state of mind. This joke cost him only the loss of his
supper, but many nights succeeded before he could
be prevailed upon to again enter the eating-room.


From Court and Private Life in the Time of Queen Charlotte by Charlotte Louise Henrietta Papendiek
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