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!

Conan Doyle's practical joke 


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, enjoyed practical jokes. He is said to have once sent a telegram to twelve of his friends, all people of great significance and power. The telegram said: 'Flee at once, the secret is discovered'. Within 24 hours all twelve had left the country.
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Compliment to King Charles II 
Charles II. was reputed a great connoisseur in naval architecture. Being once at Chatham, to view a ship just finished on the stocks, he asked the famous Killigrew, "If he did not think he should make an excellent shipwright?" He replied, "That he always thought his majesty would have done better at any trade than his own." No favourable compliment, but as true a one, perhaps, as ever was paid.

From The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes: Historical, Literary, and Humorous
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Shaving a Queen -- Let the Barber Do His Best! 
Shaving a Queen.—For some time after the restoration of Charles the Second, young smooth-faced men performed the women's parts on the stage. That monarch, coming before his usual time to hear Shakespeare's Hamlet, sent the Earl of Rochester to know the reason of the delay; who brought word back, that the queen was not quite shaved. "Ods fish" (the king employed his usual expression), "I beg her majesty's pardon! we will wait till her barber is done with her."

From The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes: Historical, Literary, and Humorous
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Captain Kidd -- Famous Last Words of a Pirate 
Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 02:35 PM - British humor, history of England, Famous funny quotes and sayings, Life and Death
Posted by Court Jester
Captain William Kidd (1645-1701), a famous British pirate, started his career as a regular sea captain. But when he was dispatched to the coast of Madagascar with the purpose of quelling marauding pirates, he joined them instead, and soon became one of the most ferocious raiders on the open seas. After several years of bloody raids on British ships he reached agreement with the English that he would surrender in return for a full pardon. Once he was in custody, the pardon was revoked and he was sent to the gallows. As the noose was put around his neck he said to the assembled crowds: "this is a very fickle and faithless generation."
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Jonathan Swift and Thomas Sheridan at a Beggar's Wedding 
Dean Swift being in the country, on a visit to Dr. Sheridan, they were informed that a beggar's wedding was about to be celebrated. Sheridan played well upon the violin; Swift therefore proposed that he should go to the place where the ceremony was to be performed, disguised as a blind fiddler, while he attended him as his man. Thus accoutred they set out, and were received by the jovial crew with great acclamation. They had plenty of good cheer, and never was a more joyous wedding seen. All was mirth and frolic; the beggars told stories, played tricks, cracked jokes, sung and danced, in a manner which afforded high amusement to the fiddler and his man, who were well rewarded when they departed, which was not till late in the evening. The next day the Dean and Sheridan walked out in their usual dress, and found many of their late companions, hopping about upon crutches, or pretending to be blind, pouring forth melanPg 11choly complaints and supplications for charity. Sheridan distributed among them the money he had received; but the Dean, who hated all mendicants, fell into a violent passion, telling them of his adventure of the preceding day, and threatening to send every one of them to prison. This had such an effect, that the blind opened their eyes, and the lame threw away their crutches, running away as fast as their legs could carry them.
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