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!

A Picture by Rubens: an Appraisal story 
Richardson, in his anecdotes of painting, says, a gentleman came to me to invite me to his house: "I have," says he, "a picture of Rubens, and it is a rare good one. There is little H. the other day came to see it, and says it is a copy. If any one says so again, I'll break his head. Pray, Mr. Richardson, will you do me the favour to come, and give me your real opinion of it?"
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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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