"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Newspaper Clipping of the Day




Whenever a 17th century pamphlet promised "strange and wonderful news," they generally weren't kidding around. This account of a Cornish man's odd adventure was reprinted in the "Western Morning News," February 8, 1926:

The truth of the account here given of what lately occurred in Cornwall is confirmed by letters from gentlemen of great worth and integrity of the neighbourhood where this remarkable accident happened, to which might add, were needful, the strict examinations and enquiries that were made by the aforesaid gentlemen, before they would write anything touching this matter; together with many other passages that sufficiently demonstrate the reality of the thing; but the general belief it hath obtained in the west saving that labour, I proceed to the relation those letters give.

Sunday, the eighth May [1637], one Jacob Mutton, whose relations are of good repute, being a servant to William Hicks, Rector Cardinham at a tenement he hath in Egloshale, called Park, as his Hynde, near the town of Bodmyn in Cornwall, going up in to his chamber about eight o'clock that terrible evening with the lad that was his usual bedfellow, the man was undressing and the boy in bed, when a hollow voice uttering "So hoe, So hoe, So hoe," occasioned his going to the window in the next room, which was seventeen foot from the ground, whence the voice seemed to come; and had no sooner laid his hands upon an iron bar thereof, than all gave way.

The cross-bar was found on the ground under the window, but the bar was the next morning found in this man's hand, who lay sleeping in a narrow lane four miles beyond Stratton in the said County, where he never was before his life, and which place is about thirty miles distant from the aforesaid tenement called Park.

The persons that found him were the earliest goers to Stratton fair, then held, where having no acquaintance, after he was waked out of sleep by the said passengers, amazingly asking them where he was, was by them conducted to Stratton fair, and thence directed home that Monday night so far as Camelford in the said County, about twenty miles from the said place where he was found, and on Tuesday morning returned to his Master's estate without any hurt at all, only very melancholy, saying, "That a tall man bore him company all that journey over hedges and brake yet without weariness or hurt." But what became his fellow traveller he can give no account, nor when he left him; or if he had the iron bar, or his companion, whilst they were on the journey, he does not at all remember nor how it came into his hand.

To conclude: this young man who is the occasion of this strange and wonderful relation was never, before this accident, accounted any ways inclinable to melancholy, but on the contrary esteemed a very airy, brisk, and honest young fellow.

1 comment:

  1. That's an odd thing indeed. And it's interesting that the newspaper of the seventeenth century didn't think it to be magic or witchcraft, but simply an astonishing event.

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