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  • Hartlepool Wandering Jew January 29, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    This is the record of a Wandering Jew from Hartlepool in the north-east of England. The text is in dialect and a rather difficult dialect at that: it appeared in the Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail (24 Jul 1880), 4.

    ‘Did ya ivver knaw thot Wandering Jew cam tiv Hertlepol, sir,’ said an old man, a genuine Hartlepudlian, to me one day. I confessed my ignorance of that historical fact, and he proceeded to enlighten me. ‘Ah wos stannin’ at oor door saam yeer oor Mally an’ me wos wed.’

    The author later establishes that this was ‘as far as I can make out, 1820’.  In any case the narrative continues…

    It wos peltin’ an’ rainin’, an’ ah thowt such a day had nivver been seen. Ah look’t an’ ah saw a man com along street without shoes or stookin’. Ah thowt it wos a queer day for a man to be walkin’ like thot, an’ ah look’t at him. He had a lang grey beard, an’ he’d kind iv sorrowful luik. He shivered bit, but ah saw thot when he lifted his feet ont iv sump his skin wos lily white, an’ sump all ran off ageu if his skin was oil. Ah felt queer, but watched him, an’ he went te Church Yats, an’ he lukt at clock, turned rooud, an’ cam back again. As he cam’ near me ah saw that his coat was without seam. Ah felt ah must speck to him, so I sed, ‘Come in and rest ya a bit.’ An’ he lukt at me wiv such a sad luik, an’ he sed, ‘It’s a good time since I rested, eighteen hunerd yeer an’ more.’ An’ then he passed on through Nor Yats, and ah saw him more.’

    The writer, then, has some fun with the old man asking how he came to Britain, an island, if he had always to walk. ‘Com?’ said the old man, ‘he walked on top ov watter.’ When instead the old man was about the Wandering Jew’s fate he replied: ‘Ah heard say he went to Sunnerland [nearby Sunderland], and that they locked him up theer in a cell. They did very wrong, ya knaw, to do that.’ The author replied that at least he had some rest to which the old man replied ‘Rest, na rest! Wen they went next morning he wos gone.’

    Other ‘factual’ wandering jews: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com