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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wise men of Gotham

Gotham is a village in Nottinghamshire, England. Its twelfth century church is named after Saint Lawrence.
St Lawrence church &Gotham road sign - Wikipedia commons

It is believed that King John intended to make a progress through the town with the intention of establishing a hunting lodge; this would have entailed building a royal highway to the lodge.
 
But the townsmen didn’t particularly fancy being saddled with the cost of supporting the court and maintaining such a route.
 
So, wherever the royal messengers went, they saw the people engaged in some idiotic pursuit and the king, when told, abandoned his plan.
 
On learning of their success, the townsmen remarked along the lines that 'more fools pass through Gotham than remain in it.'

The nursery rhyme goes:

Three wise men of Gotham
Went to sea in a bowl
If the bowl had been stronger
My story would have been longer.

A collection of popular tales of stupidity was published in Henry VIII’s time: Merie tales of the Mad Men of Gotham.

Gothamites are inhabitants of New York. The name Gotham was bestowed on New York by Washington Irving in his Salmagundi (1807), a satirical periodical that lasted for twenty issues; it lampooned New York culture and politics.

Gotham is a Pullitzer prize-winning history of New York up to 1898, by Edwin G Burrows & Mike Wallace, over 1200 pages, published 1999.
 
Writer Bill Finger first introduced Gotham City in Batman #4 (1940).
 
The link of New York to Nottinghamshire's Gotham is credited in Legends of the Dark Knight #206.
 
 

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