Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Ye Olde Black Boy

Ye Olde Black Boy on the High Street claims to be Hull's oldest pub being built in 1729 though the site is much older dating back to the 14th century. Several theories about the meaning of the name have been put forward: a chimney sweep, a black page boy, even a reference to King Charles II who reputedly was swarthy in appearance! There was a  fashion in the 18th century for black servants, they were slaves in all but name however remember no-one could be a slave in England dontcha know, see here. There is some irony in the fact that this was probably William Wilberforce's local  as his house is at the other end of the street. That's if he ever drank, he strikes me as having been a lot of a prig with his Society for the Suppression of Vice and other 'good works', his son was known as 'Soapy Sam' infamous for his opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and his grandsons were leading lights in the Church of England Temperance Society! They would have abolished not just slavery but all the agreeable vices that make life just about bearable. But I digress. I don't know why the chap in the sign is carrying a cricket bat and an axe perhaps he's looking for a temperance man ...

Unsurprisingly the pub's history is available online here.

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