Banbury200

The Wide-brimmed Hatman of Banbury is a little-known figure from English folklore, although there is a nursery rhyme (first documented in print in 1720) concerning this figure:

“A penny sir, a penny for your wide-brimmed hat,

The witch-hunter is coming in his horse and trap.

Johnny’s gone to market and his wife’s grown fat,

Which is, in truth, irrelevant, so disregard that.”

The nursery rhyme didn’t really take off but the original tale, of a man in a wide-brimmed hat who hunted witches but allowed people to impersonate him as long as they didn’t weary him with gossip and small talk, persisted. They still hunt witches in Banbury by the way, so do think twice before attempting a contactless payment in the local Spar. Cameron Carter

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