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Do You Know of the Lord’s Prayer?

The Irish Tricolor, representing the nation which much of Carribee Island inhabitants called home.

Carribee Island was home to Wolverhampton’s “Irish Quarter”, and the population was often the butt of the joke, or outright hostility. Echoes of this, such as “Paddy and Murphy” jokes live on to this day, playing the Irish down as stereotypically “thick” or stupid”.

The bulk of the following text is a direct extract from The Limerick Evening Post of 15th April 1828. It reveals that, even before the bulk of Victorian-era immigration occurred, the Irish had decidedly had enough of it. What follows is a rather humorous interpretation of the English, and more specifically, folk from the Wolverhampton area.


The annexed extract from the London Sun of Wednesday, we intend for the perusal of our Biblical gentry, but more especially those who come from the “enlightened people” of the sister-isle, to preach from the text of “Irish ignorance and superstition,” an unwarranted and mischievous crusade against the character and feelings of the country. The paragraph is taken from a lengthened account of a boxing match near Wolverhampton, given in the usual flash style, and here it is :-

“Ourself, in company with another friend, left Wolverhampton early on the Tuesday morning, for Stourbridge, and resolved to ‘nurse our prads [horses] gently’ in case any thing unpleasant might happen, and that ‘move off‘’ should be ordered. It is pretty well known that the working people (alias the operatives) in that neighbourhood are the most illiterate in England and, in consequence, we proposed a bet to our friend, of a flimsy to the tune of fifty, that the three first people he should meet at their doors, in the first four miles, did not know the Lord’s Prayer. ‘Done !‘ was the answer, and the following scene took place.

Our friend went up to a decent looking woman, who was staring at the cavalcade that was filing by, and accosted her with, ‘My good woman, do you know the Lord’s Prayer?’’

Lod’s Prayer? No, Zur, I doant know him; he doant live hereabout, I’ze sure.

Our friend looked unutterable things; took a pinch of snuff, and asked ourself to smoak a cigar. ‘Yes,’ was our reply. We pulled up our prads at a decent-looking house, to get a light, which being procured, we prepared to toddle, first putting our smoaking faculties into full operation, when the sight of a petticoat caught our friend’s eye, and as he was partial to the ogles of a ‘rum blowing,’ [an attractive woman in a relationship] he determined to pop the question, and thus addressing her:

My darling creature a word in your listener if you please; do you know, my love, the Lord’s Prayer?’’

Lord’s Prayer, Lord’s Prayer, noa xur, I doant know en that name, but perhaps my devil does— (here’s two said ourself) — the females in this part of the country call their husbands by way of eminence their devils; here she cried ‘Tommy! Tommy! come out, come out, here’s some gemmen want to know summitt.

Our friend here repeated his question to the ‘gentle creature’s devil,’ who’s reply was, ‘noa zur, I’ant lived long about here; I doant know him rightly ; but an you’ll tell whether banks-man or a pit-man, I’ll be zure to know him.’

Our friend was completely ‘slow whidded’, and cut his stick [made off].”

A single comment on this would weaken it, so much does it speak for itself.

Source Used:

  1. The Limerick Evening Post, 15th April 1828

Thirsty For More?

If you’re interested in knowing more about Wolverhampton’s own “Irish Quarter”, you can find out more by attending our next event on 22nd June 2022, A History of Carribee Island. The feature of the event is a presentation by Dr Simon Briercliffe, of the Black Couintry Living Museum. Tickets are just £5 and can be purchased using the link below, or on the door.

Tickets to A History of Carribee Island

If you’re reading this after the event, you can find more information on Carribee Island on Simon’s website using the link below.

The Persistent Irish Quarter

And if you’re interested in another example of Wolverhampton history, you can find out all about “the big candlestick” here:

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