A Fact…

Isle of Wight Observer January 25, 1890

A correspondent writes as follows: The inhabitants of St John’s and Oakfield were thrown into a state of consternation in the early hours of Tuesday, the 21st inst., by the report that a man was hanging by the neck from the halyards of the flag pole belonging to Mr Waite of the Falls of Niagara. the police were communicated with but, on their arrival, decided that an inquest was not necessary as, on examination, the suspicious object proved to be a bust of the Grand Old Man. How it got there has not been ascertained, but two well-known members of the Radical Party were observed leaving the place of execution about midnight on Monday. What has the GOM done to incur the displeasure of the Liberal Party to be thus served? Mr Waite very carefully took the bust into his house, but parted with the same in the afternoon to a gentleman in High Park and advised him to place it in his garden, with a warranty that no Isle of Wight slug would live within 100 yards of it.

William Gladstone was known affectionately as the ‘Grand Old Man’ or, according to Disraeli, ‘God’s Only Mistake’.


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