'One stormy day during the Napoleonic Wars, a French ship was wrecked off the coast of an old fishing village clinging to the north-east coast of England.
The only survivor was the ship's mascot, a monkey that was washed ashore.
The people of Hartlepool had never seen a monkey before - nor, for that matter, had they ever set eyes on a Frenchman.
Mistaking its chattering for the language of the enemy, they convicted the monkey of being a French spy and hanged the animal on the beach.
Or so the story goes.'