The Berners Street Hoax | The Printshop Window

Originally posted on The Printshop Window.

The residents of 54 Berners Street were awoken early one November morning in 1810 by the sound of chimney-sweep knocking loudly and incessantly on the door at the rear of the property. He had, the sweep explained to the bleary-eyed chambermaid who was eventually dispatched to investigate the cause of the commotion, been asked to call at the house to attend to an urgent job. After tartly informing the sweep that he had not been called for and that his services were definitely not required at such an ungodly hour, the maid promptly slammed the door in the puzzled man’s face and returned to her bed.

She had just settled back under the covers when the knocking began again in earnest. Flying downstairs in a rage and flinging open the door to give the insolent sweep a piece of her mind, the housemaid was surprised to find a completely different man staring back at her. He was also a sweep and like his colleague before him, claimed that he had been asked to call at the house before dawn to clean the chimneys. He was followed in quick succession by a third sweep and the a fourth, all bearing the same set of instructions. When the exasperated servant had finally finished…

via The Berners Street Hoax | The Printshop Window.

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