Jack the Monkey
The Black Lion Hotel established 1740 was one of Stockton’s oldest pubs. In the Black Lion’s Yard there was a coaching house and stables, it was also home to a monkey called Jack.
Here is a story about one of Jack’s exploits…
Jack was a monkey and the pet of one of the coach drivers who lived at the Black Lion Hotel, he was a well-known and well liked animal who was allowed to roam around the area at will. One day Jack left the Hotel and found himself at St John’s Well on Bridge Road. A local butcher who had too much to drink was riding his horse past the well when Jack decided to hitch a ride home. He jumped onto the butcher’s back and in fun proceeded to nip the butcher, but the butcher in his drunken state thought that the devil himself had come to claim his soul!
The butcher began to shout and holler causing his horse to bolt off across the bridge, not stopping until it reached Mandale Mill. Once at the mill the horse threw its rider and Jack the monkey. The butcher vowed never to touch another drop of alcohol and hurried off home. This promise didn’t last very long as he was seen a week later on market day, at his usual pubs.
Jack was an intelligent monkey and knowing the area well made his way home to the Black Lion’s Yard and his master.
Did you know… In the middle of the Black Lion’s Yard there used to be a plaque which commemorated the death of Jack the monkey. Jack died in 1812.