"Apologies, not directly Pepysian, but could not resist given the job description and the day."
You are in good company: the DNB online.
On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 12:09 AM, robinsonmf <robinsonrepepys@...>
Armstrong, Archibald [Archy] (d. 1672), court fool, was born of Scottish parents, perhaps at Arthuret in Cumberland or Langholm, Roxburghshire; his father was also named Archibald Armstrong. Young Archy's early life and the means by which he first entered the service of King James VI and I are obscure. An old oral tradition in the border country near Eskdale, recorded by Sir Walter Scott, related that he first encountered the king after being caught with a stolen sheep by officers of the court as it made a progress through his district. Carried before James and summarily sentenced to hang, Armstrong begged a reprieve until he could finish reading the Bible, which he claimed to have learned about only recently. When the request was granted he immediately retorted: 'Then de'il take me an' I ever read a word o't as lang as my een are open.' James was so delighted by this response that he pardoned the offender and appointed him court jester.
To read this Life of the Day complete with a picture of the subject, visit http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/lotw/2011-04-01
Apologies, not directly Pepysian, but could not resist given the job description and the day.
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