According to Wiki, a person from Hartlepool is called a Hartlepudlian. While adorable, their other nickname is much more crazy.
Why’s that you ask? Buckle up:
According to local folklore, the term originates from an incident in which a monkey was hanged in Hartlepool. During the Napoleonic wars, a French ship of the type chasse marée was wrecked off the coast of Hartlepool. The only survivor was a monkey, allegedly wearing a French uniform to provide amusement for the crew. On finding the monkey, some locals decided to hold an impromptu trial in the town square; since the monkey was unable to answer their questions, and many locals were unaware of what a Frenchman may look like, they concluded that the monkey was in fact a French sailor. Just to make sure, the animal was thus sentenced to death and hanged in the town square on the Headland.
If dead monkeys isn’t your bag, you might prefer this:
“Then there are some who point to a much darker interpretation of the yarn. They say that the creature that was hanged might not have been a monkey at all; it could have been a young boy. After all, the term powder-monkey was commonly used in those times for the children employed on warships to prime the cannon with gunpowder.”
Well, ok, that’s probably worse.
In true English fashion that explanation somehow made less sense than not knowing anything at all. Wiki explains some more: