Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Sea Unicorn

The British Newspaper Archive have recently added a new newspaper, the Tyne Mercury; Northumberland and Durham and Cumberland Gazette. They only have early years so far, and already I have found so much. 

This is my favourite little find so far:


"On Wednesday se'nnight, an animal, supposed to be what is commonly called a sea unicorn, and measuring about 15 feet in length, was found lying on the beach between Cambois and Blyth. It had been previously washed ashore at Newbiggen, but the fishermen not knowing what it is, suffered it to be carried away by the ensuing tide."
- 23 September 1828

This particular newspaper appears to be quite fond of the word "se'nnight," which I had never heard of before. A quick Google search tells me that "se'nnight" is an old word meaning "week". 

Presumably the sea unicorn was a narwhal, a very rare sight on the Northumbrian coast.