New Found Land

I heard this story on an episode of QI (series N, episode “New”).

Apparently the official pronunciation of Newfoundland is not what we think. Instead of pronouncing it NOO-f’nd-l’nd, as we are accustomed to do, it’s pronounced noo-f’nd-LAND.

This was such a big deal to one man that he killed someone over it. In 1876, two mill workers named William Atchison and John Davis got into a fight over the issue. Atichson punched Davis, so Davis pulled a gun and shot Atchison.

Davis ran, and managed to escape the authorities for 37 years.

In 1912, Davis became extremely ill and finally confessed to the murder on his deathbed. Unfortunately (?) for him, he made a surprise recovery and had to go on the run again. 

I don’t know if he was ever caught, or if he eventually died on the lam, but the moral of the story is that you never make a deathbed confession.

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