three Wise Men of Gotham is the early name given to the people of the village of Gotham, Nottinghamshire, in allusion to an incident where they supposedly feigned idiocy to avoid a Royal visit.
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The Wise Men of Gotham are recalled in a popular nursery rhyme with a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19695, an adaptation of the tale Three Sailors of Gotham. The lyrics are
Three wise men of Gotham
Went to sea in a bowl;
And if the bowl had been stronger
My song would have been longer.
The rhyme was first recorded in Mother Goose’s Melody published around 1765, and from then appeared in many collections
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three wise men of gotham went to sea in a bowl