The dark history of Tom Fool

Each year, a jester is chosen to liven up life at Muncaster Castle, near Ravenglass in Cumbria, England. The custom goes back centuries to Tom Skelton, believed to be the original Tom Fool, a real-life jester believed to have a murderous past. (photo)

According to legends, Tom Fool was responsible for the death of a carpenter's son who was in love with the lord's daughter. The story cannot be verified, but a portrait of Tom Skelton still exists, along with his will. Skelton was the last jester for the Penningtons at Muncaster Castle until recent years when the custom was revived.