Batman’s Village of Fools: Gotham, England

There's a link from a 13th century legend, to a 16th century insult book, to a 19th century writer, to a 20th century comic book hero. And it starts in a small village near Nottingham, in the time of Robin Hood. Here's why Batman comes from Gotham City.
(I am reliably assured that the modern-people of Gotham are not, in fact, fools.)
Many versions of the Merry Tales were printed: the earliest reference I can find a reference to is 1540 here:
Furnivall (1870), "The fyrst boke of the introduction of knowledge made by Andrew Borde, of physycke doctor. A compendyous regyment; or, A dyetary of helth made in Mountpyllier", is available here:
The Bill Finger phone-book story is found in multiple places, but I'm quoting Steranko's "History of Comics" p44 (admittedly as referenced in Wikipedia, I didn't have time to track down the original).
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I've got a story for you that stretches . over 700 years and the best way to start . it is with a 16th century joke amandla . dried to the market with two bushels of . wheat but because his horse shouldn't . carry a heavy load he carried the wheat . on his own neck but still rode the horse. i'm not saying it's a great 16th century . joke but that is one of the merry tales . of the mad men of gautam a 16th century . compilation of stories insulting the . intelligence of the people of this town . which is pronounced gautam the jokes . compiled in that book date back . centuries more and while the details. have changed with retellings over the . years the story behind them goes like . this back in the early 13th century king . john the king john from the tales of . robin hood wanted to travel through this . town the locals were worried because if . the king traveled on a road it would . become a public highway and i didn't . want that. or in other retellings the king wants to . build a hunting lodge somewhere nearby. and the locals would have to pay for it . so whenever royal messengers arrived in. gautam and they found the local was . doing something ridiculous they tried to . capture a cuckoo by building a circular . hedge around it and when the bird flew . away decided they just hadn't built the . hedge high enough they tried to kill him . eel by drowning it back then madness was . thought to be contagious . if the king was to visit this town but . who knows he might catch whatever they . had the king stayed away and the locals . won so the full legend tells the tale of . a wily group of people who helped witted . the king but who also became known as a . village of fools in the process they . were both the wise men of gautam and the . mad men of gautam centuries later in the . early 1800s there was an american writer . called washington irving he's best known . now for writing the legend of sleepy . hollow but among many other things he . was a satirist and in one of his early . works he refers to new york city as . gautam. now i tracked down that bit of writing i . can't understand it. i don't any other context i i don't if . he's calling the citizens of new york . dim or clever or both but the nickname . he gave new york stuck around in the . public consciousness and it was written . down so at some point gautam became . more than a century after that one comic . book writer bill finger was looking for . a name for batman's fictional town he . flipped through the new york city . phonebook spotted gotham jewellers and . thought that's perfect so now we have . gotham city if one link in that chain . had broken through 13th century legend. to 16th century insult book to 19th . century writer to 20th century phone . book flip if one of those small events . hadn't happened batman would live . somewhere else . .

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