Third time lucky / beginner's luck

Third time lucky (a la tercera va la vencida) is a common saying in English. Its origins are debatable but it is thought to have come into common use after the following event:



John Henry George Lee (1864 – c. 1945), better known as John "Babbacombe" Lee or "The Man They Couldn't Hang", was a British man famous for surviving three attempts to hang him for murder.

Lee was born in Abbotskerswell, Devon, served in the Royal Navy and was a known thief. In 1885, he was convicted of the brutal murder of his employer, Emma Keyse, at her home at Babbacombe Bay near Torquay on 15 November, 1884. The evidence was weak and circumstantial, amounting to little more than Lee having been the only male in the house at the time of the murder, his previous criminal record, and being found with an unexplained cut on his arm. Despite this and his constant claim of innocence, he was sentenced to hang.

On February 23, 1885, three attempts were made to carry out his execution at Exeter prison. All ended in failure, as the trap door of the scaffold failed to open. This was despite the fact it had been carefully tested by James Berry, the executioner, beforehand. As a result, Home Secretary Sir William Harcourt commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. Lee continued to petition successive Home Secretaries and was finally released in 1907. The only other man in history known to have survived three hangings was Joseph Samuel.

After his release, Lee seems to have exploited his notoriety, supporting himself through lecturing on his life, even becoming the subject of a silent film. Accounts of his whereabouts after 1916 are somewhat confused, and one researcher even speculated that in later years, there was more than one man claiming to be Lee. It was suspected that he died in the Tavistock workhouse sometime during World War II. However, one recent piece of research concludes that he died in the U.S. under the name of "James Lee" in 1945. According to the book titled The Man They Could Not Hang by Mike Holgate and Ian David Waugh, Lee's gravestone was found at Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee.


Source: Wikipedia


I like the expression because it gives us hope that we will eventually succeed.

We also have the expression "beginner's luck" (suerte de principiante).

Can you think of a time when you had beginner's luck or you have been third time lucky?

Are there any sayings in Spanish that you like or believe in?

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