Thursday, January 17, 2013


Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie,
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said "What a good boy am I!"

According to a number of sources, the rhyme about Little Jack Horner was circulated about 1543 concerning a Thomas Strangeways* Horner. (*wife-Susannah Strangeways) He had acquired the land of the Bishop of Glastonbury, Somersetshire, England, when Henry VIII dissolved the Catholic Church in England and abolished the monasteries from 1536-1539. The deeds for the seized lands were  purportedly secreted in a pie for safe delivery to the King. The metaphoric "plum" was Mells Manor, which Horner plucked for himself from the twelve deeds he was to hand to the King "in the pie". The name "Jack" typically denoted a knave that is a "King's Man" particularly under Henry VIII.

(My Horner family research goes back to 1573 with the names Thomas and John... and may have direct family connections. I will publish lineage once it is further studied. Either way, I thought you'd enjoy the origins of this nursery rhyme!)

1 comment: