We all know that the nursery rhymes we sang as kids really have some sinister beginnings, right? “Sing a tune of Sixpence” is yes, really a song about piracy, and also “Ring about the Rosy” needs to do through the black color Plague. And also remember this tiny ditty?

Lucy Locket lost her pocket

Kitty Fisher found it

Not a penny was there in it,

Only ribbon ’round it.

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This one has some yes, really intriguing origins. The stems from an eighteenth-century british courtesan’s romantic entanglements, and also it was sung come the tune of “Yankee Doodle.”

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Kitty Fisher together Cleopatra, by teacher Joshua Reynolds

Catherine Maria “Kitty” Fisher was among London’s most renowned courtesans throughout the 18th century. Little is known about her childhood, yet instead the slaving away together a milliner for a pittance, Kitty decided to do a career change to courtesan once she saw how much an ext money she could be making, what nice things she might get v it, and also how much much more fun she could be having. Aside from the amusements of the boudoir, Kitty likewise advertised “clever and also witty conversation.” and also she was known for her love of sparklies; once he very first met her, Giacamo Casanova detailed that “he was magnificently dressed, and also it is no exaggeration to say that she had on diamonds worth five hundred thousand francs.” She additionally was a favorite subject of British painter Sir Joshua Reynolds. However for all of this, Kitty was known for she lighthearted antics; once she even ate “a thousand-pound banknote on her bread and butter.” This was what made people love Kitty therefore much; despite her shady means of earning a living, she’d worked her method up from near the bottom of the ladder come a very comfortable position near the top, but she still retained some of she working-class roots.

While riding in St. James’ Park one day, Kitty had actually a little mishap. She was thrown from her horse and also landed top top the ground in together a means that she skirts billowed up and also some that the public acquired a cost-free show. Embarrassed, Kitty was tearful, yet then she regained her composure and, amused at her small fall, dubbed for a sedan chair come take she home. The press had actually a ar day through this; they came all through all kinds of clever tiny songs and rhymes around it. Kitty took it all in stride. Really, it may have helped she to stay fresh in the psychic of London’s public.

The rhyme over has to do with one of Kitty’s admirers. Apparently, Lucy Locket, a barmaid, provided the guy she’d been seeing the cold shoulder ~ he had actually spent all of his money on her. Even though the spurned lover to be broke, he definitely wasn’t brokenhearted. The soon found love again on the rebound…in the eight of Kitty Fisher, which didn’t sit too well with Lucy. Funnily enough, at that time, words locket was a euphemism because that the vagina, and also aside from the friend being the “pocket” or means of cash, “prostitutes were known to tie their pockets round their thighs with ribbon.” Perhaps another of Kitty’s lovers might have had actually some bearing on the rhyme; Kitty was having actually a an extremely passionate, an extremely public affair with Lord Coventry, the husband of Maria Gunning. Needless to say, the two women hated each other and had some really public spats, as well, the were fodder for gossip among the ton of London.

Life in the fast lane soon lost its appeal because that Kitty, and she married one MP in 1766 and also became a culture matron. She became very involved in philanthropic efforts and a well-regarded member that London high society, however it was all also short-lived. After four months of marriage, Kitty passed away of smallpox, for this reason unfortunately, she to be unable to reap the fruits of her selection of domesticity. But she still had to walk out through style: she was buried in her ballgown, per her last wishes.

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Nonetheless, Kitty’s name and reputation have actually lived top top in this small ditty that has now come to be a child’s nursery rhyme. So now when girlfriend hear a little kid reciting or to sing it, you’ll recognize the story behind the audacious woman about whom it to be written.

Source: “Kitty Fisher.” The Duchess that Devonshire’s Gossip guide to the 18th Century. Www.georgianaduchessofdevonshire.blogspot.com>