We every remember the children nursery rhyme about small Jack Horner. That the around the small boy that sticks his thumb into a pie and pulls out a plum. Pleased through himself, he declares, “What a great boy to be I!” far from being a not authorised rhyme around a son who likes to store his fingers in the pie, the nursery rhyme, small Jack Horner, speak the tale of an actual person who steals much more than simply a plum. 

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Many Old English Nursery Rhymes had actually Hidden Meanings

Little Jack Horner is not unique amongst nursery rhymes. Countless of the rhymes from Old English appear to be harmless verses for kids on the outside, yet when friend read more into them and also look in ~ the historic context in i beg your pardon they were written, you have the right to see the they space actually do biting society commentary about people and also events the the time. 


Source: (etc.usf.edu)

Jack was a actual Person

The “Jack Horner” in the nursery luck was yes, really a person named cutting board Horner. In medieval England, the name “Jack” was regularly used in a generic feeling to average a young boy, specifically a precocious one. Therefore in the ditty, Thomas’s name was adjusted to Jack, but his last name remained the same. 


King Henry VIII. Source: (englishhistory.net)

The Nursery Rhyme describes an Incident during the dissolution of the Monasteries

King Henry VIII ordered the dissolved of the abbeys to take place between 1536 and also 1541. The King basically shut under all the monasteries, friaries, convents, and other spiritual establishments all throughout England, Wales, and Ireland and seized the assets and incomes of these abbeys for the Crown. Much of the building that belonged to the churches to be sold and also the money funded the military campaigns of King Henry VIII during the 1540s. The resolution of the abbeys was met through resistance, and many spiritual leaders sought unique favors of the King in hopes that he would certainly exempt them from the dissolution. 


Glastonbury Abbot. Source: (clasmerdin.blogspot.com)

Thomas Horner worked for the abbot of Glastonbury

During the moment of the dissolved of the Monasteries, cutting board Horner was the steward to Richard Whiting, that was the critical abbot the Glastonbury. Whiting was among the people trying to win Henry VIII’s favor in wishes of maintaining Glastonbury open. So he devised a clever setup to butter increase the king. Follow to legend, Whiting had a big pie baked just for the King, but the pie held a surprise. Surprise inside to be the deeds come twelve manor residences that were in the possession of the kidnapping of Glastonbury. Whiting hoped to bribe the King with these surprised gifts.


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Thomas Horner was sent out to deliver the Pie

It was Christmas time, so thomas Horner more than likely didn’t think it was as well odd that the abbot was sending him to London v a large pie to give to the King together a gift. He was not conscious that the pie held the deeds come a dozen manor houses. Something happened along the way and one of two people Horner gained a small hungry or he just slipped and also stuck his thumb in the pie. Either way, that felt something inexplicable inside the dessert. The pulled out the deed come Mells Manor. 

Mells Manor. Source: (bathselfcatering.com)

The Bribe Failed, yet Horner had actually His ‘Plum’

King Henry VIII at some point received the Christmas pie, now with eleven deeds inside, but was no swayed through bribe attempt. The abbot of Glastonbury was seized through the Crown follow me with nearly all the English monasteries. Horner’s boss, Richard Whiting, was out of a job and was executed because that treason. Yet shortly thereafter, cutting board Horner and his family members moved right into Mells Manor. When questioned, Horner asserted he purchase the manor residence from the King and presented the deed as proof. Still, many people thought that Horner stole part of the bribe and kept it because that himself. Horner’s descendants remained living at Mells Manor for countless generations. 

Medieval mining. Source: (spartacus-educational.com)

The Plum may not have actually Been a Plum

The Mells Manor, situated in Somerset, England, had a large tract of land. Included in the manor’s building were command mines in the Mendip Hills. The Latin word for lead is plumbum and it was not unusual for civilization in the Middle ages to refer to lead as plum. So when small Jack Horner pulled out a plum native the pie, it can have intended that the pulled the end a profitable lead mine. 

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Source: (npr.org)

The Pie may not have actually Been a Pie

It seems odd the the kidnapping would desire to hide the deeds come manor residences inside a small pie. It can be that the abbot was trying to be creative in his bribe attempt, yet it need to be provided that baking items right into desserts were no unheard that in England. There room textual referrals to coins, jewels, and also romantic verses composed on document all gift baked right into pies or cakes as a method to surprised others. Part historians think that the pie in the tiny Jack Horner nursery rhyme should be taken quite literally and also that the deeds were covert under the flaky crust. But other researchers think that the pie was a an allegory for a chest or box, in which the deeds were hidden. 

Source: (etc.usf.edu)

Was Horner a great Boy?

The last line of the nursery happiness has tiny Jack Horner exclaiming “Oh what a an excellent boy am I!” some historians suggest to this line as an interpretation that thomas Horner to be happy with himself after discovering the deed to Mells Manor. No doubt he to be worried around his livelihood ~ the closure the the abbot of Glastonbury, however he had in his possession the deed to a manor house, offering his household a place to live and a potential income. King Henry had actually no means of learning that the pie originally hosted twelve deeds, not eleven. And also Richard Whiting might not paper theft charges versus Horner without admitting to bribing the King that England…and he was arrested and also executed on treason charges by order of the King. Horner remained in a good position and he knew it.