- Education and Science
Little Jack Horner
Another well known nursery rhyme
which has a deeper meaning is,
"Little Jack Horner",
The Rhyme goes like this:
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!"
Many nursery rhymes and childhood ditties have a far deeper meaning.
They sound so innocuous to our ears that we repeat them without thinking.
In by gone days people had to be a bit careful what they said about powerful people, or questionable actions, and so, to mask what they were saying, they'd turn them into silly nonsense so that even the persons being spoken about might not be aware of what was being said.
And if they were, the rhyme had gotten into the public thought so that it would be too late to even try to stop it.
The Rhyme of Little Jack Horner tells a rather wicked story.
The Abbot's Plan
When Henry VIII was King of England, having split from the Catholic Church, he began to confiscate Church Property.
Richard Whiting was the Abbot of the Church at Glastonbury. Thinking he could avoid losing everything, he decided to give a portion of property to the King, thinking that this would appease Henry VIII.
Abbot Whiting, decided to bake the titles of twelve valuable manors into a pie, give it to his trusted steward, Thomas Horner, and dispatch him to the King.
In those days, it was usual to hide treasures in a pie, so this was perfectly sensible.
Where the Jack Enters
Handing the pie to Thomas Horner, the Abbot felt that everything would be taken care of.
However, Horner, behaving as a knave (Jack) opened the pie, took out the best title, sealed the pie and conveyed it with the eleven remaining titles to Henry VIII.
Henry was very pleased with his Eleven Titles, which of course, got back to the Abbot, who, of course made it public knowledge that he had sent twelve titles.
The Rhyme means;
The knave, 'Jack' Horner, secretly,
(in a corner) put his ‘thumb’ into the
pie and plucked out the ‘plum’.
To this day, the Horner family continues at Mells Manor.... which is the plum.