The Origin of Humpty Dumpty

September 5, 2007

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!"

Do you ever wonder where this popular nursery rhyme ever came from? Well it's your lucky day!

Humpty Dumpty was a powerful cannon during the English Civil War (1642-49). It was mounted on top of the St. Mary's at the Wall Church in Colchester defending the city against siege in the summer of 1648. (Although Colchester was a Parliamentarian stronghold, it was captured by the Royalists who held it for 11 weeks.) The church tower was hit by the enemy and the top of the tower was blown off, sending "Humpty" tumbling to the ground. Naturally the King's men* tried to mend him but in vain.
* The "men" would have been infantry, and "horses" the cavalry troops.
- From the East Anglia Tourist Board in England



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