Mary Tudor: The Origin Of The Nursery Rhyme

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"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, And cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row." This Nursery rhyme was first published in 1744 and originated in England (N/A, The Mary that nursery rhyme is referring to Mary Tudor, more famously known as “Bloody Mary.” Mary Tudor was the daughter of King Henry VIII. When Mary Tudor became Queen, she was loyal to the Catholic Church, and anyone who practiced the Protestant faith became martyrs. The Garden in this nursery rhyme is referring to the burial of Protestant martyrs in the cemeteries (Alchin). The reference of silver bells and cockle shells are idioms for torture devices (Alchin). The silver bells were thumbscrews; the machine would clamp and tighten down on the thumbs, the device would crush the thumbs of its victim (Goran). Cockleshell is believed to be referencing the Maiden which is an early form of the guillotine, which was used for beheadings (N/A, The nursery rhyme in the last line mentions pretty maids all in a row, which is referencing the Maiden which was the original guillotine where Bloody Mary had sent about 300 people to their death (Alchin). “Georgie Porgie pudding and pie, Kissed the girls and made them cry When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.” While Georgie Porgie is English in origin and seems to be referring to two possible people. The one
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