Here is a quote from this article:
“….Some say Humpty Dumpty is a sly allusion to King Richard III, whose brutal 26-month reign ended with his death in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. In this speculative version, King Richard III’s horse was supposedly called “Wall,” off of [sic] which he fell during battle. He was bludgeoned so severely his men could not save him, becoming the last king to die in battle….”
The article says it’s speculative. I’ll say it is! Richard had a horse called Wall? Oh, come on, that’s stretching things simply to connect poor old Richard with the ill-fated egg! The only horse name that I’ve ever heard connected with Richard is White Surrey, and even that is almost certainly fictional. We like to imagine Richard, in shining armour, urging his white/cream/pale grey horse into battle, shouting “White Surrey! White Surrey!” Would we be quite so keen to imagine him yelling “Wall! Wall!”? I think not.
As the article goes on to mention Richard’s “brutal reign” etc. etc. I think we can discard its other “speculative” claims about him. The old nursery rhyme is surely far more likely to be about Charles I who had a cannon at the siege of Colchester, operated by “one-eyed Jack” Thompson over a belfry wall by St. Mary’s Church.
The tracing-back to the supposed origins of our beloved nursery rhymes isn’t new, in fact it’s been around a good while. Another one I’ve seen associated with Richard is “Hey Diddle, Diddle”, and I’ve written about both nursery rhymes previously. However, I fear some of the links mentioned in this previous post are no longer available.
Anyway, read and….um….don’t forget your toast soldiers!