Little Jack Horner sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie:
He put in his thumb, and pulled out a plum,
And said, “What a good boy am I”
The initial publishing year for "Little Jack Horner" is 1725, but all the frequent English nursery school rhymes were long in distribution earlier than they appeared in print. Jack was really Thomas Horner, steward to Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury. Myth has it that, previous to the Abbey's devastation through the Dissolution of the monasteries commanded by Henry VIII, the Abbot tried to steer clear of the occasion by sending Horner to London with a enormous Christmas pie that had the deeds of a dozen manors concealed in it. For the duration of the trip Horner opened the pie and extracted the deeds of the Manor of Mells in Somerset. While records do document that Thomas Horner did become the proprietor of the manor, both his offspring and succeeding owners of Mells Manor have claimed that the fable is rather libellous.