Jack Pudding & A Dumpling

Following on from yesterday’s post, this little snippet from 1688 describes a young man taking part in jests with the previously mentioned Jack Pudding.

Named by the author as William, this merry maker, who apparently longed for adventure, made his way over to London’s Bankside.  A large crowd surrounded a makeshift stage outside an inn, amongst which

stood an Old Fish Wife, looking attentively towards the Stage, her Mouth as wide open as a gaping Oyster Barrel. William, seeing her, stoops down and picks up two or three Oyster-shells, then taking his opportunity, chucks them into her mouth.

He then danced on the toes of some of the spectators, and came face to face with Jack Pudding, who ‘roaring in his party coloured Cloaths, and his Flat Cap’ was like a ‘Bull with his Horns saw’d off’.  There then followed a spirited exchange between Jack Pudding and William:

‘I will come for all your Goods!’ Jack Pudding warned the crowd.
William heckled, ‘That’s a lye!  Half of us don’t believe you!’
‘Friend, where do you live that thus dares to interrupt me?’ Retorted Jack Pudding.
‘I live in Whore and Bastard Lane, next door to your Mother!’ William replied.
Jack scolded, ‘Your Manners is worn out, and can’t be mended but at the carts-arse!’
‘I will silence you strait!’ called William.

With this William went over

to a Woman that sold Dumplings. Mother, says he, Mr Pudding sent me for a Dumpling.  She gives him one, he goes to the corner of the Stage, and when the Fool was in the height of his Ribaldry, William hits him in the Mouth with a Dumpling, some of the hot Liquor flying into his Eyes. There was Mirth and Vexation mixt to the general Satisfaction of the Spectators.

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  • November 13, 2009 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh good. Will there be dumplings?

  • November 13, 2009 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I happen to be working on ideas when we hopefully take over a town event next year – mock pagentry collapsing into an anarchic argument betwen historical characters is the theme. You have inspired me.

  • November 13, 2009 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant, isn’t it. And I thought the old ‘Yo mama’s a ho’ thing was relatively recent!

  • November 13, 2009 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the finest 17th century dis. ever committed to record: ‘I live in Whore and Bastard Lane, next door to your mother!’ . That’s going to keep me chuckling all week, thanks Dainty.

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