Wake Up Mother Goose
According to some scholars, Mother Goose was an actual person. Her name was Elizabeth Vergoose, and she is believed to have collected some of the most famous English nursery rhymes. Her son-in-law is credited with publishing the first of her rhymes in Boston in 1719.
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"Mother Goose", Mary, married Isaac Vergoose, who shortened his name to Goose. Tradition has it that the stories told by Mary Goose to her grand-children were put into print by her son-in-law, the printer Thomas Fleet, resulting in her immortalization as "Mother Goose". Her Stone was carved by William Mumford. The death's head he invariable chose to carve is distinctly his own, and the old burial grounds of Boston are populated by hundreds of stones by his hand.
Granary Burial Ground, Boston - 1690
The name "Mother Goose" has been associated with children's poetry for centuries. The imaginary author according to some accounts has been around since the 15th century.
Most Mother Goose poems originated in the distant past as folk stories and political statements of the time. In the 17th and 18th centuries people could actually lose their heads for talking against the monarchy or the crown. So, these clever and creative people made up rhymes that could be chanted in public in political protest without the threat of reprisals. If Mother Goose actually existed she might have been one of a number of different women or merely a whimsical made up character. For more information on the political background of Mother Goose visit mentalfloss.com .
An eighth century noble woman named Bertroda II of Logon, was a patroness of children who was also known as Berte Aux Grandpled, or Bertha Greatfoot, or Queen Goosefoot. Some believe she was the first Mother Goose.
By the mid-seventeenth century, a mythical Mother Goose Mere L'oye, was acknowledged in France as a Fairey Birdmother who told tales to children. Some of these stories were set down in print as early as 1637.
Old Mother Goose
When she wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine Gander.
Mother Goose had a house
'Twas built in a wood;
An owl at the door,
As a sentinel stood...