57. Old Mother

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little doggie had none.

The old mother Hubbard alludes to the famous Cardinal Wolsey. He was the most important Statesman and Churchman of The Tudor history period of the 16th Century England.

Cardinal Wolsey was a faithful servant of king Henry VIII. The King wanted to divorce Queen Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn, with whom he was madly in love!

When the Cardinal Wolsey failed to facilitate the divorce the king was terribly displeased with him.

The “doggie” in the rhyme refers to the King Henry VIII and the “bone” refers to the divorce. The old mother Hubbard was the Cardinal and the cupboard alludes to the Catholic Church.

Subsequently divorce was arranged by Thomas Cramner, leading to the break with Rome, the formation of the English Protestant Church and the death of Cardinal Wolsey.

Visalakshi Ramani


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