32 LITTLE JACK HORNER,
The story, which gained popularity last century, is that Richard Whiting the last Abbot of Glastonbury, at the time of dissolution hoping to appease Henry VIII sent his steward Jack Horner to London with a Christmas gift, a pie, hidden in the pie were deeds of twelve manors, on the journey, Jack opened the pie and removed the deeds of Mells Manor, in the village of Mells 15 miles N.E of Glastonbury in Somerset, True or not, Thomas Horner took up residence at the manor shortly after dissolution and one of his descendants was still living there in 1975. The Homer family claims that Mells Manor was bought along with various other Manors and nearby farms for the sum of £1,831,9s,3d 3farthings and that the rhyme has nothing to do with their ancestor, also their ancestors name was Thomas not Jack. This story of Jack Horner was printed in book form in 1764, and sold in Aldermary Churchyard, Bow Lane, London, where it was describes as 'being pleafant for winter evenings'. The book is now kept in the British Museum. It also describes the witty pranks he played all his life. The story that deeds were hidden under a pie crust is not so preposterous as it may first seem. Highway men were common and travelers would hide their gold, jewels and other valubles, ie. sewn in the folds of Ladies underware, in cakes and under pie crusts. And it is true that Horners name was Thomas but even nowadays anyone may be called Jack if he is a knave or know as a bit of a lad.