Rhyme & History
The words of the Nursery Rhyme, 'Lucy Lockett' were based on people and places in London during the 1700's. Lucy Lockett was believed to be a barmaid at the Cock public House in Fleet Street, London. This pub, or alehouse was first established in 1554 and rebuilt in 1888. Samuel Pepys mentioned the Cock Alehouse in his diary which stated:
April 23 1668
"To the Cock Alehouse and drank and eat a lobster, and sang..."
Kitty Fisher was a famous courtesan - Catherine Maria ('Kitty') Fisher (died 1767). Her lifestyle was described as follows:
"She lives in the greatest possible splendor, spends twelve thousand pounds a year, and she is the first of her social class to employ liveried servants..."
The Pocket referred to was the old Middle English word for a pouch or a small bag. The implication is that poor Lucy Lockett made very little money as opposed to the similarly employed Kitty who was envied for her great beauty and vast wealth!
Our grateful thanks go to Jenny Armstrong for reminding us of this old rhyme
and suggesting the possible origins - Thanks Jenny!