Origins of the Rhyme "There was an old woman" in Regency England?
At first glance the words to "There was an old woman" would appear to be nonsense but in fact it is believed to have origins in English history!
There are two choices of origin!
The first relates to Queen Caroline (There was an old woman) wife of King George II who had eight children. The second version refers to King George who began the men's fashion for wearing white powdered wigs. He was consequently referred to as the old woman!
The children were the members of parliament and the bed was the Houses of Parliament - even today the term 'whip' is used in the English Parliament to describe a member of Parliament who is tasked to ensure that all members 'toe the party line'.
As a point of historical interest the wigs worn by women of the period were so large and unhygienic that it became necessary to include mousetraps in their construction!