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Alphabe Thursday … F is for Doctor Foster

June 26, 2014

Dr_Fostergif-150x150Doctor Foster went to Gloucester

In a shower of rain:

He stepped in a puddle,

Right up to his middle,

And never went there again.

Although making a regular appearance in recent nursery-rhyme books, Doctor Foster has little traceable history and was first printed by James Orchard Halliwell in The nursery rhymes of England in 1844.  The rhyming of middle and puddle, however points to the old form of the word piddle having been used originally.  Boyd Smith (1920) suggests that the rhyme describes the incident in the travels of Edward I, whose horse, the story goes, once stuck so deep in the mud of a Gloucester street that planks of wood had to placed on the ground before the creature could regain its footing.  Edward is said to have refused to go there ever again.  A rhyme in Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1810) tells a different story.


Old Doctor Foster went to Gloster,

To preach the word of God.

When he came there, he sat in his chair,

And gave all the people the nod.

alphabet thursday

11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2014 1:35 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to Doctor Foster!

  2. June 26, 2014 3:16 pm

    Oh fun ~ I remember this from childhood ~ great post and pic for F ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  3. June 26, 2014 7:43 pm

    This reminds me of all those Mother Goose rhymes I grew up with. Loved them…and still do.
    Thanks for the happy memories.

  4. June 26, 2014 11:07 pm

    I think I remember this one. It rings bells at least.

    • June 27, 2014 7:47 am

      doctor, foster Gloucester, all ring bells with rain but didn’t rock any boats so it would seem 🙂

  5. June 30, 2014 11:28 pm

    I remember this one!

  6. July 2, 2014 3:23 pm

    I remember this fun little rhyme!

    I shall recite it today to Mr. Jenny. Over and over. Just to be annoying!

    Thanks for a fun link to the letter F.


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