• Image of 'Cardinal Wolsey'
  • Image of 'Cardinal Wolsey'

An internationally renowned confectioner, George W Horner's site was based at Chester-Le-Street, in County Durham, from 1914. Famous for the brands 'Dainty Dinah' and 'Blue Boy' toffees, as the illustration on this tin suggests, 'Cardinal Wolsey' is said to be based upon the popular English language nursery rhyme and the alleged connection to the wealthy Tudor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1475-1530).

Little Boy Blue,
Come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow,
The cow's in the corn;
But where is the boy
Who looks after the sheep?
He's under a haystack,
Fast asleep.
Will you wake him?
No, not I,
For if I do,
He's sure to cry

Cardinal Wolsey; who is documented as having been 'an extremely rich and arrogant, self-made man, with many enemies at court and unpopular with the people of England', is recorded as having been known as the 'Boy Bachelor', after obtaining his degree from Oxford at the unusually early age of fifteen. 'The expression in the nursery rhyme 'Blowing one's own horn'; meaning to brag, was said to have been practised by Cardinal Wolsey. Between 1514 and 1525 Wolsey transformed a medieval manor into the magnificent Hampton Court Palace, which was an ostentatious display of his wealth and power, which gave rise to the rhyme uttered by his enemies':

"Come ye to court? Which Court?
The King's Court or Hampton Court?"

An 'anti-Wolsey propaganda pursued' and in 1529 'King Henry VIII declared all of Wolsey's lands and possessions forfeit and they became the property of the Crown'. The line ''Where’s the man who looks after the sheep'' is said to be a 'sarcastic remark on Wolsey, who was interested in lining his own pockets, rather than that of his people'. The Little Boy Blue rhyme is thought to have been 'a secret message of dissent concerning the greed of the statesman prior to his downfall. Another rhyme reputedly relating to Cardinal Wolsey is Old Mother Hubbard'.

Source: http://www.rhymes.org.uk/little_boy_blue.htm

Dimensions: H 57cm W 45cm D 24cm

Mixed Media:
Vintage Composition Doll,
Vintage Horner 'Boy Blue Hazelmel' Tin,
Vintage Copper Posser,
Vintage Rowntree Toffee Tins,
Vintage Patty Tins,
4 x E10 LED Cabachon Lamps,
1 x 18W 24V LED Transformer
3 Core Dark Brown Silk Covered Flexible Cable,
Junction Box,
Tough Plug fitted with a 3 Amp Fuse,
Wooden Dowel,
Various Nuts, Bolts, and Washers,
PAT Tested.

Please be advised:

Though these assemblage sculptures contain vintage doll components that may have once been played with by children, this piece is not a toy to be played with.

Overseas Enquiries:

For an overseas shipping quote please contact me by email

Also note - as these sculptures operate on UK voltage (220-240 V 50 Hz) you will need a voltage converter to use them overseas.

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