Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, Paper Quilt, (Paper, Ink & Thread) 10" x 12" (Mahogany Brown Wood Frame Measures 12" x 14")
From The Bedtime Stories Series: This rhyme
is reputed to refer Queen Mary Tudor (1516-1558), who was the daughter of King
Henry VIII. Queen Mary was a staunch Catholic and the “garden” alludes to
graveyards which were increasing in size with Protestant martyrs Bloody Mary
had sentenced to torture and death.
“Silver bells” were thumbscrews which crushed the thumb between two hard surfaces by the tightening of a screw. The ‘cockleshells’ was another colloquialism for an instruments of torture which was attached to the genitals. The “ Maids” or Maiden was the nickname given to the guillotine, a devise that beheads the victim, (although Bloody Mary’s condemned were usually burnt to death at the stake).
It is interesting to note that executions during her reign totalled less than 300 which was an insignificant amount compared to the tens of thousand executions believed to be ordered by her father King Henry VIII. Still, the Queen’s nickname “Bloody Mary” remains to this day.