Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again
– Traditional Nursery Rhyme
ST. JOHNS, Newfoundland – The nursery rhyme character Humpty Dumpty has always been portrayed as a giant egg with tiny arms and legs and a human face. This is a result of a description in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (written in 1871) that Humpty looked like an egg and was not based on any of the nursery rhyme lore. In fact, later in the book Alice states that he is not an egg. Now, an archeological discovery by University of North Central Prince Edward Island faculty is disputing this long held egg belief. A buried headstone was excavated from an abandoned cemetery in St. Johns, Newfoundland that sheds new light on the subject.
No eggshell was discovered in the grave, only human bones. A number of the bones were found to be shattered and fractured. A forensic pathologist said the broken bones were consistent with a fall from great height. After a full cleaning and restoration, the headstone of the grave discovered read:
Here Lie the Mortal Remains
Of Sir Frumpington Humpterdinck
Known to All as Humpty Dumpty
Born September 31, 1824
Died February 29, 1861 of a Great Fall
The history of Humpterdinck was researched and although hard data was scarce, there was enough evidence to write a paper for the Daily Dirt Digger, an archeology trade journal. The most shocking assertion of the lead researcher, Professor Morey Artie, is that the event took place in Newfoundland rather than in England. Humpty Dumpty was indeed Sir Frumpington Humpterdinck. He was given the nickname Dumpy Humpty because he was bald, had no ears, was very short and very fat (hence the comparison to an egg). This soon was corrupted to Dumpty to better rhyme with Humpty. With time, the name Dumpty Humpty somehow became inverted to Humpty Dumpty.
Like many other stories and fables that have a basis in fact, it appears that Humpty Dumpty was real and died of injuries sustained in a fall, which is about what you would expect from a Newfie. This makes for some amusing reading but in reality nobody gives a rat’s ass.