Collecting Eggs at Flamborough Head
Collecting seagull's eggs at Flamborough Head, Yorkshire. A traditional practice for farmers whose land adjoined the cliff edge, which gave them a legal right to supplement their income by selling eggs. The farmer sub-licenced gangs of three or four 'climmers', to gather eggs of the gulls, common guillemot, razorbill and others from the cliff side. It was a perilous business, requiring fitness and skill, but the rewards must have been great - in 1908 such eggs commanded a shilling a dozen (about the same as a hundredweight of coal) and it was estimated that gangs could collect up to 300 or 400 eggs a day in season. Date: 1911
© Mary Evans / Grenville Collins Postcard Collection
'Three Wise Men of Gotham' - Victorian nursery rhyme illustration
Three medieval-style men in a cracked bowl, which they are using as a boat on a rough sea. One of them looks sea-sick, another is carrying an open umbrella - presumably to use as a sail - and the other is using a very large spoon as a paddle. They won't get far.
The rhyme refers to a supposed incident in Gotham, Nottinghamshire, in England, when the villagers pretended to be imbeciles in order to discourage King John who was planning to build a hunting lodge there. As a result, he changed his mind.
“Three wise men of Gotham - Went to sea in a bowl - If the bowl had been stronger - My song had been longer.”
From “Nursery Rhymes - Ridicula Rediviva” illustrated by J.E. Rogers, with chromolith printing by R. Clay Sons & Taylor and published in London in 1876 by Macmillan and Co.