When good King Arthur ruled this land - 1871
When good King Arthur ruled this land,
He was a goodly king;
He stole three pecks of barley-meal
To make a bag-pudding.
A bag-pudding the king did make,
And stuffed it well with plums;
And in it put great lumps of fat,
As big as my two thumbs.
The king and queen did eat thereof,
And noblemen beside;
And what they could not eat that night,
The queen next morning fried.
These verses, or lines from them are included in certain sword dance plays, including the one from Ampleforth, Yorks.
As far as I can tell from Internet sources, this rhyme was first published in, and made popular by "Mother Goose's Melodies". Of the numerous editions of this book, the earliest I have been able to find is this, dated 1871. Help in dating this rhyme would be welcome.
The British Library catalogue gives the publication date as 1872 , indicating actual publication in 1871 despite 1872 being given on the title page. [Original not yet checked.]
Verses downloaded from http://www.m-goose.com/nrg/libframe.html