Another theory that has a basis in history is that the rhyme refers to the 1510 executions of Edmund Dudley and Richard Empson. The two were killed for reasons of financial treason (or unpopularity, as some say) after King Henry VII’s death.
Then, some speculate that it has something to do with Thomas Wolsey’s 1514 marriage negotiation.
Jack and Jill
In the earliest version of this rhyme, Jill was spelled “Gill.” "Jack and Gill Went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water, Jack fell down and broke his crown, And Gill came tumbling after."
It's one of the most popular childhood nursery rhymes in the English language and dates back to the 17th century, though it’s gone through a few variations. But what does it all mean?
There are a few theories behind the origin of the rhyme, which includes a ploy by King Charles I of England to reduce the volume of a Jack (an eighth of a pint) while keeping the tax the same.
If this were the case, Gill would be a quarter pint of liquid that came “tumbling after.” Of course, there is no evidence that this is the definite origin; it’s just one of the theories.
In 1951, "The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes" identified "Rock-a-bye Baby" as the first English poem written on American soil.
Some theories speculate that the rhyme was written by a colonist who observed Native American women rocking babies sleep in cradles made of birch bark. The other theories, however, aren't so friendly.
King James and His baby
One origin story of the rhyme says that the Cradle is actually the Royal House of Stuart and tells the tale of King James VII’s son. Legend has it that he was switched with another baby at birth to provide a Roman Catholic heir for the king.
In this version, the wind refers to the Protestant force. As grim as this may sound, it's not even the darkest of the origin tales.