Cock Robin Card

£2.15

Description

Cock Robin (Erithacus rubecula) Card by Julian Williams

SKU: H48

In medieval times animals were often given first names and personality traits. Amongst the common names for birds there are “Tom Tit“, “Jack Daw“, ‘Jenny Wren’, ‘Ralph Raven’, ‘Jack Snipe’ and ‘Phillip Sparrow’ (who was thought to be a common and lecherous bird).
The phrase ‘Cock Robin’ was probably well used in medieval times, although today we more usually call him ‘Robin Redbreast’. The red breast of the robin reminds us of blood as in the myth that it acquired its redbreast from the wounds of Christ on the cross. In Gloucestershire there is a 16th century stained glass window showing a robin wounded by an arrow The medieval lament “Who killed Cock Robin” tells the story of a gathering of birds for the funeral of a Robin that has been shot by a sparrow. The poem may have satirical origins because Robin is a shortened version of Robert.
There are other medieval laments for a dead birds, mostfamously the Book of Phillip Sparrow by John Skelton (1460– 1529) which is about a lady’s pet sparrow but is also a satirical lampoon of the liturgical office for the dead.

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