Public Domain Super Heroes
Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill 2 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546

Real Names

Jack and Jill, Jack and Gill, Jack Sprat Jr. and Jill Pumpkineater Sprat

First Appearance

“Jack and Jill” or “Jack and Gill” (nursery rhyme) (1700s)

Original Publisher

English Nursery Rhyme

Created by



Jack and Jill are an accident‐prone boy and girl (although some sources portray them as two boys) who, sometime before 1760, fall down while fetching a pailful of water, with accounts differing on the degree to which they are injured in the incident. For more than a century and a half thereafter, public‐domain literature has detailed numerous additional trips, scrapes and other mishaps, as well as ill‐advised stunts that sometimes involve animals or automobiles, that paint a picture of them as not only clumsy but even reckless. A number of works depict their eventually marrying one another.

The first and most common verse of the eponymous English nursery rhyme is:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

Many verses have been added to the rhyme, including a version with a total of 15 stanzas in a chapbook of the 19th century. Although there are many variations of the original rhyme that go beyond the first stanza, they tend to fall into two principal categories: one in which Jack is well enough to ambulate (“Up Jack got and home did trot”) and one in which the two suffer much more serious injury (“Jack and Jill were dying”).

The second verse has become a standard part of the nursery rhyme. Early versions took the form:

Up Jack got, and home did trot,
As fast as he could caper;
To old Dame Dob, who patched his nob
With vinegar and brown paper.

A third verse, sometimes added to the rhyme, was first recorded in a 19th-century chapbook and took the form:

Then Jill came in, and she did grin,
To see Jack's paper plaster;
Her mother whipt her, across her knee,
For laughing at Jack's disaster.

Twentieth-century versions of this verse include:

When Jill came in how she did grin
To see Jack's paper plaster;
Mother vexed did whip her next
For causing Jack's disaster.

In The Marriage of Jack and Jill, Jack is the son of Jack Sprat and his wife and the grandson of Mother Hubbard, and Jill is the daughter of Peter Pumpkineater and his surviving wife and the granddaughter of Mother Goose.

Public Domain Literary Appearances[]

  • 'Christ’s Kirk on the Green' by James V of Scotland (1500s)
  • 'Jack and Jill' (play) (1567)
  • 'Jack and Gill' (nursery rhyme) (ca. 1760)
  • 'Jack and Jill and Old Dame Gill' (ca. 1806)
  • 'The Adventures of Jack & Jill and Old Dame Jill' (184‒?)
  • 'Jack and Jill: For Old and Young' by L. A. Gobright (1873)
  • 'Little Bo‐Peep; or, Harlequin Jack and Jill' by J. and H. Paneton, songs by W. M. Akhurst (1875)
  • 'Goose à la Mode' by Elisabeth Cavazza (23 Nov. 1875)
  • 'Jack and Jill: A Village Story]' by Louisa May Alcott (1880)
  • 'The Reading Club and Handy Speaker...' (1881)
  • A New Jack & Jill' by Margaret Johnson(Jan. 1884)
  • 'Jack and Gill: Lengthened' attributed to J. H. Hammond (1887)
  • 'Jack and Jill' by Charles Battell Loomis(15 Aug. 1889)
  • 'Jack and Jill: A Love Story' by W. E. Brown (1891)
  • 'Jack and Jill' by Bernard Capes (June 1897)
  • 'A Jack and Jill of the Sierras' by Bret Harte (July 1900)
  • 'Mother Goose for Grown‐Ups' by Guy Wetmore Carryl (1900)
  • 'Runaway Robinson' by Charles M. Snyder (1901)
  • 'The Book of Nature Myths' by Florence Holbrook (1902)
  • 'In Happy Far‐Away Land' by Ruth Kimball Gardiner (1902)
  • A Message to Mother Goose' (Dec. 1904)
  • 'Some Adventures of Jack & Jill' by Barbara Yechton (1905)
  • 'Boy Blue and His Friends' by Etta Austin Blaisdell and Mary Frances Blaisdell (1906)
  • 'Mrs. Goose' by Maurice Switzer (1906)
  • 'A Dream of Mother Goose and Other Entertainments' (1908)
  • 'The Progressive Road to Reading' by Georgine Burchill, William L. Ettinger, and Edgar Dubs Shimer (1909)
  • 'Rimes and Stories' by Lura Mary Eyestone (1910)
  • 'The Christmas Conspiracy' by Elizabeth Woodbridge (Dec. 1911)
  • 'The Bull Moose Mother Goose' by Sallie Macrum Cubbage (1912)
  • 'Jack & Jill: A Fairy Story' by Greville MacDonald (1913)
  • 'The Marriage of Jack and Jill' by Lilian Clisby Bridgham (1913)
  • 'Told by the Camp Fire' by F. H. Cheley (1914)
  • 'Second Year Music' by Hollis Dann (1915)
  • 'Miss Muffet Lost and Found' by Katharine C. Baker (1915)
  • 'The New Woman in Mother Goose Land' by Edyth M. Wormwood (1915)
  • 'The Modern Mother Goose' by Helen Hamilton (1916)
  • 'The Cost of Dying' by J. Don. Tracy (Nov. 1917)
  • 'The Children Who Followed the Piper' by Padraic Colum (1922)
  • 'The Strike Mother Goose Settled' by Evelyn Hoxie (1922)
  • 'The Real Personages of Mother Goose, by Katherine Elwes Thomas (1930)
  • 'Jack and Jill went up the hill to see their men in action' (7 Feb. 1952)
  • 'Dictionary of Mythology Folklore and Symbols' by Gertrude Jobes (1962)
  • 'Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book' (1963)

Public Domain Comics Appearances[]

Jack and Jill in Fairyland (newspaper strip), by Garnet Warren (1910–1911)

Public Domain Movie Appearances[]

  • 'Jack and Jill' (1917)
  • Simple Simon (1935)

See Also[]