This children's game is found in "A History of Nursery Rhymes" by Percy B. Green, published in 1899.

Here's what Green had to say about it: "In this street game an entire regal court is appointed, the children taking the characters of king, queen, princes, and courtiers. When these preliminaries are settled two children join hands and whisper something - supposed to be a great state secret - to each other. This at once causes a rivalry amongst certain of the mock courtiers, and the dissatisfaction spreads, culminating in an open rebellion. The children take sides. Things now look serious; the prime minister tells the king he fears rebellion, and for safety his little majesty, attired in royal robes, and wearing a paper crown, retires to his palace - one of those places "built without walls." The soldiers, the king's bodyguard, are summoned, and orders are given to them to suppress the insurrection and capture the little rebels. As each one is taken prisoner the soldiers ask…"


This seems awfully complicated. It's hard to imagine kids today following such an elaborate procedure, unsupervised. But, back when it was current there were many less distractions! - Mama Lisa


We'd love to know if this game is still played in England. Please email me, if you know. -Mama Lisa