Ever heard this one?
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
One popular thought for the source of this nursery rhyme is Mary I of England. Who, being a devout Catholic monarch, decided that during her reign all the protestants, should be hunted down and tortured for their faith (not unlike the inquisition)…
Silver Bells, Cockle Shells, and the “Maids” were all Common torture devices used during that time period…
Silver bells were a type of thumbscrew used to break fingertips.
Cockle Shells were attached to a man’s genitalia and The Pretty Maids all in a row refer to a device not unlike the french guillotine… (not the iron maiden)