The Yule Days – Day 11 – ‘Three hinds a-merry hunting’
The king sent his lady on the eleventh Yule day,
Three hinds a-merry hunting, an Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a-merry laying, a bull that was brown,
Three goldspinks, three starlings,
A goose that was gray,
Three plovers, three partridges, a papingo-aye;
Wha learns my carol and carries it away?
Sebastian Münster (1488-1552) was a German cartographer, cosmographer, and professor of Hebrew. His Cosmographia was first published in 1544 and was so popular that it was issued in numerous editions and translated into five languages.
In University Collections we have the 1550 Basel edition, which includes this woodcut of the male and female Cypriote fallow deer (dama dama mesopotamica), signed by ‘HF’. This image is taken from the copy in our Royal Collection, the gift of James VI and I and his family to mark the foundation of a new Common Library for the University in 1611-1612.