Jane Taylor plaque, Castle Street Ongar

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Jane Taylor was born in September 1783 in Islington, London and died aged 40 in 1824. She is buried in Ongar churchyard.

Jane was a poet and novelist and her works were published alongside those of her sister Ann. Her mother was also a writer.

The Taylor family moved from London to Lavenham in Suffolk and then to Colchester before moving to Ongar. It cannot be certain where Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star was actually written and both Colchester and Lavenham also lay claim to be the location in which the nursery rhyme was first penned.

Jane Taylor

The Taylor sisters wrote a number of children’s poems which were published in a collection called Original Poems for Infant Minds in 1804 with a further volume following its success in 1805.

The poem we now refer to as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star was originally called simply The Star and became popular when it was set to a famous French tune for the song “Ah! vous dirais-je, Maman”

Sheet music was published with the following lyrics in 1896:


Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

 How we wonder what you are.

 Up above the world so high,

 Like a diamond in the sky.


 When the glorious sun has set,

 And the grass with dew is wet,

 Then you show your little light,

 Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.


 When the golden sun doth rise,

 Fills with shining light the skies,

 Then you fade away from sight,

 Shine no more 'till comes the night.


The poem was parodied by Lewis Caroll in Alice in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter reciting:


 Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!

 How I wonder what you're at!

 Up above the world you fly,

 Like a tea tray in the sky.


Even Start Trek actor Leonard Nimoy has got in on the act with a parody in his album  Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space where his version starting: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Earth!

Map & Directions

Jane Taylor

Type:Blue Plaque

Castle Street, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9DR

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