Simple Simon character jug modeled by Geoff Blower and produced by Royal Doulton of Burslem, England, between 1953-1960. Although known to us today primarily as a nursery rhyme character, it is likely that the name Simple Simon was applied to simpletons centuries before the rhyme was first published in the 1700s. A ballad in circulation in the late seventeenth century describing a henpecked husband is entitled "Simple Simo's Misfortunes and his Wife Margery's Cruelty". In early versions of the anonymous nursery rhyme, Simon performs a number of idiotic actions such as eating mustard mistaken for honey and washing his face with a blacking ball. The more familiar version finds this silly fellow indulging in equally ridiculous pursuits, trying to buy a pie with no money and attempting to catch a whale in a bucket of water.