When I found these images tonight I just had to Google Jesters. So, thank you, Hugh, if it hadn’t been for your challenge I’d never have lost myself in the history of Jesters, Fools, Buffoons, Clowns, Dunces and all the other variations on the theme. I’ve learned that jesters were popular in Ancient Egypt and entertained the Pharaohs. Jesters were also popular with the Aztecs in the 14th to 16th centuries.
King Charles the First employed a very small jester to jump out of a giant pie.
The court jester is a universal phenomenon. He crops up in every court worth its salt in medieval and Renaissance Europe, in China, India, Japan, Russia, America and Africa. A cavalcade of jesters tumble across centuries and continents, and one could circle the globe tracing their footsteps. But to China the laurels. China has undoubtedly the longest, richest, and most thoroughly documented history of court jesters. From Twisty Pole and Baldy Chunyu to Moving Bucket and Newly Polished Mirror, it boasts perhaps more of the brightest stars in the jester firmament than any other country, spanning a far wider segment of time. (Fooling Around the World)
And this did surprise me:
The last British nobles to keep jesters were the Queen Mother’s family, the Bowes-Lyons. (wikipedia)
I’m going to read about Harlequins and Troubadours now………