Jelly Babies

Jelly BabiesMy holiday appetite or trivia is being satisfied by the The Third QI Book of General Ignorance, a Christmas present from Mrs P. It’s full of things I didn’t know I didn’t know and it is only fair to share a morsel or two.

Such as jelly babies, those sweets adored by children of all ages which are made by Bassett’s of Sheffield. I didn’t know that they were originally called ‘Peace Babies’ when they were made to mark the armistice at the end of the First World War.

But before Yorkshire Pudding gets carried away by claiming jelly babies for the White Rose county, I have to point out that they were modelled on sweets made in 1864 by the Lancashire confectioner Fryer’s. They were not quite the same commercial success, perhaps because of they then went under the rather disturbing name of ‘Unclaimed Babies’.

Of course, Bassett’s are also responsible for churning out 14 million Liquorice Allsorts every day and liquorice sweets also have a history of grim names and shapes, such as ‘Kelly-in-a-Coffin’, a sugar baby in a tiny casket, and another from 1895 called a ‘Hangman’s Noose’.

Not very appetising for adults, but I bet the kids loved them.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Mosh 28th December 2015

    I have 2-3 of those QI books in the loft – they’re in the “to read” pile, but sadly are low priority as I’m likely to keep them once read. Having to work through the ones I can give away once I’ve finished them to reduce the huge pile!

  • Yorkshire Pudding 28th December 2015

    I never knew that Yorkshire jelly babies were once called peace babies. You have taught me something today for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Roger Green 28th December 2015

    I always associate jelly babies with the Beatles, which thery ;loved until fans started throwing at them. Jelly beans, the American term, I associate with Ronald Reagan.

  • Trevor Rowley 28th December 2015

    Bassetts, made in Yorkshire? Don’t you believe it. My late aunt, Sarah Ann (Sally), when offering me the box, always asked me if I would like a Bassetti. So, for me they are undoubtedly Italian – probably from Naples, I would imagine.


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