A little more about bag pudding, pudding bags, and pudding songs and dances .
Bag Pudding (OED)
1. A pudding boiled in a bag.
1598 in FLORIO. 1600 HEYWOOD 1 Edw. IV, Wks. 1874 I 47 Thou shalt be welcome to beef and bacon, and perhaps a bag-pudding. 1641 W. CARTWRIGHT Ordinary II. i, A solemn son of Bagpudding and Pottage.
2. fig. ? Clown. Obs. (Cf. jackpudding.)
1608 DAY Hum. out of Br. II. i. (1881) 25 Farewell, sweet heart.God a mercy, bagpudding
Jack Pudding is a stock character for theatre, but also a song and a dance.
John Playford in The English Dancing Master (1651).
Jack Pudding as a song and dance:
Jack Pudding as a song: Jack Pudding midi on this website: English Dancing Master : (http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~flip/contrib/dance/playford.html) – it’s been that kind of week
There’s also a lute version on YouTube. I’m not even trying the link thing – trust me, it’s worth the moment to listen.
Back to Jack.
Pudding, that is.
JACK PUDDING. AKA and see “Merry Andrew,” “Step Stately .” English, Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody was first published by John Playford in his English Dancing Master (1651), and was retained in the long-running series through the 8th edition of 1690, then published by John’s son, Henry. Beginning with the 4th edition of 1670 the alternate title “Merry Andrew” was given for the tune.
A ‘Jack Pudding’ is a buffoon who performs pudding tricks, such as swallowing a certain number of yards of black-pudding (i.e. blood pudding in a sausage casing). There are many such figures in Northern European tradition: to the Dutch he is Pickel-herringë; the Germans call him Hans Wurst (John Sausage); the Frenchman, Jean Potage; the Italian, Macaro’ni; and the English, Jack Pudding. Later the term appears to have been applied to a jester, harlequin, or a Punch-like clown figure.
JACK Pudding. n.s. [jack and pudding.] A zani; a merry
Every jack pudding will be ridiculing palpable weaknesses
which they ought to cover. L’Estrange.
A buffoon is called by every nation by the name of the dish
they like best: in French jean pottage, and in English jack
Jack pudding, in his party-colour’d jacket,
Tosses the glove, and jokes at ev’ry packet. Gay.
Dr Johnson’s Dictionary
Pudding Lane, the street in London (Eastcheap) where, in 1666, the Great Fire of London started at the bakery of a certain Thomas Farriner.