A ROW has broken out after a magazine article disputed world-famous nursery rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was penned in Colchester.

Sir Bob Russell, who is Colchester High Steward, took aim at the BBC History magazine after it published a feature article on the history of Lavenham.

The writer claims the famous verse was written in the the Suffolk village, rather than in Colchester as is often reported.

Sir Bob said: “Jane Taylor is the author of a poem published in Colchester in 1806. She called it the Star, which has five verses.

“Some years later the words from the first verse were put to the music of an established French folk tune.

“We do not know who did this, or when or where.

“But it has established itself as arguably the world’s favourite nursery rhyme.

“My attention was drawn to the historical inaccuracy by Colchester historian Peter Jones, who has undertaken extensive research into the Taylor family.”

The Taylor family had lived in Lavenham before moving to West Stockwell Street, Colchester, in 1795.

The family resided in Colchester for ten years before the poem was published.

When they moved from Lavenham, Jane was aged 12 and her sister Ann was 14.

The pair were prolific writers of poems for children

and it is widely accepted the famous rhyme was penned during their time in Colchester.

A display featuring the Taylor family can be seen in the town’s Hollytrees Museum.

Sir Bob hopes to raise enough cash through heritage tours and educational talks to fund a statue of the Taylor sisters.

But the BBC History Magazine insists it is possible the poem was composed outside of Colchester.

Editor Rob Attar said: “We published this piece in good faith, but it appears we may have been too confident in declaring that Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was written in Lavenham.

“The historian who wrote the article has ascertained that Jane Taylor was indeed residing in Colchester in 1806, the year the poem was published, but it is possible that she had composed it sometime before – potentially in Lavenham where she returned for a spell in 1803.

“We would be very interested to hear from anyone who can shed further light on the creation of the poem.”

Anyone who wishes to contact the publication with more information can email historymagazine@historyextra.com.

Sir Bob is raising money for a statue of the sisters.