Gathered from various sources:
Humpty Dumpty was a common "nickname" for people of large proportions
in the 1400's. This rhyme refers to King Richard III of England. The Battle
of Bosworth took place on 22nd August 1485. It was the fight for the throne
between King Richard III and the head of the house of Lancaster, Henry Tudor.
Richard sat on his horse atop Ambion Hill ready for battle, directing his armies
when he was murdered. : "Humpty Dumpty referred to King Richard III, the
hunchbacked monarch. At the Battle of Bosworth Field, he fell from his steed,
a horse he had named 'Wall' (as dramatically rendered in Shakespeare's play
Richard III: 'A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!'). Richard was surrounded
by enemy troops in the battle, and was butchered right there, his body being
hacked to pieces. Hence the final part of the rhyme: 'All the King's horses
and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.' " This mention
of Richard III is not a new idea. And the dictionary defines "Humpty Dumpty"
as being a person who is short, stout, and kind of dumpy looking. If Richard
had a hunchback, then he may have been called this.
Other suggested origins are that During the English Civil War (1642-49) "Humpty
Dumpty" was the name for a powerful cannon mounted atop the St. Mary's
Wall Church in Colchester to defend the city against siege in the summer of
1648. (Although Colchester was a Parliamentarian stronghold, it was captured
by the Royalists who held it for 11 weeks.) The enemy hit the church tower and
the top was blown off. "Humpty Dumpty" fell off and tumbled to the
ground. The King's men tried to mend him but could not. (The "men"
were the infantry, and "horses" the cavalry.)
Another suggests that "Humpty Dumpty" refers to the tale of Charles
I (Humpty Dumpty) of England. He was toppled by the Puritan majority in Parliament
(the great fall). The King's army (Cavaliers) could not restore his power. Charles
I was executed by the Roundheads ("couldn't put back together again").
Since the World Book Dictionary states that "Humpty Dumpty" refers
to a short, stout person this idea is very plausible.