E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
the nursery tale, is from the French Le Petit Poucet, by Charles Perrault (1630), but it is probably of Anglo-Saxon origin. There is in the Bodleian Library a ballad about Tom Thumb, printed for John Wright in 1630.
Tom Thumb. The son of a common ploughman and his wife, who was knighted by King Arthur, and was killed by the poisonous breath of a spider, in the reign of King Thunstone, the successor of Arthur. (Nursery tale.)