Little Miss Muffet was a real girl who lived in England about 2 centuries ago.
Her dad was a doctor who made her swallow crushed-up spiders as this was thought to be a cure for the common cold.
Dr. Muffett wrote several books including a cook book that explained how to use local plants and insects in food as well as medicine. Dr. Muffett experimented on his daughter by having all the different types of spiders in England bite her to see if she had any reaction. Thankfully there were no poisonous spiders in all of England and there still aren't any today. Dr. Muffett used his daughter in this way because he considered her expendable. Sons can pass on the family name, but daughters do not, so no harm in using her in this potentially dangerous experiment.
Dr. Muffet had another friend named Elizabeth Goose. She and her husband ran a publishing company in London. Elizabeth Goose also wrote childrens poems and later bacame known as Mother Goose.
stolen from spiderzrule.com