The Only one assumption can be made in the Nursery Rhyme "As I was going to St. Ives" and that is that one person was definitely going there - or was it? It, of course, would depend on the direction of the people that were encountered on the way! This type of conundrum is now referred to as a logic problem in lateral thinking designed to improve the logic and deductive skills of children, and indeed, adults! (As I was going to St. Ives refers to the name of a quaint old village in Cornwall, England) Earliest traceable publication date is 1730.
The Answer to the Riddle - Only one man was going to St.Ives!
He met the following who were
going the other way:
A man (1) with 7 wives
7 x 7 (49) sacks
7x7x7 (343) cats
7x7x7x7 (2,401) kits
A Total of 2,801 wives, sacks cats and kits!