Thursday 1 March 2018

The Tudor Monarchy

A long time ago there was a Royal family in England called the Tudors. They ruled from 1485 to 1603.

In those 118 years there were five kings and the most famous was Henry VIII.

He was famous for wanting a son and married many times to achieve this. His first wife Catherine of Aragon was a Catholic and she gave him a daughter. So Henry VIII divorced her which upset the Pope. Henry created the Church of England with him as head. He got rid of Catholic monasteries but he still worshipped as a Catholic ... and executed those who didn't.

Living in Tudor times was not much fun. TV had still not been invented so people could not watch soaps for hours on end.

It was not a healthy time either. They had open sewers in the streets and toilets were a hole in the ground in the back garden. They often emptied chamber pots out of the window onto the people in the streets down below. Hence the phrase "Gardyloo !!!" which roughly translated meant "watch out for the water" (and what's in it) !!!

Umbrellas had yet to be invented; but I bet the Laundry Business was quite successful.

People had very odd cures for illnesses, like swallowing live spiders, covered in butter to make them go down quicker. And swallowing powdered human skulls, or eating bone-marrow mixed with sweat. They also believed in blood-letting. You'd go to the barber and he'd cut you up and let the blood out.

A man went to the barber's once for a haircut. As the barber was working on him the man looked down and saw a human ear on the ground. "Whose ear is that?" he asked.

The barber replied, "Hold it. If it's still warm it's yours!"

Hence the phrase "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!" which is a famous line in the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616).  

It was at this time that barbers also started a side-line of piercing people's ears whilst they wait. It was very convenient not having to come back for your pierced ear the next day. Other piercings however took a little longer.

Of course in Tudor times life was not as sophisticated as it is today. People had to use quills to write with.

These were feathers of various birds which had to be sharpened daily with knives - hence the word pen-knife. Once they sharpened the quill they used it to tap the keys on their computer keyboards.

Crime was also rife in Tudor times because people were generally poor. The same people appeared in front of the same judge again and again because of their repeated crimes.

The judge eyed a man carefully once and asked him "Have you ever been up before me?"

The man replied "It depends on what time you get up!"

On another occasion the same judge had two thieves before him. He asked the first where he lived and he replied "No fixed abode!"

He asked the second man where he lived and he replied "In the apartment above him".

Life for women was terrible in Tudor times. If a woman did not marry she often stayed at home with her parents and spent her time spinning - hence the word "spinster". She could not become a nun since Henry VIII had closed all convents.

Women could be punished by law for nagging and scolding. Women were warned in church to stop nagging and if they continued they were punished by ducking. They were tied to a chair and lowered in the river a few times.

If a woman continued nagging and scolding she was made to wear a metal mask which clamped on the head with a metal bar in her mouth holding her tongue down. She was then paraded in town as a warning to other women.

Football was a favorite pastime played between two villages. The ball was a pig's bladder and they started the game at a mid-point between two villages several miles apart. The idea was to get the ball into your village. The whole village population would play and there were no rules or referee. Anything goes. Just fight everyone else and get the ball to your village. Many people got injured and hurt. Great fun!

In 1540 Henry VIII banned the game because he needed soldiers for his army and too many people were getting injured and maimed playing football.

As mentioned earlier, around this time, lived a man called William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) who wrote many plays to make a living. Actors were all men who dressed like women to play women's parts. His plays were performed in various theatres for people to enjoy.

But some clever dick at some point or other decided to make life miserable for countless of generations by insisting that they learn Shakespeare at school. 

There's as much point in that as making people learn the scripts of their favorite cartoon videos.

That's ... That's ... That's ... That's all folks !!!!



  1. I'm commenting so I will stay on your prayer list!! Love your history lessons and all the giggles that go with them!

    1. Praying for you and all who comment here, Terri.

      Keep smiling. God bless.

  2. "He was famous for wanting a son and married many times to achieve this."

    Did he not know he could try again? It's like he thought women were like fruit trees. This one only produces apples! :)

    1. It is a fact, Sandi. He married many times in order to have a son.

      God bless.

  3. Swallowing live spiders, I'm afraid I couldn't do that. Those others remedies are definitely weird cures for being ill. I'm thankful that I didn't live in those days. :)

    1. The funny thing Bill, is that it is true.

      God bless you.

  4. They sure weren't the good old days. : )
    Sounds like a very hard life.

    1. Yes, I imagine it was a hard life, Happyone.

      God bless you.

  5. There we have--the next chapter in history--Victor Style of Loose Association! LOL!
    Blessings, My Friend!

    1. The thing is, Lulu, most of it is true. Honest, it is.

      God bless you always.

  6. Oh, Victor, please don't hate me for this, but I love Shakespeare. One of my fondest memories is seeing his play, "Macbeth," performed in Stratford Upon Avon when I toured Britain with a college literary study group. Many memories of that time have faded, but that has always remained.
    Now, not that I'm recommending that Shakespeare be read by everyone, but if it's your thing, go for it!
    And as for the rewriting of history? You have my vote and laugh every time!

    1. The thing is, Martha, I have nothing against Shakespeare; it is that we had to learn long passages by heart at school. Not everyone's cup of tea.

      A lot of the history bits above are true.

      God bless you and yours.



God bless you.