Tuesday 1 February 2022

The Tudors


Yesterday we talked about art. Today it is history. Or specifically, the English Tudor period.

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 of course 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) !!! This is from the French "garde l'eau"; which no doubt suggests that they did the same thing over there.

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. "Look here," he said, "there's an ear over here. Whose ear is that over here?"

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 favourite 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 favourite cartoon videos.

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


  1. ...the term Tudor brings to my mind an architecture style.

    1. Yes, it is an architectural style in the UK.

      God bless, Tom.

  2. I have 'never' been to a barbers/hairdressers
    in my life..the last 50yrs my good old school
    friend, Karen, comes up home every 6~8 weeks
    and trims my afro..l sit on the puff..ooops!
    Sorry..Pouffe..when l think she's cut off
    enough..l stop talking..! Job done! :O)

    And! The Tudors..Yes! What an awful period
    in history, and yes, Henry VIII is still
    the most interesting king in history,
    reputed to have 122 illegitimate children,
    even getting servants/maids pregnant as
    they went about there work, or walking
    down the corridors...(joke there, somewhere).
    "Nuff Said"...! :O).

    And Crime...
    When lawyers die, why are they buried in a
    hole 24 feet deep?
    Because deep down, they are all nice guys..

    What’s the difference between a good lawyer
    and a bad lawyer?
    A bad lawyer can let a case drag out for
    several years..
    A good lawyer can make it last even longer..

    Useless information..
    The basic umbrella was probably invented by
    the Chinese over 4,000 years ago...
    Umbrellas became more and more popular with
    the European higher-class society in the
    18th century...! :O).

    So..As Michael Jackson would say..."There it is".
    🍁 🍂 🍃 🍁 🍂 🍃 🍁 🍂 🍃 🍁 🍂 🍃 🍁 🍂

    1. I did not know about the umbrellas, Willie. 4000 years ago.

      I wonder how Henry VIII got on with his mothers-in-law.

      God bless always.

    2. During his lifetime, he fathered at least six children with Katharine of Aragon, two or possibly three with Anne Boleyn, one with Jane Seymour, and possibly an additional six illegitimate children...
      All the others are basically hearsay..names or nationalities unknown..but..believed to be well over 100..which he always denied..so mothers~in~laws were few and far between..! :).

    3. As I said, TV had not been invented then.

      God bless.

  3. Okay you got me. I ws expecting a post on Cars. Over here Tudor was a 2 door car methinks. But that is neither her nor over there. What i really liked was the apartment above the 'No fixed abode' or something like that. LOL
    Serious note: I did appreciate your writings and thoughts in 'Man and God' Thanks. Very well written. ;-)

    1. You are very kind to me about my books, Jack. Thank you so much.

      I did not know there was a car named Tudor. I'll check it out.

      God bless you and Sherry.

  4. Dearest Victor,
    Haha, Henry the VIIIth worshiped as a Catholic but he for sure did not LIVE like one. Guess his final journey did not go well.

    1. That's true, Mariette. He continued to worship as a Catholic and insisted others did too.

      God bless you and Pieter.

  5. Glad I missed the Tudor times.

    1. Me too, Bill. Can you imagine? No TV!

      God bless.

    2. Victor, you are nothing if not imaginative. Chuckles on this one. Henry the V111 was a scoundrel for sure. No Tudor times for me.
      Great blessings to you.

    3. I'm glad you enjoyed my history lesson, Nells. Henry VIII was one of England's more memorable Kings.

      God bless.

  6. Whenever you delve into history, Victor, I can never look at it the same way again - lol!

    1. History has nothing to do with reality, Martha. It is more fun when seen my way.

      God bless always.

  7. Again, I'm left to wonder ... what's fact? What's fiction? I'm eternally grateful for having been born in the 20th century!

    1. Actually, a lot of what I say here is fact, Mevely. In fact most of it is fact. As factual as facts can be.

      For a start: they had no TV in Henry VIII's time - fact.

      Garde l'eau: fact.

      Cures for illnesses: fact.

      Pen-knives, spinsters, punishment of women, and football: all facts.

      Shakespeare lessons boring generations out of their minds: definitely a fact.

      Would I lie to you?

      Keep smiling. God bless.

  8. "He got rid of Catholic monasteries but he still worshipped as a Catholic ... and executed those who didn't."

    I did not know that. Hmm. Very interesting. A bit of "just in case" maybe?

    1. Yes Sandi. That bit is true about Henry VIII.

      God bless you.

  9. I never know what to believe but always fun to read. :)

  10. The Tudor kings (and queens) were not to be crossed, a powerful and scary bunch.

  11. I thought Henry 8th started the Church of England and then forbade any Catholic worship, isn't that why priests were hunted and executed? That's why many old English Manor houses had "priest holes" where the priest could hide when the King's men were about.

    1. That also is true. He seems to have hunted the people, but not the faith.

      God bless, River.

  12. Hence the phrase "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!"

    Hahahahaha, very funny. I'll never read that line the same again.

    1. It's true, Manny. Shakespeare lived at the same time as the Tudors and knew about blood-letting. Hence this phrase in his play.

      God bless.



God bless you.