Page two for the next 200 questions. All questions sent in are answered. HenryTudor@blueyonder.co.uk Always start your email with Hi Henry
My new page for answering Questions. It's so spacious in here, I may decorate it and add my pictures.
Come on then number 200, be the first to be printed.
Q.200. Jughead from Essex writes.
Everybody has seen the Holbein picture of Queen Ann of Cleves, do you have anymore of her so we can judge if she really was as ugly as you said!
Yes! I have more. But! Anna and myself became best of friends after we divorced, I even made her my official sister of the court. I may have jumped a wee bit fast and declared her looks to be similar to a Dutch horse, but she eventually forgave me. Here are three pictures, one is the Holbein (top right) the others I’m not sure who painted them but will find out for you. Here actual name should be Anna Von Kleve, she had a sister Amelia.
Q.201. Can you tell me the poem about each of Henry's Wives fate. Thank you
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.
Although the truth was:
1. Catherine of Aragon...Marriage annulled not divorced
2. Marriage to Ann Boleyn annulled just before beheaded.
3. Died 13 days after childbirth, Jane Seymour never had royal coronation
so was only Mrs.Tudor.
4. Anna von Cleve, married only 6 months with agreed divorce, actually
outlived Henry and Catherine Parr.
5. Catherine Howard, beheaded for high treason.
6. Catherine Parr remarried after Henry's death to Seymour, died in child
Q.202. hi. What is your favourite sport and what do you like doing best singing or dancing?
My favourite sport depends on when in my lifetime, age controls ones ability to compete.
When I was a young man I loved the Joust, it was so chivalrous and like my hero the Black Prince but when I hurt my left leg in an accident with Charles Brandon I had to stop such hard sports. I liked hunting, hawking, bowling and tennis, I was the court champion.
Dancing is great especially the masque ball where we all wore fantastic masks to hide our identity. Tudor dancing is like slow barn dancing and the whole court would dance together. My favourite dance was the Washer Woman’s Brawl. I liked singing and wrote some songs, but dancing was my favourite because we all did it together
Q.203. Why did Henry VIII need money?
Why to live like a King of course.
Feeding 2,000 people in Hampton Court, wearing new clothes every three days encrusted with jewels, riding horses, building Fortresses, all these take a lot of money.
I had £375 Million in 2006 money left me by my father Henry VII but it soon ran out. I got £175 Million from Monastery money but that too soon ran out. So money was always a key issue.
Q.204. Can you please tell me how you changed the Church of England and what
happened after you did it?
The Church of England was created by me, I did not change it. Before the change it was the Catholic Church of Rome in England.
The changes in England to the Catholic Church were inevitable, the papal control and corruption had taken away its heart. Priests were in it for the money, they took hard earned money from the people to pray for them, their text’s were in Latin and not readable by the majority of the people. The priests were recruited from the nobility when the black death had decimated their numbers. The nobles were only too eager to get rid of their second sons to earn their own wealth. The Church was alienating itself, not only in England but across Europe. Martin Luther has protested to the church and started up his new Catholic religion for the common man, it became known as the Protestant Church. In England the problem of getting the Pope to allow my divorce from Catherine was the last straw and with the ideas from Ann Boleyn I established the English Catholic Church with me as the head. This became known as the Church of England. The Church would have English written bibles, open for all who entered the building, the priest would not take money to pray for the people, it became the peoples church, though still Catholic. After my reign, Edward became a Protestant at the insistence of his mentors, the Seymours and the Church of England moved into the Protestant arena. Mary Tudor became his successor and tried to reverse the change, a sort of re-reformation but failed miserably as she did not survive long enough to bring the full change about and did not produce an heir to her throne. Elizabeth was head of the Church of England but allowed both religions as long as she was recognised as head. The Spanish and Holy Roman empires declared Elizabeth a heretic as she would not allow her church to revert back to papal control. It was King James I from Scotland, a devout Protestant that fought the Catholic Church the hardest, hunting the Jesuits into hiding places, publicly executing the gunpowder plotters as well as the leader of the Jesuits.
Footnote from Ray.
I wander off the answer so I will stop now, King Henry VIII was always a Catholic, never a protestant though his change in Church management started a huge change in our country’s religion after his death. Remember then that is was not just for a divorce did Henry take over control, it was for power, money and independence from Rome.
Q.205. How did Gilbert De Southworth know that the family D’Wyas (De Eaves) of Samlesbury Lancashire has a Daughter that they wanted to marry off ?
Wow! Someone trying to catch old Henry out. It was simple my good fellow, he was told about her by her own family.
I got this informational evidence from an old map of Winnick where the Southworths lived nearby in Croft. The Manor next door was called Eaves, now it is Eaves farm. So part of the Eaves family lived next door and they told Gilbert about their cousin in Samlesbury. Simple solutions are usually the true ones.
Q.206. Why did you have Holbein paint your picture using a template to send it around the country, were you so vain?
Vain! What an outrageous accusation!
My master plan was simple. When workers are employed in service to a manor or Dukes estate they are firstly required to serve him in war and peace times. However the Duke should be loyal to me, however if the people have only ever seen their Lord before how do they know who is above the boss? They need to be able to recognise their King and thus take away some of the power of their Duke or Lord of the manor. I would be much harder to press gang their workers into a revolt against me if the people involved knew I was the King and it would be treason if they followed their direct boss. Also of course the propaganda benefits of showing me in a healthy state, strong muscular and tall would impress the people who would compare me with their employers. Holbein made a Cartoon copy (Black and white outlined drawing) of me and pierced through a pile of 6 blank canvasses thus making holed master templates. Each template was sent to another artist in a different county who would tamp the master with a soot filled bag over another blank canvass. The new canvass would then have black outlines of the portrait and he finished it off to be shown across the county. Big mistake, some of the artists involved reversed the master and made my copy mirror-imaged.
And of course a little vanity came into the equation.
Q.207. A question from Ray to Henry.
Who decided who was dead?
Morbid or what!
Although quite morbid it was a real problem to decide on a death. Put yourself in the viewpoint of a master of a household, coming downstairs after a nights sleep only to find a body lying in the Boardroom (parlour). Now what would you do? Call a doctor! Call for an ambulance! A physician? Sorry not possible as the only one in any position of decision making is you. The poor old body may be in a deep coma, asleep, knocked out so your decision is crucial, you could bury a live person!
One would place your hands on the cold stone floor to cool them down, then touch the body’s face, declaring them to be “Stone cold dead” if it feels cold too.
In the Boardroom a pair of stools would be situated next to the fireplace, called “jointed stools” meaning both exactly the same especially in height. The body is put in an open coffin and placed on top of these two stools which are “dead-level” and placed in front of the lit fire, a glass of wine is put into the body’s hand. The furniture is moved to the side of the room and a party takes place, loud, singing, dancing, drinking takes place so the body can hear it and wake up. This party is called the Wake.
After 24 hours the family of the body stand around the coffin and see what the fire has done to it, if the wine has evaporated, the feet curled and the shoes coming off at the heel, the body is declared to have “popped its clogs” and if dead. The glass of wine is removed and a bell put into the hand, the lid attached and the coffin taken for burial.
The Bell is in case the body is still alive, if it wakes up under the ground and rings the bell it is said have been “Saved by the Bell”, many people who look like dead people from the past are said to be “dead-ringers”.
And what you may ask was all this process called?
Dead Reckoning of course!
Another saying is related, the nails that were used in doors were bent over to not stick out, this meant they could not be re-used. Hence the body is as dead as a door nail.
So to let me put all these sayings into one list:
2. Saved by the Bell
3. Popped your Clogs
4. The Wake
5. Dead Level (the stools and the wine mark on the glass after evaporation)
6. Stone cold dead
7. Dead reckoning
8. As dead as a door nail
So you see death was not so straight forward. In Tudor times with the average lifespan only 40 years, the cemeteries were full and if not used for 50 years the coffins would be dug up for cremation to re-use the plots. Many coffins were found to have finger scratching marks on the inside! Probably couldn’t find the bell!
Having recalled this from an old Samlesbury guide book I closed my mind to the Undertaker's view of such a tale. Here is an email from the USA world of the here-after. Not sure which one I would prefer for myself.
I love your website! I am an American funeral director, and I found only one error in your fact finding. A king's body would never have been rested by a fire for the toes to curl (although such methods were indeed used by the common masses, more out of supersitition than any factual basis -- a fire will not truly make a cadaver's toes curl, although heat will sometimes speed up the process of curling extremities in people who suffer arthritis). A king, queen, duke or other person of rank would not have been subjected to any test which might have altered their physical appearance, both out of respect and to prevent any question of inheritance -- those who showed disfiguration after death were occassionally investigated for signs of poison, particularly if the inheritor was unpopular; a king with three or more possible heirs, the most legitimate of whom was a child, would never have been placed so close to a fire. Instead, the deceased would be inspected in much the same way we inspect the assumed dead now (Yes! Funeral directors are still required to confirm that Grandma is dead before we take her away!). First a physician would listen for a heart beat, after which a mirror would be held over the dead's mouth to test for breath. The "final" test was a washing of the corpse with warm water. Although this later took on a spiritual meaning and was considered a purification ritual, its original purpose was to attempt to revive the dead. The Greeks began the custom, in the belief that, because warm water sometimes brings color back to recently deceased flesh, if a person were not truly dead they would be revived by the proccess, and the color would remain rather than fade away after a moment. The real test was the Waiting Period or, as it was more commonly referred to by the 16th century, the Waking Period. A commoner would be waked only a day or two, as they could not afford a costly embalming, and this period was enough to determine that an unembalmed corpse was dead (a dead body looks very dead after only half a day or so without refrigeration or embalming). A royal person would be embalmed after only a day or so of true waking -- enough time to confirm that the corpse was indeed a corpse, but not long enough to allow rigor mortis to completely depart (the release of rigor mortis is responsible for the facial distortion of most non-refrigerated corpses.) As a formality, the wake of a royal person would continue on for 1 to 2 weeks after embalming, but unlike the Greeks or Romans, who wished to confirm their loved ones dead before entombing them alive, this was merely to show the populace that their monarch had passed a natural death, and also to give the towns and cities through which the cortege passed an opportunity to show their respect to the deceased (and therefore confer their blessing on his -- or later her -- successor).
As to the rest of your points, most of them are half true, but many are from different periods than you ascribe them. Bells were a quaint addition to the Victorian era, although relatively useless. On the rare occassion that a person was buried alive (they were much better at determining death by then), it is unlikely that anyone would ever have heard a bell ringing -- most likely the living person would have suffocated before ever regaining consciousness, and would certainly have done so after only a few minutes of struggling with a bell. Even if they did manage to ring it, it is unlikely that in that short time of consciousness the bell would be heard by anyone wandering through a cemetery (for fun? exercise?).
Popping clogs was a dutch saying, but more of a joke which came along after the fact. Clogs were not referred to as we think of them until after the industrial revolution there; at the time of Henry VIII's death they were merely referred to as shoes. (For some interesting clog facts, research the etymology of the word "sabotage.") The joke is aimed as much at their former ignorance as it is at the condition of a dead body.
Stone cold dead refers to a time before coffins were used in church vaults. Unlike underground crypts, caskets were not used in church vaults. The first clergymen and, later, royals to be interred there were merely laid in a stone vault and the lid placed on top. Eventually stone caskets were placed within the vaults, to help prevent disruption of the corpse (two stone lids are harder to lift than one) but wooden caskets were rarely used in vaults, even in later times. Thus, a person entombed within a vault (a highly coveted position as intramural grave space became limited) was usually laid upon cold stone.
I don't know the accuracy of the rest of the terms you used, but they sound like they're probably at least half true! One of the things that's always amused me about my profession is just how much people don't know about it -- in spite of the fact that everyone in history has died! It amazes me how little people choose to know about the only thing in life they can be certain of!! Anyway, you seem like someone who values the truth of fact over the bliss of ignorance, so thank you for taking the time to read this.
Very Truly Yours,
Q.208. Fotheringhay Castle was the place of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, but whose family did it belong to?
An old adversary of the Tudors, see this picture I've made for you.
See what I mean!
Q.209. Hi Henry. Our school regularly visits your tremendous website, we have downloaded every question and answer and it has made a book. Have you ever thought of publishing this series as a reference book?
Yes, I offered my Henry Tudor book to a few publishers before I even had the website, they never answered. So being Henry, I thought OK then I will do it myself. So the website was born. To put these articles on my website(s) it automatically becomes copyrighted, therefore nobody can use them commercially without my permission. I would rather give it away to schools and history lovers on a free basis instead of kowtowing to these publishers who are only out for commercial gain and have lost the spirit of individual communication. This website is my book; it has as many pages as a book, as much information as a book and is always being updated unlike a book.
Being Henry in the 21st century has it moments but I never lose sight of my goals, to provide History from a human perspective as best as I can.
Q.210. Dear Henry VIII. Who would have been Henry IX had history not intervened?
Mmmm! Now that’s a very good question. Let me first of all put the candidates forward.
1. Prince Henry, my son with Queen Catherine of Aragon but who died early after birth.
2. Henry Fitzroy, my son with Elizabeth Blount.
3. Henry Darnley, in line for the throne but went up North, married Mary Stuart and became King of Scotland, eventually blown to pieces by murderous villains (One suspects Mary had a hand in it!)
4. If King Edward VI had had a son, if Queen Mary I and Elizabeth I had a son each maybe they would have been called Henry.
Now it is for me to choose who came closest to the throne.
Henry Fitzroy would be my choice, he had been approved by parliament to become the next King after my death if I did not have a son legitimately. Alas he died before it could happen, but then I had a son with Jane Seymour so Edward became the heir.
Q.211.Hi Henry. How much did it cost to build an average castle?
All castles are different, in different places and have different problems to solve, so their cost cannot be comparative. So I will tell you about Portland Castle which is right next to the stone supply at Portland Bill in Dorset.
Portland Castle at Castletown was built in 1539 following attacks by the French, built of Ashlar stone, the finest Portland Stone available, and cost £4,964 at its completion around 1540. Ashlar stonework is the name given to its design, 4 sides are cut flat so it can be made into a secure, sealed wall.
So to bring this cost to today’s money. 4,964 X 300 = £1,489,200
Here’s a picture of the Castle and the Ashlar Stonework.
Q.212. Is it true that Yorkshire had the first Stock Exchange?
First of all what is a stock exchange? It is an exchange of stock. Not money, not shares. People would barter their goods for other people’s goods so no money was used, so really stock exchanges have been around since the year dot, the farmer could swap a pig for some fish from the fisherman. The actual exchange building or market for swapping stock was in London and was set up so Cloth merchants from all over the country and Europe cold meet and exchange their cloth to enable them to have a larger range. Yorkshire copied the exchange for a Northern centre of cloth trading. I have put found this picture in my vast collection.
Q.213. Why did you destroy the Monasteries?
There were many reasons for the removal of the Monasteries.
1. It took away the Papal ownership of the Catholic Church; the Pope would know I meant business.
2. It freed up the Monastery land for other uses. I kept the counties in line by giving them the land and so bringing them into the reformation.
3. It provided cut stone for building the Forts along the south coast of England as a protection against French invasion. Cubed stone was necessary to produce strong, functionally defensive fortresses.
4. The new Church of England even though still Catholic in nature was to be seen as a fresh start and not use the buildings of the old Papal system. The new churches to be simpler in design, less ornate and less homage to a stone idol.
5. The majority of the people were in favour of the new Church of England so it became their church with access for them, English bibles and no cost prayers. The majority of the stone laid from the destruction of the monasteries was actually taken by the people to rebuild their own homes. Many Manor houses used the stone to build accommodation for the people.
6. The main political reason for the destruction was to show the Papal Catholics their church had been removed from England and they should embrace the new Church of England Catholicism with the monarch at the head, as it is today.
7. The removal of a corrupt leadership was seen on the ground.
Q.214. Hi Henry. What was your favourite breed of dog?
Look at the Tudor coat of arms, the White Greyhound is prominent. A great hunting dog named by the Romans “Hare Hunter” or Leporarius. The Buck, the Hare, the Doe and wild Boar all chased to exhaustion by the Greyhound. Please note that we never hunted the Fox, a peasants target.
Edmund de Langley's Mayster of Game, AD 1370, describes the ideal greyhound:
'...The Greihound should have a long hede and somedele grete, ymaked in the manner of a luce; a good large mouth and good sessours, the one again the other, so that the nether jaws passe not them above, ne that thei above passe not him neither.
The neck should be grete and long, and bowed as a swanne's neck.
Her shuldres as a roebuck; the for leggs streght and gret ynow, and nought to hind legges; the feet straught and round as a catte, and great cleas; the boones and the joynetes of the cheyne grete and hard as the chyne of an hert; the thighs great and squarred as an hare; the houghs steight, and not crompyng as of an oxe.
A catte's tayle, making a ring at eend, but not to hie.
Of all manere of Greihondes there byn both good and evel; Natheless the best hewe is rede falow, with a black moselle...'
Wow! You should see the amount of spell-check red lines after that paragraph, hehehe.
Q.215. Hi Henry. Were there any tramps or homeless people in Tudor times?
Ah! Now that’s a sore point with me, with only about 4 million people and plenty of arable land we in court could not see why there was any level of unemployment. So we were quite hard on Tramps and vagrants.
A law of 1536 was severe. Vagabonds were whipped the first time caught by Lord’s of Manors. However for a second offence they had the lower part of their right ear cut off (so they could be easily identified wherever they went). For a third offence they were hanged.
However officers of the law were reluctant to carry out such harsh punishments. So the law was eased a little, anyone who roamed or loitered for 3 days without a job must offer to work for any employer for any wages he was willing to pay. If nobody would employ him then he must offer to work just for food and drink. If he did not do this then anyone could take him to the local magistrate. The vagrant was then made that person's slave for 2 years. If he ran away during that time he was branded and made a slave for life. If he ran away again he was hanged. This terrible law was abolished in 1550. The earlier punishment of flogging was made the cost for being a tramp.
Oh come now, you must be able to work it out for heaven’s sake!
The vagrants with cut ears who had to take any job, were Earmarked for a job! The Vagrants who were made into virtual slaves and bonded to a manor were now called Vagabonds. Do I have to explain it all for you?
Homelessness nowadays means you cannot afford somewhere to live. In Tudor days to could live where you worked or even make a shack out of old timber and branches, so there was no excuse to be without somewhere to sleep or shelter. This of course would be impossible today with 53 Million people and no free land, this is why real homeless people live under bridges in cardboard boxes, so who is more caring Tudors or You?
Q.216. I read that only if you were middle class could you afford glass for your windows. How did poor people in Tudor times see out of the windows or stop the wind and rain from coming in?
In the 15th century only a small minority of people could afford glass windows. During the 16th century they became much more common. However they were still expensive. If you moved house you took your glass windows with you! Tudor windows were made of small pieces of glass called Quarries, held together by strips of lead called Cames. They were called lattice windows because they had a lattice pattern. However the poor still had to make do with strips of linen soaked in linseed oil. If you soak linen with oil it becomes translucent and you can see movement, and outlines of objects through it. The oil would seal the weave of the linen to stop the wind, though the Sun would dry it out and it needed to have more oil added.
Q.217. Are there any funny sayings that were used in Tudor times?
Yes! My favourite.
Let me first of all explain when it was used.
When people seemed to have died, a bell was put into their hand just in case they were still alive when buried, we have discussed this before.
So, say the deceased was a tyrant to his family and they hated him. When he was lying there sick and near death they would say:
“A cracked bell does not sound well!” Hehehehe, I like that one.
Q.218. What is the differnce between Stocks and Pillory?
Height. The Stocks were low down and designed to clamp the victime by the legs and/or hands. The Pillory was on a post or "pillar" which was designed to clamp the victime by the head and hands. The Pillory was for considered the worst and was for more horrible people. Here's a fw pictures I took on my travels, notice there are no Pillaries, this is because they were banned and have rotted due to their all wood constuction.
Q.219. From Grace. Dear Henry
Where can I find a digital image of one of your Officers from the Mary Rose for my history project?
Why are you sooooooo fat? How many calories could you consume in Tudor times?
What a preposterous attitude! Asking me to answer a quite difficult question and then immediately insulting me.
Having calmed down the King decided to answer this enquiry with the dignity expected from Royalty.
Firstly there are few pictures out there of Naval officers because they were not high enough nor rich enough to have them painted. Any pictures are from the imagination of Historians who put together the pieces of investigative research and formulate the apparent style of clothing. The actual officers would not have had a real uniform; they would have bought their own clothing and would use hard wearing cloth and leather. Their clothing would need to be very flexible and allow their limbs to move freely, when climbing rigging etc.
I have found via my many sources of information the following pictures, re-assembled into a usable collage.
Now about fatness, I was a diabetic in my latter years and the body fluid accumulated to create a fattening effect, my legs were unusable due to a cracked bone and infection. Eating great amounts is a myth; I was an athlete up to the age of about 38 and after kept my diet to a sustainable level. Great banquets of over 20 courses are a complete fallacy, they were all different items served at the same time. A BUFFET, that’s why we had guards to serve us called Buffeteers or Beefeaters.
Y’know sometimes it aghast the King that questioners don’t read previous enquiries, I must have answered this question 4 times.
It’s so hard being a King with so may attention grabbing, misleading, so-called historians out there trying to sell their rubbish. Thank heaven for real, accurate authors like Alison Weir, David Starkey, Antonia Fraser who sell many thousands of books because they give a balanced view and the facts.
Q.220. I’ve been ganged up on by a whole class of Young Tudors from Devonshire.
Here is a card especially made for you all, my Daughter Elizabeth sends her greetings too and is making sure I mention her website too.
To answer all your questions together then for the world to see:
1. How rich was I?
2. How Successful was I?
3. How many Battles did I win?
Wealth is of two origins in the Monarchy, the country’s wealth and the Monarchs personal wealth. Our present Queen Elizabeth II is very rich; she is about the 4th richest person in the world with about £1 Billion pounds. My Father Henry VII left me £1.25 Million Tudor that is £375 Million now, I spent it. I then raked in £175 million from the sale of Monastery lands giving a total of £550 Million, which I also spent.
My Children Edward and Mary were not very good with money too and nearly bankrupted England so when Elizabeth became Queen she was personally quite poor for a Queen. She made England rich again in her 50 years in power.
Success could be judged in many ways, I prefer to judge it by how popular the Monarch was. In my heyday I was the most popular King this country has ever seen, though my antics with various wives and my latter years made the people fear and hate me. Elizabeth stood out for England, stood up to the Papist Europe and the invasion of the Spanish aggressor. So being a realist Elizabeth was the most successful of us two but she had the Tudor line as an inherited trust and she never had a son to keep it going.
I never had a really big war to prove my spurs as a Knightly King, I joined up with Ferdinand but was let down by his underhanded tricks, I joined up with the Emperor Charles and invaded a small insignificant part of France which we emblazoned as the battle of the Spurs, a pure propaganda exercise. My new navy fought off the French invasion in the Solent where my favourite ship Mary Rose was lost.
I suppose Elizabeth was the most effective battle head as she brought the country through the Spanish Armada attempt to invade us, though there is a lot of truth behind the fact that the weather had a lot to do with it.
Go see the other websites
www.TudorDynasty.co.uk A Tudor monthly magazine written by the experts.
Q.222. How old would you be if you were still alive?
Not a silly question, I was born in 1491 so I would be 515 years old. Now here's a question for you, if I ws 18 when I became King what year was it? And I died when I was 55 nearly 56 so when was that too?
Can you put a date next to these happenings?
a. I married Ann Boleyn in..........
b. I married Jane Seymour in........ when I was ........ years old.
c. My Daughter Elizabeth was born in..........
d. The Mary Rose sank in ............
Q.223.Hi Henry. Did you have Slaves?
No. Everyone who worked at the Court was a paid employee.
But! If you define what slavery means then England had Slaves for Centuries.
We had men and women bound under law as “owned by another person”, they were called Serfs, we also made tramps into slaves for not working when work is offered.
The Slave trade is not a British invention, it is a Middle Eastern invention, Asia and South East Asia also prospered with free labour. To this world’s discredit, the Slave trade is still alive in some North African countries. Nobody should be owned by another person this should be a given right to all people wherever they live.
I have put together a collage of the English Slave trade based upon the Cotton and Sugar trade of the 17th/18th Centuries.
Q.224. Hi Henry. Why did you like Artichokes so much?
Ah! Not a well known fact, but Artichokes have for a very long time been associated with raising the virility of men. At a time when I was under tremendous pressure to produce a son and heir to the throne, I eat a lot of Artichokes. I became very fond of them especially when my two Chef's designed meals to make the Artichokes more interesting.
Q.225. Hi Henry. My family were at your talk at Samlesbury Hall last Sunday, the children have not stopped talking about it and have started to visit your website, making the models and reading the files. A wonderful way of teaching History.
I do have a Question.
How often did people have a bath and how many set of clothing did Henry have?
Cleanliness was a problem. The people only had two set of clothes each, one for everyday and the other for special days. They changed them when they wore out, they slept in the undergarments too. The people had a Bath once per year, usually in early May when Spring was upon us, this was named Spring Cleaning. Their houses were cleaned out at the same time. The bath was a shared system, the man of the house went first, the lady, the male children, the daughters then the babies. All in the same water, hence “Don’t throw the baby away in the bath water!”
We in the higher nobility wore furs to attract body lice off our skin and hair. I washed every day on the parts that showed, I changed my clothes three times per day to give my staff chance to shake them and beat out the dust. I had a new set of clothes every three days the old ones were burnt. Burnt! Yes, to keep others from wearing my past clothing and to stop spies checking for body stains to see if I am ill. The jewellery was dismantled and re-set into new pieces. I had full time clothiers and jewellers.
My Daughter Elizabeth bathes once per month! Silly girl, this washes off the natural body oils and will leave her vulnerable to diseases, won’t it?
Remember if we all smell the same, who knows who smells?
Q.226. Hi Henry. Did you like your Father?
I respected my Father, after all he was the one who fought Richard III and brought the English Crown to the Tudors. He was very careful with money and wrongly was considered a miser. He actually was generally careful but if the occasion arose he would [put on a fantastic banquet and ball. He loved my Mother dearly but he favoured my Brother Arthur above me, which I resented. He did not like my level of intelligence and questioning, he often sent me away from his presence because I would argue against his reasoning. I feared my Father when Arthur was alive because I was the second son and he could have me punished severely. When Arthur died and I became the heir, my Father had to accept my opinions though he resented me even more. I pushed my opinions further into our quarrels and really risked my life at times, but he could not risk losing the Tudor throne so I got away with it. When he died, I quickly threw away the austerity of his reign and started the have fun.
A short answer then would be that I did not like my Father, though I respected him, my Mother and Grandmother were my icons.
Q.227. How many horses did you have?
I had over 200 horses at any one time in my life, though the form they took changed as I became less athletic. From Coursers to Palfreys shows how I went from galloping horses to single footers, well who wants to bounce up and down when old as in armour. To run a stable of race horses it was seen as a sport of Kings because of the cost, a horse was called a Hobby horse and so the Hobby became an expensive past time. I had Spanish, French, Italian and African horses, many of which were gifts but when I bought them they cold cost up to £15,000 of your money, I used them in my own stud and sold the foals as profit.
Q.228. To Henry
Why do you wear heavy clothes ?
Only when I go outside or into a cold part of an old stone castle would I wear heavy clothing. Normally the rooms are heated for me with a big log fire.
In the 1500's England went through a mini-Ice age and even the river Thames would freeze up every year so it was very cold. 2006 temperatures in degrees Centrigrade for a year is -10 to 95, in 1500's the range was -20 to 60 and that's cold enough to freeze the sea!
Q.229. To Henry
How old were you when you died?
Sofie and Manjari
I’m still alive! I'm now 515 years old young Lady.
Ok, Ok, I'll let you in on the secret, I died when I was 55 years and 9 months old. Shhhhhh! Don't tell anybody I'm still alive because of the Time machine that looks like a Motorhome is my big secret and everyone will want one.
Q.230 From Melika
To Henry which is your favourite piece of clothing?
The top cloaks are very cumbersome but also very warm so I like them in winter, however I like to ride my horses and go hunting, so my leather topped tunic and riding breeches are my favourite.
When dancing I like my lightweight tunic with my silver dagger. I have trouble with shoes, the square fronted Tudor leather shoe is a bad design and very uncomfortable, you are so luck in 2006 having soft shoes so well made. I have a few pairs of woollen shoes, I think you call them slippers.
Q.231 To Henry
What is your favourite sport?
It depends on my age and health which becomes my favourite sport.
When I was young and athletic, I loved to gallop in the Tilt yards and be the Royal Knight trying to rescue the trapped Princess in the castle tower. All pretend though! Then when I became older, I just went hunting on horseback. Now I'm old, I like Hawking with my Eagles-Owls and Peregrine Falcons becasue they do all the work and I just watch.
I also like tennis and bowls.
Q.232 From Ellie
What happened at a Tudor banquet?
What food did they eat at a Tudor banquet?
What entertainment was there at a Tudor banquet?
There was different levels of banquet.
1. The daily banquet for the King and his court.
A great table with all the course out at the same time, up to 20 different things to choose from. It was a Buffet. The King had two Buffeteers to go and collect the food he wanted, these buffeteers are now called Beefeaters.
2. Visiting Friends Lords of the realm.
Still a Buffet but more elaborate food, lots of sweets to display the wealth needed for sugar and spices.
3. Visiting foreign dignitaries and ambassadors.
Still a buffet but with a centre piece, often a swan stuffed ten layers with other fowl meats. A large sugar carving in the centre which would be eaten with the sweets.
The court would have its Jester plus a band of players. The larger banquets would have jugglers and singers maybe even a short play.
Occasionally a Knight would ride his horse right into the banqueting hall to impress visitors.
It is a fallacy that King Henry VIII was a greedy eater; he chose his food from the buffet and did not gorge himself. His over weight I later life was due to lack of activity through his long illness the cause eventually of his death at 55 year 9 months, an old age for a Man in those days.
Q.233 Hi Henry.
Who was described as “A nymph from heaven”?
This was not in my presence because it would have been rude to describe my Sister like that in court. Mary Tudor, became the Queen of all France when I had arranged her marriage to the old, toothless King Louis XII. We had made a promise before that marriage that she would be allowed to choose her own husband when the old King died. He did die soon of course but her beautiful looks preceded any encounter in her presence and other prominent European leaders were very interested in a union. I therefore had decided to arrange yet another marriage despite our promise, sending over Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk and my best friend, to collect her and bring her back to England, now the Dowager Queen of France. Venetian ambassadors were very prominent in my court as we traded heavily with Venice and its South-sea fleet of merchant ships. It was these Venetians who describe Mary in those terms.
Charles Brandon loved Mary and though he has promised to bring her back safely to our shores she won his heart even more when she declared that he should marry her himself to stop her Brother marrying her off for some political gain. The worst candidate on her horizon was Charles V the Emperor of Rome, a villain and in-bred monarch who had that infamous Hapsburg chin. His looks prompted Mary to state, “I would rather be torn to pieces” than marry him. So Charles took the biggest risk of his life and married the beautiful Mary, thus taking the arranged marriage out of the equation. I was furious with them both; I had lost money on the possible deal with Charles V because these two fools had married without my consent. However I relented from pressure of the people who loved Mary, Charles was my best friend and I decided to fine them instead.
The newly married Suffolk’s went on to become parents then grandparents and was always loyal to my throne. However there is a sinister ending, one of their granddaughters, Lady Jane Grey went on to a terrible end thanks to an unforgiving Queen Mary I, my daughter.
Q.234 Hi Henry.
I heard the name Baldric and wondered if there was really a person called Baldric who was the dogsbody character in Blackadder.
Don’t be silly, A Baldric was a silk sash or leather band slung over one the shoulder and round the opposite hip. Later it was fastened on the left hip and carried the sword holder. It steadiest the sword or dagger when walking.
There was a Blackadder though, in the court of Queen Mary Stuart of Scotland!
Q.235 Hi Henry
If a person could not afford a four poster bed to stop birds and vermin in the thatched roof defecating on them when they were asleep, what did they do instead?
They wore a tie with a cap around their chins to keep their mouths closed, it was called a Biggin.
Q.236 Hi Henry
Where does the word Bombastic come from?
I hope you are not insinuating something about me! If I wanted to look more fierce and powerful than I really am I would wear a Bombast under the clothes to pad out the shoulders. Padding made of cotton and rags used to stuff in the linings of 16th-century garments.
Q.237 Hi Henry
We call our penny 1p, with the “p” to mean a penny. Why did we used to call a penny 1d?
A silver penny had a Romanesque name Denarius
DENARIUS: The English silver penny, hence the abbreviation "d."
Here is a fantastic website for you to calculate the value today of money from historical dates.
Q. 238 to 243 From Sweden
We are two students from Nykopings Enskilda Gymnasium in Sweden. This year we are working on a project in our English course consisting of a visit to London. The purpose with the task is that we ourselves plan our trip and days in London and during our visit make a project valuable to another subject. The trip will take place between the 5th and 10th of March.
We have planned to study the dark history of London with alignment of the life and actions of King Henry the VIII.
In our project we search answers on questions that will give us a good outline of the life and actions of Henry the VIII:
• Who was Henry the VIII?
• What influence had Henry the VIII on the Church of England and the inhabitants?
• Which marks are significant of Henry the VIII that the society confirm today (laws, firm standards, history, buildings etc.)
• Which changes has England lived through and how does it show in modern time?
• What “made” Henry the VIII a cruel monarch and which amount were the executions and wars he started?
We would like to know if you could help us with this by an interview or meeting.Or perhaps we could join in a group that will see King Henry?
Hoping for an answer soon
Linnéa Franzon and Sara Larsson,
Ah! Sweden calling, do you know I once fancied marrying a Scandinavian Princess? But she told me that she would only marry me if she had two heads. Cheeky wench!
I will indeed answer your questions dear ladies.
1. Who was Henry VIII? King Henry Octavia please! I am the son of Henry Tudor King Henry VII who deposed the outrageous King Richard III of the Plantagenet line. Bosworth Field was the nemesis of that cruel and murderous King. My older brother Arthur was to be the next in line but he died before he could take the throne, leaving me to become King Henry VIII. 38 years on the throne, some say I changed from magnificent ruler to a tyrant I my latter years, maybe so but it was caused by too much anguish and betrayal amongst my family. I ruled England from 1509 to 1547, glorious years when technology came into the royal control. The printing press, cast iron, newer battle planning and better fortress design for defence.
2. I invented the Church of England. Before it was the Roman Catholic Church ruled by a corrupt Papal system. The poor had to pay for have prayers spoken for them in Latin by priests who were not holy men at all, most were second sons of wealthy families and were only in it to make money, which they did on abundance. I lost all confidence in the papal church when they would not grant me an annulment of my marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Our marriage was once very happy but after 23 years it became a farce and we did not even like each other during the last few years. Because the church head was related to Katherine, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles was her nephew; they refused to listen to my pleas for a divorce or annulment. So I broke away from that church and formed my own English version, this was called the Reformation. The people liked it because they now did not have to pay their money to the corrupt church. Lots of nobles were against it because their sons were priests.
3. What did I leave England? I left England with strong defences fortress system along the South coast, a strong navy, wonderful Palaces such as Hampton Court and Nonesuch Palace, I left then the right to their own Church of England controlled by their own monarch. More than all this I left my people a stronger country with an influential monarchy.
4. The greatest change my reign had and is still seen was the Church of England, now modelled on the Protestant faith because of my Son Edwards influence on the faith itself. I left England with my daughter Elizabeth who became even greater than me.
5. My cruelty is related really only to the ones who hurt me. Catherine Howard betrayed me so badly I began a campaign of revenge against the Howard’s and their relations, remember that Ann Boleyn was of Howard blood too. Catherine had an affair behind my back with a courtier Thomas Culpepper, they died by the rule of the treason laws. All high born nobles had the right to judge and execute in the name of the throne, so many died without my knowledge and in my name. The History books fail to decipher this fact. So I got the blame for all executions.
As for a meeting. Well my calendar for 2007 is rather full at the moment. You say you are in London between 5th and 10th March. I am I Southampton and Dorset between 6th and 9th March, an evening interview cold be arranged but you will have to do the travelling as I am performing at two venues.
I hope all this information helps you in your studies.
His Royal Highness
King Henry Octavia
Q.244 How much did things cost in Tudor times?
I have asked my other self to research this one for you.
How much did things cost in Tudor times?
By Ray Irving
No need to guess my friend, just multiply the following prices by 300 and they are then converted to present day values.
Annual Salary of the Queen's ladies was £33. 6s. 8d. or £33.34p
For two female servants and a groom, 13s. 4d or 67p per week.
A Priest cost 10d or 5p per
2 shillings a month or 12p were the board wages of the Fool.
The Master of her barge received 1s. 4d. or 7p a day, and the rowers 8d or 4p.
A messenger for going from Greenwich to London was paid no more than 6d or 3p.
The expense of keeping a child was 16s or 80p a year.
The breakfast of one of the Ladies of the Court cost 9d or 4.5p.
The hire of a boat from Greenwich to London was 4d or 2p and from London to Westminster 2d or 1p.
A surgeon's fee for going from London to Richmond to visit the Queen was 13s. 4d or 68p.
Workmen and labourers' wages appear to have been 6d or 3p a day.
An embroiderer was allowed £2 a year for his house rent, and 1s. 4d or 7p. a week board wages; whilst women embroiderers were paid 3s or 18p a week, which included their board wages.
A pair of shoes for the Fool, and for footmen, cost 6d or 3p each; and a pair for the Queen, single- soled, with Laton buckles, 1s or 6p., but a pair of buskins for her use cost 4s or 24p.
Fifty-two barrels of beer, which were given to the Friars Observants of Greenwich, cost £6.18s. 8d or £6.94p, 2s. 8d. or 14p a barrel
The hire of a horse, to carry a female servant from Easthampstead to London was 1s. 4d. or 7p. and the wages of grooms of the chamber were 1s.or 5p and of the pages 8d. or 4p per day.
Go to this website for more revelations www.r3.org/bookcase/wardrobe/ward6.html
Q.245. Do you have a family tree showing everybody on the throne of England from William the Conqueror to our present Queen Elizabeth II?
Q.246. A number of questions about your daughter Mary.
We are a group of Year 8 students from Stocksbridge High School in Sheffield. We have been studying your reign and thinking about your reputation. These are some questions we would like to ask you:
1. Why did you burn and kill people?
2. Did you enjoy killing people?
3. Why did you part boil Wyatt after his death?
4. Did the fact that you were mistreated as a child, influence the way you felt and behaved in later life?
5. Why did you change from being a popular Queen at the start of your reign, to a cruel and hated one by the end?
We hope you are able to answer our questions, and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Stocksbridge High School
Hello year 8 Class 8NA
Thank you for your enquiry and for your sharp questions. I must before I answer them put you in the view of life for Mary Tudor.
She was always wanted to be a boy by her father and a fair disappointment when she always took her Mothers side in any argument. Her Mother was a Spanish Princess before she became Queen, wife of King Henry VIII, so being a princess herself made her feel more towards her Mothers viewpoint. Now, her Father did not divorce her Mother, he annulled the marriage which means it was unlawful and therefore Mary became just plain old Lady Mary a clear demotion from that of Princess Mary. He Mother was demoted to Widowed wife of a dead Prince so was called Princess again.
Now her Father takes her Roman Catholic Church away and even gets her to look after the new baby with Anne Boleyn, the baby being Princess Elizabeth. Can you see why she resented her half sister and her father and the New Church Head Thomas Cranmer. Worse to come, her new baby Brother is going to be the next ruler of England; she has to look after him as well. He becomes King and changes the Church to Protestant; at least her Father’s church was still Catholic if not papal. Edward dies and the councillors do not pick her to be the next ruler, instead her half cousin Lady Jane Grey gets the throne. Mary has to raise an army and take London back by force.
Now Mary is Queen, she is fairly old to be a new Queen with new ideas, so she marries the King of our old arch enemy, Spain. This does not go down well in the country, as Mary promises to bring the Roman Catholic faith back to a land that now has a majority who don’t want it back. Force is applied, people are burnt for heresy and she gets the new Nickname Bloody Mary. Was she cruel, well yes very much so, with all the hurt inside her, she now let go of her self control. Thomas Cranmer was burnt at the stake but she ordered the fire not to be too large as she wanted him to burn slowly.
I have asked Mary if she enjoyed the killing of people, she shrugs her shoulders and walks away from the questioning. She does not care less.
When a commoner is found guilty of treason they are hung drawn and quartered, a punishment stretching back to 1066, their heads are par boiled to make then turn black before being stuck on a spike on London Bridge to warn others. To blacken one’s reputation came from this.
Mary was only popular with the Roman Catholics but by the end of her reign she was the most hated ever.
Mary never liked me, she hated Elizabeth and resented Edward. Quite a mixed up individual really.
Q.247. And now I’m doing people’s homework!
Greeting your majesty.
I have a question for thee. Why did you close down the monasteries? Write back quickly I have an essay to do about you.
I took over the papal control of the monasteries. I sent Jack Horner with soldiers to collect the deeds of all monasteries earning more than £60,000 in today's money which is £200 Tudor. The ones below that figure I left alone but they had to conform to my new Catholic ruling. Only Monasteries that held back and resisted were destroyed.
The Nursery Rhyme Little jack Horner was based upon these seizures. He was paid by letting him pick one for his family to own, he picked the plum one, near Exeter. The Horner’s still live there today!
Q.248. Did you make many mistakes? Fred from Dunbar.
Now do you expect me to admit to making mistakes? I am the King of England and never make mistakes!
This is rather a bad view of the monarchy, but a true one. So here are the many mistakes I made, but don’t tell anybody else!
I had the Mary Rose ship refitted with carvel timbers instead of Clinker, this made it less stable, then I had more cast iron cannon fitted near the water-line, then I put too many men in it. Then it sank! So I blamed the captain.
I believed Thomas Cromwell when he told me Anne Boleyn was a witch and she bewitched me into marriage, the proof being she couldn’t give me a son.
I banned the English Bible, even had the writer executed for writing it. Then I issued it in all my Church of England churches.
I annulled a perfectly good marriage with Katherine of Aragon on the pretence that the marriage was illegal as she was the widow of my brother Arthur.
I forced Mary to be a minder of my other children, she was demoted from Princess to Lady Mary which turned here rather bitter towards me and my new Church.
I lied when I told my sister Mary Tudor that she could marry her own choice if and when her husband the King of France died, she married Charles Brandon before I cold stop it.
I’m not admitting to anymore, except to say that Will Somers calmed down a few mistakes in court with his humour, thus making them look like a joke.
Q.249. What was your saddest moment?
Everybody has many sad moments I their lives and just because the history books see me as the powerful egotistical monarch it does not mean I had no heart. I was very sad when my Mother, Elizabeth and my grandmother Margaret died. They were a great influence on my life. But the saddest moments in my adult life were the deaths of my lovely wife Jane and finding out in public that my traitorous wife Catherine Howard had a boyfriend behind my back. The loss of many babies were a constant reminder of my mortality and human side.
Now you have put me into a sad mood, boo hoo.
Q.250 To Henry
Did you like your brother or sister?.
Hello Lady Maddie
I liked my Brother Arthur, remember that when he was alive he was going to be the next King.
I never really knew my Sister Margaret, she went away to be Queen of Scotland, I never saw her again.
I really liked my younger sister Mary, though when I became King she didn't want me to choose whom she married. We came to the understanding that i picked an Old, sick man for her first husband, which was King Louis of France, and when he died she could choose her own husband next. I actually changed my mind and was about to marry her off to my choice, but she married my best friend Charles Brandon without my approval.
I forgave them and made them the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk. They had children and grandchildren, the most famous being Lady Jane Grey.
Lady Jane Grey
Q.251 Why did you fine your best friend £6m ?
Because Charles Brandon was sent as my emissary to France to bring back my sister Mary, now the widow of the late King Louis. I had negotiated a £6m deal to marry her off to another European Prince as a political move. Alas Charles was succumbed into an unlawful marriage to Mary by the new King of France, Francis I. When they returned to my court I fined them the money I had lost, but I made them both the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk so they could afford to pay it off.
So don’t say I am not a forgiving and kind man!
Q.252. Hi Henry. As Ray, who was your Historical hero after all the past years of being King Henry VIII?
It is a good question because before being Henry VIII my hero’s were like every one else, King Arthur and Queen Elizabeth I. Yet after delving deeply into human history where the person comes out and you begin to understand how they thought these two ex-hero’s of mine move into the shadows. King Arthur it seems as a Romanesque Briton taking advantage of the vacancy left by the garrison as they were recalled to defend Rome. He was a leader who took over the hot seat, battled in the Northwest of England in the rushes of the River Douglas and worked his way down to Pembrokeshire and the hove the sea to Cornwall. He was just a thug who overran communities. Then Queen Elizabeth I, I still regard her as a great monarch, but she manipulated people badly, never made decisions well and passed on the blame for her errors. She sounds like she would do well in modern-day politics.
I do have two heroes, one is a rich man of political power but with the high courage of his own convictions and he was King Henry’s Chancellor, Thomas More. He was executed because he would not accept publicly that the head of the Church of England would be the Monarchy, as it became and still is today. The other was a poor man, a deformed stone mason who became the constant companion to the Jesuit leaders, Edmund Campion and later Henry Garnet. This man became a Saint and is called St. Nicholas Owen, sometime called Little John. On the run most of his adult life because of his skills in the making of priest holes and tunnels for hiding and aiding the escape of Catholic Priests. Nicholas Owen will always have the respect of me writing his full name and will never be used in historical writings as anything but a real human being.
Nicholas Owen was hiding in one of his own spaces when soldiers raided Samlesbury Hall and found the brothers Edmund and John Campion. John Campion was killed and Edmund taken to London to be publicly executed. Nicholas Owen now teamed up with the next leader of the Jesuits, from nearby Preston, Lancashire. Both men were captured later on after the Gunpowder plotters were being hunted, at Hindlip Hall. Both men died at the hands of their captors, Nicholas Owen whilst being tortured and Henry Garnet publicly hung drawn and quartered. We were once a Nation of barbaric laws.
Q.253. How high was a blacksmiths skills considered in Tudor days?
You ever done Blacksmithying?
By Ray Irving
No such word as Blacksmithying, it’s either Forge work or it is Hot Metalwork but today I don’t care if the spellcheck burns out. The Blacksmith was the highest Technologist supplier of Henry’s day, he made a wrought iron suit of armour and the sword Henry used, and he was sought after for his skills on the anvil. Nowadays a Blacksmith is a tourist attraction, yet we still have “wrought” iron gates made by factories or railings or brackets because we like steel as much as we like wood. Yet I must say if you noticed the inclusion of the “” the term wrought iron is badly misused these days. Wrought Iron is pure iron, no carbon nor alloying metals, and true wrought iron will not rust because it resists oxidation whereas if you had the nasty experience of a Soviet made car, steel rusts. Modern “wrought ion” is actually black mild steel, a hot rolled metal which has been quenched in oil thus giving it a soft and malleable condition suitable for cold bending. Factories make the gates and fitments on their fixtures and fittings thus getting rid of the magic of the Blacksmith’s hammer blows. To find a modern-day blacksmith is still reasonably easy but expect high costs as the work he does is very skilful and time consuming, he may use real wrought iron and use black old engine oil to quench his finished product, this absorbs a little carbon on the surface to give a black appearance. He will not try fooling you, the swirls on one side will not be exactly the same as the other side, and he uses his eyes to balance the product, no sign of any automation accuracy, real hand made with errors in it to give it a personality.
I have made hundred’s of steel products in my time as a Technology Teacher, when practical skills were seen as essential to the growth of a child and the word computer was never uttered. Nowadays Technology is a design study, computerised and costed as if to go into mass production, it has lost the skill development in the motor-skills department of the human being. The Blacksmith, Carpenter, Builder and plumber are under attack from the factory mass production market who persuade the average Joe to buy from the DIY store, clip together technology reigns. I often hear visitors at Samlesbury Hall comment, “we couldn’t make it like this nowadays” when they study the carving on the posts or the ornate stone fireplace, well they are correct we could do it because we just couldn’t afford to do it.
Q.254. Do you have real close up pictures of King Henry's jewellery?
Yep! Taken just last week in the Tower of London.
Q.255. Hi Henry. I enjoyed your story about your visit to Nonsuch Palace in Ewell, Surrey.
Just why did Henry build this fantastic Palace and why did he designed it in such a fashion? I have seen only a few pictures of the Palace, are there any bits of it left?
Camelot was in my mind when I designed this Palace, also my hunting needs. MY son also needed a place to learn to be King of England and so he was trained in the art of Kingship there.
There are small pieces of masonry in the foyer of Bourne Hall in Ewell.
Q.256. I have heard that you have a “devils mask”, is that true?
No it is not true, but I do have a devilish mask. A mask designed to scare off opponents during Jousting. It was a gift from Emperor Maximillian.
Q.257. Greetings your Majesty, my Year 5 class and I have been learning all about you in our daily lessons and we were hoping that you could shed some light on your lifestyle as King. What are your duties? Can you tell us your four favourite accomplishments (achieved over your lifetime)? What kind of duties would you not perform and last but not least could you tell us about a typical 'work' day for yourself?
Thank you for your time
Miss S and 5AS
I do believe that the most compelling of my achievements was to rid this country for the leaches that ran the Papal Catholic Church, remember they were Borga’s and ruthless in their methods of controlling their Holy Empire, Emperor Charles was the most blood thirsty man I have ever met, he murdered his way across Europe in the name of God. My wife was his Aunt, enough said.
My people had been robbed by the antics of the Church ever since they re-stocked their pulpits with second sons of Nobles; the Black Death had reaped havoc with their numbers of Priests. These money minded individuals began selling God to the people in the form of paid prayers and the people resented it. This Pope even refused my pleas for a divorce from a woman who bored me and was my brother’s widow, which was illegal. Her nephew put an end to my request leaving me no option but to disband their hold on my people and my own freedom to change my wife. I dissolved their Papal system, some land went to nobles who helped me and some went to nobles to bring them on my side, the people flocked to the new Church of England, still catholic but now with no payment and the Bibles in English for the first time.
My other achievements undertaken before I died and never seen by myself as a saviour to my Country was the building of our Navy and the fortresses along the South coast. I used the monastery stones to build them, so it was rather nice to see the Pope helping without knowing.
I designed Castles, Palaces and Houses. I brought together middle class intellectuals to form my court, keeping the rather stupid Nobility at arms length; again this did not weather well with the system.
My day is always varied; I dine with my court in the morning and discuss the proceedings for the day, what you would call a management meeting. I would then do Royal things like to go Hunting, or archery, or design my Jousting parties. My chancellor would be in charge of all the political duties and he would report to me during the day. Much had been said, wrongly I might add, by the media of Books of my passion for large meals. 20 courses they say, every meal they say. All is rubbish. Yes there were 20 different types of food at every meal, they were set up on a middle table and was for 200 people. A Buffet. I even had two servants to get the one or two different items for my meal, these men were called Buffeters, nowadays you call them Beefeaters. So you see History books have been written with exaggerated claims to make them sell, like the Sun newspaper. Propaganda! Poppycock!
What you see is definitely not what you get.
Take my portrait by Hans Holbein for an instance. It took his three months to paint, I asked him to make me look aggressive, commanding and strong of character, which he did. Now you think me and a tyrant. It was a manipulated portrait and you fell for it, hehehehe.
I am a human being; picture snapshots do not reflect the man. I changed to a more revengeful King after being hurt badly by Catherine Howard’s adultery with one of my friends. I was a sad man after my beloved wife Jane died 13 days after out son Edward was born, in her arms he slept as she died, I went into a two year decline.
So Dear Children, being King Henry VIII is not all sport, eating, drinking, womanizing it was also one of the most heartbreaking lives one could live. Being a King is about being powerful so nobody will try to invade, or take your throne whilst you are sat on it. To this end I believe I was a good King with marital problems.
Take some time to study these websites of mine:
1. www.HenryTudor.co.uk Full of facts, pictures and kits.
2. www.ElizabethTudor.co.uk Elizabethan version of my website.
3. www.TudorDynasty.co.uk A monthly free Tudor magazine written by academics.
4. www.TheCastleKeeper.com All my pictures taken from inside the Kings viewpoint.
5. www.TudorRoyal.com A new and exciting website for your class to join, only free materials, only real people a new insight to the world of History.
New for 2007! A set of real video’s for schools of Henry explaining his history. These will be available from about may 2007.
I thank you dear people for your patience.
Q.258. Hi Henry
Were you sad when your brother Arthur died so young?
Oops! Sore point. I never really knew my brother Arthur; he was destined to be the next King of England after our father, so he was never with me. He was being trained in Kingship with father in the court procedures, the running of households and religion whilst I was having fun learning my favourite subjects like Astronomy, Mathematics and Art. Got to say at this juncture that I did not get on at all well with my father, he thought I was too clever for my own food, that my ideas of kingdom control were at odds with his money making schemes and tightness. I did covert Arthur’s new wife to be, she stood out amongst the pale, drab court women, with her wonderful accent, tanned skin and Spanish lace, and I was smitten. Obviously I could do but nothing about this young mans dream, I even had to be a page boy at their wedding, my jealous urge just grew through the ceremony. Six months later Arthur was dead, of course I was sad after all I had just lost my brother and poor Katherine was now a dowager Princess instead of potential Queen of England. I later decided that my inner love for Katherine could be quenched by getting the Popes permission to marry her when I became King. You see it was illegal in the eyes of the Church of Rome to marry one’s Brother’s widow, I don’t see why but hat was the law. I married Katherine when I was 18. So a short answer to your question, yes I was sad but I soon got over it!
Q.259. Is it true that the Black and White tudor houses are wrong?
The Black and White trail in Herefordshire, the Black and White mock Tudor modern buildings are all wrong! Black and white Tudor houses are not the correct colour; they are a Victorian folly, a mistake of Technology. Brash statement you may think, how can all those Black and white houses up and down the country be wrong, you may scorn. But alas it is perfectly true.
Tudors built their houses to last, they used the best hardwoods they could find locally, Oak, Wyche Elm etc, the tress that could withstand the British climate and carry enormous loads, and then they let them breath. Okay the wood will eventually loose its pigments and turn into a drab grey colour but the wood will last for many centuries because it is drying out after it gets wet. The Tudors even designed their overhanging upper floors, the jetty, with the correct angle of water drip in the wind; it’s called the Eaves drop, now just draw a line from the roof edge to the end of the wood near the ground and the corner of the Jetty will just touch the line. So why would they seal the outside of the timber and let the inside dampness rot the wood? Well they wouldn’t and they didn’t.
Now we have it, the Victorians made a cumbersome mistake of painting all those beautiful half Timbered houses with Tar, thinking the tar would seal and protect whilst instead it sealed and rotted. Why did they do it?
Victoriana was the age of the Industrial Revolution, steel the culprit here. Making steel for the mass use of the builders and Engineers was changed to use Coal instead of the finer Charcoal. Coal is good if there is no Tar present, so they cooked the coal in closed ovens and melted out the tar leaving behind the husks of the coal which is called coke. What do they do with all that scrap tar? I know let’s dip all the railways sleepers and paint all those ancient wooden houses, it’ll save us a lot of money in maintenance!
However, the Tar was the most precious of the elements in the coal, if they had studied the tar more closely as Madam Curie did, they would have found many new elements, and even Nylon and more to the point in this dirty era, coal tar soap. The irony of it was that madam Curies may have studied tar a bit too closely as she died of leukaemia from her discovery of radium in the tar.
So what colour should a Tudor half timbered house be? Well grey wood and cream wattle and daube. Go to Dorset there’s plenty of untouched houses there, maybe the Industrial Revolution never got there!
Footnote: How did they cut those trees in half to form the meaning of Half-timbering?
They laid the tree over two stumps, splitting it at the thick end; two men used an 8 foot long saw called a Dog, because it had straight dog teeth for cutting along a grain. The man at the top was called the Top dog, whilst the man at the bottom who got covered with sawdust was called the Underdog.
Q.260. What are the meanings of the symbols on Coats of Arms?
How much time have you got? I suggest a really good book for beginners:
Basic Heraldry2 by Stephen Friar and John Ferguson ISBN 0-7136-5119-9
Easy to follow and a good read.
Here's a quick answer on a single picture I have produced.
I got some good information from a maker of shields, he told me that if you stood where the Knight stood then that's the front, so the left is the left and the right is the right.
Q. 262. Hi Henry,
What problems did Henry VIII encounter in his quest for divorce?
Need to understand the politics of the time. Katerina De Aragon, my Queen, was the Aunt of Charles the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and he was in charge of the Pope’s actions.
Now divorcing/Annulling a Queen makes her revert to her old status that of widow to an English Prince, Prince Arthur Tudor. It also makes her children illegitimate which would demote the princess Mary down to plain Lady Mary. Pressure from Spain and Charles stopped the Pope granting me a Divorce from Katerina so I could marry my sweetheart Ann Bollin (Boleyn). This forced me to consider alternative directions for the Church.
Before the plight of the Pope is considered, remember he was a Borga and a ruthless man himself, Emperor Charles was also a very cruel ruthless man too, so having them as allies was not a good idea. The Roman Catholic Church had been robbing our people ever since the great plague had wiped out 60% of the priests. Re-manning with nobles sons, the Pope put ruthless, money grabbing men in charge of our religion and we suffered at their hands whilst they got rich. After all why should a family of peasants pay money for a priest to pray for them in a language they could not understand, Latin?
The Reforming of the Catholic Church was to take away the rule of the Papist and put our own country in charge of our own religion. Still a Catholic church until Thomas Seymour ran the country whilst his ward, Prince Edward became of age, when he changed it into a Protestant Church.
Resistance to the reformation from Monasteries was squashed, only monasteries earning more than £60,000 in today’s money were taken over, Nobles whose sons were priests were resistant and so were Roman Catholic families, usually from the Plantagenet line.
I sent Thomas Cranmer around the universities and churches of Europe to convince them of the need to take charge of the papist control, the rise of Lutherans and Protestants helped to get it understood more.
After the change in the church I annulled my marriage to Katerina on the legal grounds that no man should marry his brother’s widow, Mary became Lady Mary and Spain began hostilities as they took it as a slight on their people to demote the daughter of a Spanish Princess. Mary eventually married the King of Spain and under the laws of inheritance and marriage assumed England was his for the taking, Spain tried but failed with the Armada to take over the country they thought they owned.
Q.263. Are there any Tudor Stables still in use today?
Yes but not for feeding horses!
Q.264. Quite a complicated question and answer from a student in Sapin, so as always never one to give in here's my opinionated reply.
Hello, I am a student from Spain and I have to do an essay about: "the importance of the Tudor Dynasty in Britain", I would like you as an English person and knowing many things about it than me, send me something about that. It is like an article basing your opinion, why do you think the Tudor Dynasty is important and how it has affected Britain? Thank you very much indeed. Please speak as you as you could. My name is Pilar and I am studying a subject at the college called "History and Culture of United Kingdom", thank you very much again.
Ah! Spain, I like Spain.
First of all Pilar you must put England into perspective, the Tudors were inevitable in a country so badly ruled before them. I think the problem started with the great plague in the late 1300’s when 40% of the people died and 60% of the Roman Catholic priests died because of close proximity to each other. Up to then the English feudal system appeared to be working, where all people had work to do and a living could be made by the lowest skilled person, the Monasteries provided medicine and education for many but the lowest, they did however look after the poor very well. When these skilled practitioners of faith and care died leaving behind a void, the Pope ordered replacement priest from the stock of Nobles sons who were not to inherit, that is the second and third sons. They saw the priesthood as a way to make a lot of money and provide a cushion for them to live off. This changed the Roman Catholic Church dramatically, the shortage of labour and the resistance to the payment to the church forced the Church to make people pay go to heaven. This misuse of power caused much resentment to the Church, though the Nobles liked it and so did the Monarchy, as it kept them in power and the people under control. The accession of the Plantagenet line was badly interrupted by Richard Plantagenet who abducted the rightful Princes, his nephews, and put them into the Tower of London from where they were never seen again.
Henry Tudor, the son of Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor was an outsider who had a flimsy connection to the throne by way of Owen Tudor’s affair with the Plantagenet Queen, their son Edmund became their link.
The Northern war of the Roses had split the country into the two halves of Lancaster and York, and it was the thought that Richard III would kill the next in line, Elizabeth Plantagenet that made the Yorkist's look towards their enemy, the Lancaster's for help. Margaret Beaufort brought the two warring factions together to help get rid of Richard. Henry Tudor and French mercenaries led the ranks of the Yorkist's and Lancaster’s to defeat Richard III at Bosworth field to become the first Tudor King, Henry VII. The two Princes in the Tower were dead, Henry married Elizabeth of York and the new dynasty began.
How the Tudor effected Britain is quite awe inspiring, firstly the Feudal system ended and people worked for wages, Henry used clever people in his court and not necessarily from the nobility as was previously done, anybody could rise in status with hard work and intelligence. Henry took a bankrupt nation from wars and badly run exchequers and created a wealthy nation. He and Elizabeth had children, joining Scotland and Spain by way of arranged marriages with Margaret Tudor and Arthur Tudor.
Henry VII helped finance the exploration of America and the development of the printing press as well as the development of using cast iron for cannons instead of bronze thus decreasing their cost and increasing their accuracy. The deaths of Arthur, Elizabeth and then Henry himself brought in the next son in line, King Henry VIII.
King Henry VIII, flamboyant, clever, strong and tall, an athlete was seen as the most perfect King we have ever had, even foreign ambassadors reported that King Henry is a most perfect King and his people love him. When Henry Married Arthur’s widow Katerina de Aragon from Spain the alliance was kept intack. The main problem now was the production of a male heir to the throne and as you know this caused much in the way of wife changes and the dissolution of the now chaotic Roman Catholic faith. The Pope with Charles the Emperor of Rome was bringing the Church down by their misuse of power and the total ignorance of the plight of the common people. Throughout Europe there was a movement for change, a Protesting movement, started by Martin Luther but basically he was speaking out what the people were thinking.
Henry knew this was a good time for change as well as granting his own divorce from his now embittered wife; he created the Church of England, still Catholic but not Roman Catholic. This change split the Church into two halves, eventually the protestant faith merged into it and it spread into Anglican, puritan religions.
King Henry knew he would be attacked by orders from the Pope and the Empire of Rome’s allies, France, Spain, and Portugal and so he built his Navy from forests all over England. He had inherited only 7 ships from Henry VII all manned by mercenaries, so he built it up to 53 ships and 8,000 sailors in a real Navy. He built 26 forts and castles along the south coast of England from the monastery stones, both of these developments saved England many times from invasion.
When Henry VIII died in 1547, Edward his son was too young to take the throne and so was looked after by his Uncle Thomas Seymour, it was Seymour who led the country until Edward was old enough. Seymour brought in the protestant faith changing the Church of England from Catholic, now this change was to prove the biggest cause of friction within the country. Catholicism versus Protestantism reared its ugly head and factions began to hate each other. When Mary Tudor became the next monarch after Edward she tried to reverse the change back to catholic and more deaths were caused. Her marriage to the King of Spain was seen as a woman marrying away the country to a foreign King and the people would not accept this. However when Queen Elizabeth I acceded Mary to the throne she brought the two factions together and her rule was a steadying factor in the countries history.
The fortifications and the Navy were used to full advantage when the Spanish King wanted his country by marriage back; his Armada was defeated by a combination of treacherous weather, bad judgements and clever techniques by the nimble English fleet. The end of the Tudor line came at the death of the unmarried Elizabeth whom had not wanted to marry away her country again like her sister had before her. Her second cousin’s son King James VI of Scotland was invited down to London to become King James I, the first of the Stuart line, a protestant with more religious problems ahead.
I don't often print the kind of replies I get from my answers, but here is Pilar's
Thanks for all information you have provided to me, it will be really helpful for my essay!!!!!!!!!!!! You should be a professor of English history as you have explained to me the tudor dynasty better than my own teacher in the faculty!! Thank you very much again!!!!!! This is one of the worderful things why internet is a brilliant tool. Have a nice day!!. Pilar, Spain
Q.265 What where the names of your brothers and sisters?
Life and death are very flimsy and history tells us that neither should be far apart.
Arthur born in 1486
Margaret born in 1489
Me Born in 1491
Elizabeth Born 1492, but died young in 1495
Mary my favourite, Born 1495, just before the death of Elizabeth.
Edmund Born 1488 but died only months later in 1500
And my poor mother Elizabeth of York died in 1503 giving birth to a sister, Catherine who also died.
A trail of death brought about by bad medicine, food and conditions. To be repeated with my marriage to Katerina de Aragon.
Q.266. Hi Henry Tudor
When I go into large cathedrals or castles and see those thick stone columns holding the roof up, I am overcome with wonder. Are they great big stones sat on top of each other; can they really be that thick? I realise this is a hard question for you to answer, so I hope you can put my mind at rest.
Stone was used from the local areas. Just look at the red sandstone of Kenilworth Castle and how it is being eroded, then see the Granite of Cornwall. The builders used what was available and manageable. I have found a lovely picture amongst my collection which shows the cross-section of one of the thicker Columns you mentioned. Don’t take it that all columns were made this way, but it depended on what was there and how many men were doing it, as well as how much cost it was. The picture shows the column made by fabricating a shell, a hollow stone tube which was then filled with rubble. The Picture was taken in the ruins of Whalley Abbey in Lancashire’s Ribble valley.
Here's Kenilworth stone
Hollow Columns filled in with rubble
However, we in the 21st century value our Historical artifacts, whilst I'm afraid our ancestors did not.
Hope this answers your query.
Q.267. Hi Henry
I came with my parents to your talk last week and was interested in the way the bread was steamed, you called it a trencher as it was cut in half and dug out to make a plate for the workers. Is a Trencher still a plate?
Yep! A trencher today in 2007 is the silver plate in the middle of the table. But it has more history than such a leap. The bread trencher became a wooden plate, again dug out to hold food that was sloppy, but it also was shaped square. A square plate was taken from ships, as they resisted movement in stormy seas. The square trencher was given to visitors to Halls so they could eat off their laps, a space for a cup as well as the food. This became known as a “Square meal”.
Q.268. Hi Henry,
Just how accurate was a cannon firing a ball?
The material of the cannon, the method of producing the bore, the length of the bore in relation to the diameter, the quality of the ball to be fired, and finally the skill of the operator all had significant effect on how far and where the ball went.
Here are a couple of pictures to show you the technology.
Just what are all the small holes in castle walls, they are the ones which are in a straight row but inside the walls?
Just pictures wooden beams coming out of them and a floor placed on the beams. The wooden beams will have rotted and so leaving the holes.
I’ve created this picture for you which shows the holes as they were intended to be used.
Just how tall could a castle be built?
Depends on the type of foundations you had, stone available, why you needed to go high, and how much money you had to build it. The crushing strength of stone is quite high but does have its limits, compression failure would be seen by a 45 degree fault line in the break in brittle materials such as stone. I think the tallest Stone Castle is Bolton Castle, I could be wrong so if anybody out there has seen a taller one let me know.
Q. 271. Hi Henry
How did they make sure a person was safe to be let into a castle? And did they have a way of making them go away?
A very valid question. I have already answered the one regarding Murder Holes and their method of stopping invading armies. But as you rightly ask, what about normal traders trying to sell goods, but who are not yet trusted by the castle owners to be let fully into their haven. And what about making sure the visitor pays money before they are allowed out? That is a real teaser. But alas I have found the answer, sophisticated castle designs had holding spaces in between a double acting portcullis, I have found this picture which shows how it works.
Q.272. Hi Henry
If honey was the only sweetener, how did they make enough for everyone?
Honey was not the only sweetener, we had Sugar beet but is was very expensive and so only for the rich. Fruit juice was also used to sweeten food and make sweet drinks. Honey was virtually mass produced for the masses, they even had double-storey hives! See this picture. Then of course remember in my day there was only 5 million inhabitants not the 60 million of 2007.
Q.273. Hi Henry VIII
Your father King Henry VII was considered a miser. Where does the name Miser come from because I think my father is one too!
I’m sure your father cannot not be as tight at my father was.
Obviously it is associated with the word Miserable but don’t just accept that as the definitive answer. Miserable people were either not very happy or had a horrible life and so they were helped with Mercy. The church of the Papal Catholics charged people money to pray but they gave free pews to poor miserable people. These seats were backless benches and were very close to each other to get more into a smaller space, they were Tightly arranged. So there you have it, Miser, Miserable, Mercy and Tight. The seats were called Misericords ot “mercy seats”. Sometimes tight fisted people with reasonable wealth, would use the seats so as not to pay their money to the church.
Q.274. I have heard that Henry used the colours and styles of clothing to show a
Person’s social standing. How?
It’s all about the cost and availability and a chemical called Alum Flour.
A fixing agent for colours in cloth.
First of all, Yellow was the mourning colour, not black. So if you see some renaissance re-enactor wearing yellow tell 'em.
Black, Pure white, Blue and Red were very difficult to make and mix and their ability to stay in the dyed cloth was nearly impossible. Hence the need for a chemical. This fixer was Aluminium Sulphate. Only the rich could afford the chemical fixer and so coloured cloth was seen as a preserve of the rich. Mixing the two hardest colours to fix and make, would be mixing red and blue and so the colour Purple was only for the Royals. Even though the family colours of the Tudors were Green and White, the green was the most used colour amongst the commoners, Henry even saw this as his proof he was a man of the people.
With an affluent society colours began to spread amongst the rich end of the people and so a law was passed to make sure certain colours were only for a person of status.
Laws called- Acts of Apparel -were passed to regulate what clothes and materials
Different classes could wear.
Only the King, the Queen and their children could wear that special of all cloth, “cloth of gold” which was silk interwoven with real gold strands and was recycled with fashion changes, the colour of purple was reserved for the first family. Henry VIII was the most splendidly dressed person at court, he was always clean and he changed his clothing three times per day and every three days the clothes were disassembled parts being re-used the rest burnt. His clothes were made from the richest fabrics such as silk brocades, taffeta, satin and velvet. The fur along the top of the outer coat was to keep Lice off his body as well as enhancing his physique. His shirts were of the finest quality embroidered linen. Padding enhanced the impression of strength and virility and these were captured in paintings which depicted a leader of strength and character. Velvet, silk and the finest linen were the favourite fabrics of the lords and ladies. Deep colours including black were expensive as it was difficult to obtain the dyes. The dress of lower ranking gentry was generally made of more ordinary fabrics like wool and had fewer decorations. Servants of all ranks wore clothes called livery, rather like uniforms, the colour and design of which depended on both the status of their master and their particular role within his household. At Hampton Court, the Yeomen of the Guard and other servants in the State Apartments wore red clothes decorated with the king’s insignia, ‘H R’, in gold. Ground floor servants like the kitchen staff wore less fashionable green clothes as a livery.
Thanks to Hampton Court for some of the above details.
Q.275. What were the significance of grave stone markings?
See this clever website title: Tomb with a view
Q.276. I listened to your talk two weeks ago at Samlesbury Hall and was interested in the central open fire in the hall. Do you have any pictures of what it would have looked like?
The Fire was on a stone plynth so it would not burn the floor, a metal cradle was across the stone to carry a kettle and hold the fire in place. Logs were stacked into the centre. The fire was then surrounded by worought iron fixtures for holding the meat which was rotated to cook on all sides, "done to a turn". A wooden canopy was over the fire and was pasted inside with wet cow muck to stop it burning, this was then used to start the fire in the morning after.
Q.277. What kind of weaponry would a Knight have and roughly how much would it cost?
So expensive they would never ride alone, it was akin to riding with a pot of gold.
The suit of armour would easily be the amount of one years pay of the middle class say about £40,000, then main sword with engraving another £10,000, the rest another £20,000. So a run of the mill Knight, say Dave, it would cost him about £70,000 before he puts anything on his horse to protect it!
By the way, "Run of the Mill" means mass produced and the majority has them.
Q.278. Hi Henry.
Is it true that in Tudor times Animal baiting was a sport to watch in the City?
Sore point I’m afraid! It is true that we had an arena for Bull and Bear Baiting, not specifically a Tudor invention but to our discredit we went along with it and should have banned it. But! Remember the times, Hunting was how food was found and it was a sport of the Kings, no PC then! The Spanish Bull bait to this day but they call it Bull Fighting.
See this map I have, in Southwark there was an arena as big as my Westminster Palace.
Q.279. Hi Henry Tudor
What types of vegetables did Tudors eat? Is it true that there was a vegetable named after you?
Upper classes avoided eating vegetables, especially those grown under the soil, they were seen as only fit for the poor, so a high protein diet was what gave the upper class illnesses such as mild forms of scurvy because they ate little fruit. A lack of vitamin A, found in green vegetables milk, butter and eggs, led to painful bladder and kidney problems later in life giving then chronic back-ache. Even today the cure for a Kidney ache is to drink lots of vitamin A and C usually in cranberry juice. But the rich saw these ailments as an indicator of status, they even put white lead powder on their faces to look like they hadn’t been in the sun like the poor.
Yeomen grew vegetables for the market which included leeks, garlic, peas, parsnips, skirrets (like parsnips), collards and kale (types of cabbage), lentils, turnips, broad beans, onions, spinach, carrots, beets, artichokes (Jerusalem), radishes, asparagus.
Yes I believe that the poor did use my name for one of their vegetables, but not in vain. “Good King Henry” (a summer savoury vegetable like spinach with a peppery flavour), sought after and relatively expensive when in season. Remember all vegetable were eaten according to the season they grew in.
Q.280. Hi Henry
Is it True that the Tudors steamed some of their food?
Of course! Steaming food has been done since BC was in the date.
Bread, Puddings, Suet pies all were steamed, some vegetables were also steamed for use when cold.
Food production was a status in itself, from the raw fire to the "genteelness" of the steamer.
Status symbols come in various shapes and sizes, it could be the position of the swirls in the glass quarries in your Tudor window, the smaller more coarse ones indicating you are Middle glass, class. The smoother, more clear pieces from the outer rim of the spinning process would be thro the higher glass, class. It could be that you sleep at the Solar end of the hall whilst the servants have to sleep at the darker Service end.
You may be a Manor house with your own fish farm for Friday meals, but if the pond goes around your house like a shallow moat you are setting yourself up to be Remote from your more common neighbours. Eating off a plate and not your bread, sleeping in a four poster bed with its own roof to protect you from animals in your thatched roof, sleeping off the floor. All these are signs of class status. Back to the bread.
The loaf was called a Trencher, it was cooked not baked to keep it white, another status symbol. The bottom half was burnt to seal it on a hot plate over a fire, the loaf was then placed into a steamer cabinet as shown below.
The bottom was filled with red hot stones from the overnight hall fire, the loafs on the next open shelf. A wooden pole was inserted across the cabinet from opposing holes in the sides, a wet muslin cloth placed over the pole to form a tent. The wetness of the cloth could have been with onion water to give a hint of the flavour into the bread. The bread was then steamed for two hours. Long loaves were placed above the trenchers between rotating spindles. (A bread Roll!).
The servants and workers eat off their bottom have and dug out the soft bread for their stew, thus trenching the bread. The nobles eat the top half which was pure white and soft, because they were the upper crust.
Now about pies: The Clanger was steamed in a cabinet like this one. The pie was filled with meat and vegetables and then the sweet pudding. Carried on the shoulder in a cloth wrap the clanger was very hot and contained all your food needs for a day in the fields. Drop it and you lost your entire days food, you dropped a Clanger.
Q.281. Hi Henry.
I was recently watching a bio about your life. They read a few love letters you had written to Anne Boleyn. In this letters you signed your name as Henry Rex. I thought your surname was Tudor? What does the Rex mean exactly?
All English Royals use the letter R
Queen Elizabeth I signed herself ElizabethR
Even our present Queen Elizabeth II uses R too!
For a man R equals Rex which in Latin means King
For a woman R equals Regina in Latin means Queen
My surname is Tudor which means Theodore in old Welsh. Theodore means
House of Iron.
Q.282 Hi Henry! From Sassy
I have yet another question for you...haha! I was wondering if you have ever seen the Showtime drama 'The Tudors'? If you HAVE you will have noticed some discrepancies on this show. For instance, the show claims that Princess MARGARET marries Charles Brandon after she is sent to PORTUGAL to marry the king there. In this episode she actually suffocates the old man with a pillow. Charles Brandon brings her back to England, during which they have an affair. Afterwards of course they marry, and you banish them from court.
The other thing I noticed is that an outbreak of 'the sweating sickness' happens. To remedy this, a physician uses some sort of tool with a sharp point, he uses a small hammer and actually makes a hole in the man's back that has this sickness, claiming that it will remedy him. The man dies of course.
Also, the Anne Boleyn on the show is actually a very pretty girl. Most things I have read and paintings I've seen of Anne portray her as a somewhat plain looking woman. Needless to say, I am disappointed by the things that are wrong on this show. What's your take on all of this? You may use this question on the site if you wish.
What absolute rubbish, had I Known that they had made such a fool out of our history I would not have agreed for them to link to my pages, and my dear Henry is about to sack them.
Princess Mary Tudor, my young sister whom I adore and so does all of England was my ward of court and so I decide to whom she marries. She of course wants to marry some fellow she loves but will not tell me the scoundrel’s name. I negotiated with her to marry the ailing King Louis of France and she abides by this decision. Alas the dying King finally pops his Royal clogs and so I send my best friend Charles Brandon to fetch her back as I have already fixed a new husband for her, with a £2M dowry to be paid to me.
Then scoundrel turned out to be Charles Brandon himself and with the aiding of the new King of France just to annoy me, they got married in Paris. I was very angry with them for disobeying my orders and so fined them £2M for their act of love for each other. I then made them the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk so they could pay off the fine.
Sweating sickness was a from of flu, probably brought in by merchants from foreign lands and we did not have the resistance to fight off the disease.
Ann Boleyn was a boyish looking girl with a thin body and long slender neck, her hair always tied at the back. In today’s talk you could call her Olive Oil!
Do not watch The Tudors and believe what you are seeing it is crass Hollywood lying in the script to make it more Americanised.
An angry Henry
Q.283. Hi Henry, from Peder
I have been watching Showtime's "The Tudors" and enjoy it very much. But I was wondering if they made a mistake by not having the men's hairstyles
A little longer in length. They look like men's hairstyles of today, pretty short. The only one who has a longer hairstyle is the court musician. And most pictures of Henry show him wearing a hat, so it's hard to tell how long his hair was. Thank you. I have been reading your answers to questions on Henry and his court and find it very interesting.
Hello Peder: First of all I must say this statement:
Factual The Tudors are definitely not. To the extent that I have demanded they take my link off their website.
In the 1500's England was in the middle of a mini ice age, with temperatures well below freezing in winter, Henry and Ann walked across a frozen Thames to the applause of the crowds lining London Bridge. When summer came, the freeze disappeared only for a short time and the insect population burst on the people. Insects were responsible for spreading the plague so Henry demanded that all men should shave their heads and wear hats to keep them cleaner. Women were asked to wear their hair in tight bunches at the back and wear a hat also. The court was instructed to wash their hats regularly to keep head lice away. Fur was worn around collars to attract lice off ones body and a piece of fur was placed under the pillar at night to keep live off your head.
Long live shampoo!
Q.284. From Maureen in Las Vegas
Just where was Jane Seymour born?
She was Born at Wulfhall 1509/10, in Savernake Forest, near Burbage, Wiltshire
Means a corner of land with wolves in Severn Acre forest.
The websites below will take you to these appropriate pages for detailed
The name of Seymour:
Although the area now takes the name of the famous family from Wolfhall,
the original name - Suthmere - means South Pond, i.e. the pond at the
south of the village. Although the area now seems to be an natural
extension of the High Street, this only became so in the 20th century.
Prior to that there were only about a dozen scattered cottages.
Street names from the Tudors in Burbage.
Henrys Garth Named in honour of the fact that Henry VIII's entourage
camped in Burbage when their master visited the Seymours at Wolfhall
Seymour Court Named after the Seymour family who not only lived at
Wolfhall but also produced an English monarch.
Q.285. Was there a political reason as well as the need for a divorce, to get rid of the Roman Catholic Church from England?
The Roman Catholic Church for two centuries before had been overrun by money grabbing second sons of the nobility when the church had lost 60% of its priests died to the plague. The new priests saw the church as a money making scheme and charged the common people to pray for them, would not allow English to be spoken in mass and treated the poor badly even calling them lazy scoundrels. This misuse of power went right to the top of the church as the Pope of the day were the infamous Borga's, power hungry, cruel leaders with lots of influence over European countries.
The Pope and the Emperor of Holy Roman Empire, Charles, was Katherine’s nephew and so would not allow their Aunt the humiliation of a divorce.
Henry decided to try asking, bringing over a cardinal to try the case in his court but expected to loose, which he did. He then disbanded the Roman Church and set up his own Church of England, Catholic still. He brought in English bibles and did not charge the people to pray. There was little resistance from the common people, only the nobility with priests in their families resisted.
The monasteries were ransacked for stone and land, many a stone was taken by the people to build better houses, but lots more were taken to build the 27 fortresses along the South coast of England which were a prime defence in later years against French and Spanish invasions. I have travelled all over England and am surprised nobody has noticed the better made houses nearer the remains of destroyed Monasteries, maybe I’m biaised!
Without this reforming of the Roman Catholic Church in England we would not have the Anglican and the Church of England. The Protestant faith started in Germany as Lutherism and Thomas Seymour brought it to England when he was protector of the young King Edward VI.
Now add all this above to the man with a huge ego, who would not tolerate other people letting him what to do, especially foreigners, and this King would have reformed the Church divorce or not!
Q.286. Hi Henry
Just how difficult was it to travel in Tudor times and how did this effect history?
I difficult question, but an easy answer. Because of the lack of good roads, a mini-Ice age and the problem of accommodation, one could only travel on average 15 miles per day. Horses needed to be looked after, food needed to be carried and encampments needed to be erected too, so the 15 miles is not really accurate too. King Henry and his party of 200 would travel one or two days, then rest one or tow days until they got to their destination. It could take weeks for a trip that we could do in a single day nowadays with our cars and motorways. I have drawn circles over a Tudor map of England; each circle represents a single day’s travel without, bad weather or terrain. So you can see why the Tudors never went to the extremities of their country.
This reason came up recently when we were discussing Tudor Music and Dance. The only way to take music and dance to the people was by way of performers who had learnt them by watching other performers in the Palaces. These travelling performers would forget, change and alter the dances to suit the circumstances of the venue. For an instance, a column dance in a great hall at Hampton Court could not be undertaken in a small hall in Lancashire, so it was altered to fit. Words of song were not written down because they could not write, the memory changed some lyrics and tunes. Now consider this proposal: Because of the travel problem there is no such thing as a Tudor Dance for all of England, there were Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern versions and the further you travelled away from London the more pronounced the changes.
Q.287.Hi Henry Tudor
I do agree with you about Historical facts being bent a little because of the lack of instant communications, it is interesting to consider the effect on the music and lyrics this would have had. Do you have any pictures showing Tudor travelling players who would go around the big manors entertaining the people?
I do have some great pictorial recordings of professional players in castles here is a compilation of some of my favourites.
Q.288. Hi Henry
What were the significant items on your Father’s Coat of Arms?
Q.289. Hi King Henry
Firstly I would like to say your website is wonderful, it made me visit Hampton Court whilst in England on vacation. I do however have a question to ask your good self. What kind of Clock is it in the outer courtyard of Hampton Court, it baffles me!
J. Mellor, New York.
The Clock is very interesting, powered by a weight on a rope, it depicts time, month, day, season, moon, and sun as well as star signs, trouble is the maker thought the Sun went round the Earth!
Q.290. Just how much Padding did King Henry VIII wear to make him look so strong?
Q.291. Hi Henry
How did all the deaths of your children affect your life?
At last a questioner whom can see the real Henry VIII in the factual deposits of History books.
I must talk firstly about life expectancy in Tudor times. An average lifespan of 40 years with a child mortality rate of 50% made one glad to wake up in the morning. Trouble is with my first wife, Katalina De Aragon, we had six babies and only one survived into adulthood. 16% survival rate! Their recording by authors have been brutally short. b. d. Born and then died is all they were worth to these history buffs with no heart. They have missed the point, they should have written b. d. c. Born Died Cried! You read about my callous way of finding new women in my life, yet with such dreadful statistics do you not think I must have been searching for happiness, for children who would live and for women who could give birth to healthy children! Of course my Elizabethan critics will conjure up some gothic excuse and formulate my reputation for propaganda purposes to make me a scoundrel and womaniser but how many out there would not have wondered if some evil force was killing off my family.
Five dead children from Katalina, one from Ann and a dead wife with the birth of Edward, an early death of my prodigy Henry Fitzroy and you have the making of my life personality mould which changed me from that happy, debonair, fair King into a sad, vengeful tyrant often depicted by my enemies within.
Q.292. What were the Toilets really like in old castles?
Gruesome is a short but accurate answer. Here is a picture which shows you what I mean!
Q.293. How much money did you get from the sale of monstery lands?
There is even a twist in the tail of this episode.
Q.294. What was the Battle of the Spurs realy like?
Propaganda really with a nasty ending, my biggest mistake was having Emporer Maximilian in on the action.
Q.295. Can you show me round one of your Southern coast Fortresses?
I will try.
Q.296.Is it true that you conned Thomas Wolsey out of Hampton Court Palace
I may have taken advantage of one man’s fear to acquire this Palace, even though I did swap it for a London house. However Wolsey did cheapen the build with his attempt to save money, he actually painted the patterns in the brick walls instead of using a more expensive coloured brick. Here are some of my pictures of Hampton Court in a huge collage.
Q.297. Why do roof tiles go smaller to the top?
If you go around looking up all the time you will walk into a tree!
Q.298. What is the significance of having three Lions on the Royal Coat of Arms?
When Richard I came to the throne, so too did his personal coat of arms. The 'three lions passant guardant in pale' appeared in gold on a red background. Before this point, only two golden lions had adorned a red crest, following the Norman Conquest of 1066 (the House of Normandy). Then following the succession of King Henry II (the House of Plantagenet) in 1158, it became one golden lion. King Richard simply brought together the lions of Normandy and Plantagenet, and created the new Three Lions.
Q.299. Hi Henry, do you know the origin of the term's “Filthy rich? And “Calling the Shots.”
Yes! Again it’s those blaggard priests who repopulated the monasteries after the black death wiped out 60%, they became rich by using the Church as their personal money making machine. William Tindale who was against the old Papal system before I was, wrote in 1526, “Teachinge Thinges which they ought not, because of filthy lucre” he meant they were using the Church for dishonourable gain.
Calling the shots means being in charge, it came from being in charge of the army’s gunnery and shouting “Fire” to send off a round of cannon balls at the enemy. Some today believe it was from playing pool or snooker, but it is much older than that.
Q.300. Hi Henry, do you have an easy way to show all the Kings and Queens of England and their houses?
Try this picture.
Q.301. Hi Henry. Who was Audrey Tudor?
By Henry Tudor
Royals have flings, girlfriends and boyfriends, it is the way of the world, no tutting, just look at your own society before you cast any criticism this way. In had many children on my lifetime, fourteen to be exact. Not all with one of my wives and the others were not all with noble women either. Now the truth be known, I did have a daughter called Audrey, actually her full name was Ethelreda Tudor and she was born about 1525 whilst I was still married to my first wife Katerina. Audrey’s mother was a Royal laundress and a fine looking woman I must say, she took away the anguish of those poor late children of mine unable to survive in this cruel world.
Audrey’s mother was called Joan Dyngley and we married her off to a man called Dobson, yet we did the best we could to give Audrey a better background by persuading my actual tailor, a John Malte to announce that he was the father. It was not a great snub to be illegitimate to a wealthy man. Audrey took the name of Malte and eventually married a knight called Sir John Harrington in the year of my passing 1547, they had lands bequeathed by my will. Audrey died about 1558 and her now wealthy husband remarried in 1559, he died in 1582, and was buried on 15 Mar 1583 in St. Gregory's,London.
In 1546 I, Henry VIII granted Katherine’s Court and the attached Manor to John Malte, my Tailor. The deed also mentions Etheldreda, Maltes ‘bastard’ daughter by a certain Joan Dyngley.
The gift included the manor of Kelston on the west side of Bath and the 400 Ewe Flock of Chermadon’. There was speculation as to why such a generous gift was made to my tailor and, more specifically, to his daughter who was specifically named in the deed. Women were rarely identified as the owners of property at this time
On John Malte’s death, Ethelreda inherited a fortune. She married John Harrington, an official at my Court, in 1548. She died 3 years later and John inherited her fortune and both Manors. On the accession of Queen Mary I, in 1553 he had been imprisoned in the Tower for a short while with the young Princess Elizabeth. Following Elizabeth’s accession to the throne he married Isabella Markham, one of her ladies-in-waiting. In 1561 their son John was born and the Queen became his godmother. In c1567 John Harrington built Kelston manor but died intestate a year later, leaving his son John to inherit both manors.
And that was Audrey!
Q.302. Hi Henry. I keep on reading about your progresses, just what were they and do you have any pictures to explain them?
By Henry Tudor
The term to progress came from the way I toured England, it was obviously a holiday but also it was to let the people see me. The tour was mainly to go hunting and hawking in fresh surroundings especially when the sign of the plague was getting close to London. I have produced a picture detailing the progress of 1526, I realise that it does not seem to be a great distance from the centre of London but remember we were on horseback and the roads virtually impossible to ride on. But also consider that my hosts at each place of call, paid for all my accommodation cost which were enormous, hehehe.
Q.303. Hi Henry. Are there any modern fixings to the old Castles which spoil the look?
I'm not sure they would agree that they spoil the actual overall looks, but modern fixings may have been fitted to stop erosion or water damage. Here is a picture I have made of Sizewell Castle in which I have high-lighted the modern features.
And yes! Ivy wuld not have been allowed to grow up a Tudor house or castle due to its reputation for poison and being associated with witchcraft.
The main addition for old castles would be for the safety of the visiting public, imagine falling down a spiralled stone staircase just because it was old looking. Here is a picture of the modern stair rail fitted to Middleham Castle, Richard III's old haunt, they blend into the view well enough I think.
Q.304. It's me again. thanks for the quick answer to 303. Do you notice all changes in houses?
Not all, as it depends if I am looking for any. However I do study actual pictures to see if some changes were taking place even in Tudor times. Here is a picture which seems typically tudor, but study it closely and you will see that even these people have had the builders in. I suspect the room was halved to create two living rooms and the door inserted into a corner, the Bay added later and there was orignially a stone floor. Now that's being a real old Sherlock.
Q.305. Hi Henry. I read in your website about the Rood length of the sanctuary behind the Rood screen. What is a rood stair and what other words come from the word Rood?
Hey! I need to sleep as well and such heavy details keep me awake. First of all the whole thing started with a prodding stick which was used to encourage the cattle to move and was a method of steering them, in fact the name steer came from this as the way a herd was turned. The rod became the standard rood length of 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet. This Rod gave rise to the name Goad, they shout Go go go to the cattle to make them move, which the farmers called their rods so the cattle were goaded to turn! Four Rod lengths were the measure of the width of an acre where its length was a furlong length, the length of a standard furrow! The cattle plus the plough would be one Rood long and a rood length by a rood width was called a perch or the smallest place the cattle could stop and rest or to turn the rig around. A perch was also used for the measurement of dry stone walling, it was one Rood in length, by I foot thick by 1.5 feet tall and this was used to pay the builder for his work done. A bird sits on the wall and so it is sitting on its perch. The Rood stair is the way up to the Rood loft where the lord of the manor watched a religious service away from the commoners downstairs. So to summarize:
One Rood equals 16.5 feet it is also a Rod or a Pole or the length of a Perch.
A furlong is the length of a furrow and if it is four Roods wide it is an acre.
An area Perch is one rood square and is the minimum area at each end of a furrow to turn the cattle drawn plough.
A volumetric Perch is the measure of a dry wall and is where birds sit.
The Rood stair is the way up the nobility ladder to view the service.
I remember reading somewhere about the lightning rood. Not a joke! It was a lead covered rod on the ends of the roof to save the building in an electric storm, except they believed it was to stop witches landing with their broomsticks on your roof. Oh yea! Yes! Then it was known as a finial. If you only knew how hard that answer was to put together and how many websites, books I had to search through. That’s it I’m off to bed.
Q.306. Did the Tudors have vinegar?
Of course they did because they had wine and vinegar means “sour wine”. It was used in cooking for sauce but it was also used for a very strange purpose too. The people believed wrongly that Bubonic Plague could be spread from people to people but it couldn’t as the method was by insect infection. They would put out aromatic vinegar to keep the flies away and “clean the air”. Thieves found out that they were safe in these houses of the sick and would rob them, the vinegar became known as Thieves Vinegar. They would sprinkle it in the house they were robbing to make sure by encasing the house in a protective atmosphere before they robbed it. This was casing the house before robbing it.
Q.307. Hi Henry. We I the US call the toilet for men, “the John”. Where do we get this from?
Have I got to answer all the daftest questions in the world? Wait! You are actually correct sir, the wording of John does have a historical meaning.
In Tudor England a privy (private place) was first referred to as a jakes in 1530. In modern Ireland the term jacks is still used, and is probably the predominant way of referring to the toilet. As you know Jack is also John!
Not finished yet! What about Loo? Now you’ve got me on the subject, the word comes from a nautical terminology; loo being an old-fashioned word for lee. Early ships were not fitted with toilets but the crew would urinate over the side of the vessel. However it was important to use the leeward side. Using the windward side would result in the urine blown back on board.
Q.308. Hi Henry. As your Father beat and killed King Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth field, is there an actual memorial that was erected on the spot of his death?
Yes. It is the focal point of the Richard III Society and they annually place flowers there.
Q.309. Hi Henry. Why did people called one of the Kings, Hog Mouth?
You are referring to King Carlos of Spain, an ugly brute of a man with a chin like a ski jump! It was of course that inbred feature of the Habsburgs and is well known as the Habsburg Chin. I have made a picture to explain it for you.
Q.310. Hi Henry. How did Henry VII get to use the Ostrich Feathers in his crest?
Ostriches were a rare animal and their feathers sought after for plumage, especially by Kings. Our family of Tudors have always been influenced by chivalry and Knights in armour, King Arthur was our hero and we even built our palaces to emulate Camelot. Now when History records the antics and bravery of our very own Black Prince, Edward, not only am I going to name my son the same, but my father is going to take the emblem of Ostrich feathers and used them in his crest. The Black Prince took the feather from a king he defeated in battle in Europe; Crecy I think was the name of the Battle. It began as a single feather, then two then eventually three and became the emblem of the Prince of Wales, still used today.
Q.311. Hi Henry. What on earth is a Groin vault, it make me shudder to think of what could be stored in it!
Rather funny that! Actually the Groin vault does have connections with your groin. It is a similar shape to your nether regions where your legs meet your bum. Though it is in fact a stone arch in a tall hall. I have put this picture together to show you what it looks like. I must admit it does bring tears to my eyes to look at it.
Even funnier, see the name of the crease at the top. The Arris, no that's got to be a joke!
Q.312. Hi Henry. Can you tell me what King Henry's life was like in his younger days? LouAnn.
My position as second son meant I was not direct heir to the throne and so was made Duke of York instead of Prince of Wales. This is a drastic difference of status and attitude towards me from my father and the rest of the court.
My father actually disliked me a lot, I answered back to his comments, and I disagreed to his ideas and decisions to the extent that we often quarreled. He actually treated me quite badly, whilst my Mother, Queen Elizabeth of York loved me dearly. I had my own household with servants and tutors; they taught me technology, mathematics, Astronomy, Music and languages. My favourite teacher was master Erasmus who described me as a very able brained child with a mind of his own. If my brother Arthur had not died I would have been Duke of York for the rest of my life. My father’s attitude towards me changed drastically when Arthur died, knowing it was going to be me who carried the Tudor name on the throne of England. I eventually became King of England and married Arthur’s widow to keep the alliance with Spain intact.
Q.313. Hi Henry. What is the present place name in Wales, where the Tudors originated from?
The lovely Island of Anglesey, if you go the tourist information centre, they will NOT tell you where it is, they will aim you in the right direction to the nearest village. People still live in the actual house and so I will do the same, here is a picture with the nearest village and the picture of the Church next door. But how to actually find it, my lips are sealed.
Q.314. Hi Henry. Is it true that the “Work Houses” were created in Tudor times?
Not in my day. It was in Elizabeth’s time on the throne that the incarceration of beggars and tramps together with debtors expanded. In 1576 an Act of Parliament enabled Houses of Correction or "Bridewells", administered by local justices of the peace, to be built where able-bodied idlers and the unemployed were sent and put to work people were imprisoned for non-payment of fines, vagrancy and owing a debt. Often, the debtors awaiting trial were held with those already found guilty in crowded, grossly unhealthy conditions. Men, women and children were imprisoned together and disease and immorality were rife. They got their name from a hospital built in 1553 near St. Bride's (or Bridget's) well, in London, which was subsequently a penal workhouse. They were also called Spikes, which meant dormitory space with spikes at the windows like a prison. These were the Tudor’s way of tackling the unemployment and poverty problem, though often inhumane. See the windows of the building in the Picture. Bridewell Hospital, in Bridge Street, Blackfriars, was once a Royal Palace, given by Edward VI to the City of London in 1553 for use as a training school for homeless apprentices. The building later became a prison. Bridewell, thus came to be used as a general term for a prison or house of correction, the Unilever building, constructed in 1931, stands on its site.
Q.315. Hi Henry. What kind of clothing did you wear to go hawking?
I had a large leather bag for rewards, a large left handed glove to protect my arm and a leather long jacket. I wore a dark plain kilt and a sword. My hat was plain so not to distract the Bird. My shirt was a long, baggy affair to give me ease of arm movement.
Q.316. Hi Henry. Did the Tudors write a lot down, and work in offices?
The Tudors were very keen on good office work, Thomas Wolsey was a meticulous office manager and would document every transaction and work detail, the office however was rather crude in apparatus. There were no ball point pens, pencils, reams of cheap paper, typewriters or computers, and there was no such thing as a photocopier. What the Tudor scribes used for writing with was a large bird feather, cut at an angle to reveal a hollow quill. The inside of this quill would have had a waxy substance called lanolin, which is the grease which exudes from the pores of the animal to enable its wings to be resistant to rain. This lanolin would stop ink from entering the tube of the quill, and so the writer would lick the end or warm it up to melt the wax. Eventually a metal nib was fitted which increased the life of a quill tenfold. Here is a picture I have taken of a Tudor times office. Can you see the following details?
1. Back to the fire to keep warm.
2. Quill and ink well.
3. Brick floor with no carpeting, a working place not a restful room.
4. Candles for light.
5. The Boss’s picture behind your head.
6. Sloping desktop with storage underneath.
7. Jug of ale.
8. Thick leather bound books for reference.
9. Ornate carving to the chair and desk to show status of worker.
10. White painted walls to give a light environment and to reflect the candle power.
Q.317. Hi Henry. I love the pictures of you holding the big birds in the forest. Are they heavy and did women go hawking?
Yes to both accounts. The Eagle owl is not heavy at first but because you have to hold it outwards away from your body to allow the wings to flap, its weight makes you arm ache.
The little Harrier Hawk is the little one and would be considered to be a Lady’s hawk for hunting. I must add though the Harrier Hawk is a killing machine, it flies much faster than the Eagle or the Eagle owls, it’s speed kills instantly when the strike is made. I can hold the Harrier all day long without feeling the effect of the weight.
All the birds are brilliant balancing acts; their heads stay at the same position no matter how wobbly you are, only if you twist your wrist on purpose to make the bird feel slightly uneasy does it open its wings. This is how we managed to get the pictures with a flapping winged bird. Oop’s have I given away the trick of the trade?
Q.318. Hi Henry. Why was glass so expensive as the Romans had brought it to Britain as early as the first century?
A very good question I might say. First of all not all sand makes good glass, impurities cause lots of scrap and it is not just a case of heating up sand it also needs an enclosed kiln and additional chemicals to cause the change of state to occur. Luckily for us, Britain had abundant glass bearing sand, especially in the North West so we could make glass ourselves quite easily in Tudor times, except that to make a sheet of glass had a very difficult problem to solve. Molten glass is very sticky, if it touched a surface it immediately sticks to it and also transferred the surface texture to the surface of the glass sheet. If glass is not perfectly smooth it is not transparent. Look at sand blasted glass and it is grey and translucent not transparent. The Tudors would spin a large molten blob of glass on the end of a rod so that it grew in diameter without toughing any other surface. When it set the disc of spun glass would be cut into small pieces called Quarries and made like a jigsaw into panes of windows with strips of lead called Cames to hold it all together.
Each window was very expensive and was not considered part of the house, if you sold your house and moved, you took your window glass with you! Wealth was shown off with the number of glass windows. Now the word Glass became the word Class and if you could just afford the middle of the spun glass you were called middle class. The upper class thought they were a cut above you, because they were!
Q.319. Hi Henry. What is a flying buttress? Can you show me one?
If the weight of a roof made of stone is too much it can fall down, so to make a large cathedral type building with huge roof heights and spans, there had to be a way of getting the weight down to the ground and transferring the forces to avoid collapse. Imagine a curved, stone arch butting out of the wall and carrying a force from the roof, if it then went into other vertical structures this force would be transferred away from the inner wall carrying the roof. The fact that is seemed to cross open space without support got it the title of Flying. Here’s a picture showing a flying buttress on a medieval Cathedral.
Q.320. Hi Henry. I understand how cast iron became the major change in cannon technology, but were there any other changes made because of the cast iron.
Cast iron was a huge change in metal usage, not only Cannons, but water tanks now need not be lead lined to make them waterproof, railings for security, ornamental fittings and grids for the floor. Fittings for carrying heavy components were made from cast iron and its property of high strength in compression began it’s for stanchions. I notice too that mechanisms began to emerge from the crudity of a wooden wedge to universal jointing, I found this mechanism in Pendennis castle in Cornwall, the movement control is universal on two planes. This must have been a major change in accuracy and speed of response in any fire fight. The barrel of this gun is of cast iron, the spindle at the underside is cast iron and I think the actual bracket is too. It is not a rifle, because there are no grooves down the bore of the barrel, but it was machined to create the bore not cast that way!
Q.321. Hi Henry. I need to know how a Water Mill works for a school project, is there a simple way of explaining it?
No better way that with pictures, I have made this for you which shows only the main parts and what they do.
Q.322. Hi Henry. I have noticed the very varied methods of Tudor house construction throughout Britain, especially the corner braces which stop the square frames from moving. Why is that?
Quite so, quite so. But remember that there were no books of how to build a house, nor did people travel far to build. So it was a case of building the method you knew best, and handed down in generations of builders. Also the types of timber around you was very important, nobody would carry a tree from a distance , so the copse of trees locally would provide the wood for the frames. Oak trees are very strong but not straight so only short spans could be achieved, usually about 20 feet maximum, tall trees such as Wych-Elm could make longer spans and were used in large Manor houses. Here are some examples of timbered designs showing the corner pieces which strengthened the structures.
Q.323. Hi Henry. I must admit I am feeling more than a little anxious writing a letter to His Majesty. My very distant cousin was one of Your favorite courtiers, Nicholas Bristowe, The Royal Clerk of Jewels and Plate. Please, kind Sir, will You share with me a description of his position and its duties and range? Was he with You during The Field of Cloth of Gold?
Henry, in my nervousness as I was writing You, I forgot to ask if the story about You and Nicholas Bristowe regarding Ayot St. Lawrence is true? Did You really give the place to Bristowe during a ride through the countryside, and is it true Your hat and a Queen's slippers were part of the gift? Denise of Austin, Texas.
Now this is a very interesting point you have raised my dear Lady. You see King Henry VIII never bought finished jewellery unless a certain stone cluster might have caught his eye. He would have employed jewellers and Gold/silver smiths to make his own designs, he would also have recycled pieces he was bored with and to show off his wealth as well as his design ability. Now consider just what type of stones the Tudors could manage to cut and polish. Melting down gold and silver, remounting gemstones would have been the order of the day and the loss of gold or stones would have been the main job for the Clerk of the Jewel-house. He would not have been the actual maker of the jewellery, but he would need knowledge enough to know if theft was being done. Weighing in old discarded pieces would have been the main function, he would then have to watch over the remaking of the materials into new pieces again, the main method by weighing to make sure all was used and where excess had gone to.
Try finding a portrait showing glittery diamonds, non to be found. Facetted Gemstones and diamonds made their appearance in European jewellery during the late 13th and early 14th centuries but were badly polished and not cut to show its properties. The first "Brilliant" cut was introduced in the 17th century and is largely credited to Italian ambassador, Jules Cardinal Mazarin. Born Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino, Cardinal Mazarin had a long-standing fascination for gemstones. The first Brilliants were known as "Mazarins" and were called "Double-Cut Brilliants." After Henry’s death!
In 1525 the village of Ayot St. Lawrence had descended to Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, who was beheaded for treason in 1539, and so came into the hands of the king. In 1540 Nicholas Bristowe was made steward of reading Abbey where he made many high ranking friends and built up a fine reputation for himself as a fair man. In 1543 the lease of Ayot St. Lawrence, together with the manor of Canon Holmes, was granted to John Brockett, John Alway and Nicholas Bristowe by Sir Edward North, treasurer of the Augmentations. Nicholas Bristowe held the manor in 1572 and made his title secure, in other words he purchased it as rightful owner to be able to leave it to his heirs. The only public house in the village is still there and was called “The Brocket Arms” tavern. It would indicate that the three men leased from King Henry VIII the parts of the small village, Brockett the tavern, Bristowe the Manor, no information as to what Alway leased.
There would have been a Clerk of the jewels at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in France, where I tried to match the wealth and showmanship of Francis The King of France. But this was an earlier venture whilst still married to Katerina de Aragon.
The hat of Henry VIII and the shoes of Anne Boleyn!
Anne Boleyn was put to death seven years before Bristowe and his partners acquired the estate, and that the story of the King granting it to him when riding by it with Anne must be wholly false.
“Nicholas Bristowe, a favourite courtier of Henry VIII, was riding with the king and Queen Anne Boleyn in Hertfordshire. Passing Ayot St Lawrence he greatly admired the place, wondering whose it was. The king said, "It is mine, but now shall be yours." Bristowe asking what evidence he was to produce of the gift, the king gave him the hat he was wearing and asked the queen for her slippers, saying, "Bring these in London and I will give you the title deeds." The hat and slippers have since always gone with the estate.” She must have been a ghost!
Another legendary tale of Henry VIII's supposed wooing of Catherine Parr in the Manor House, but consider that she came from Kendal, and he was quite infirm at this supposedly wooing age, another mistake by the inventor of the story I assume.
The family name of Bristowe:
He was descended from a family seated anciently at Burstow in Surrey, whence by a corruption of the name came Bristow. A member of this family, Nicholas Bristowe of Little Bibbesworth and Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, held an appointment as Clerk of the Jewels to Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth.
There are several suggested meanings for 'ayot': the most logical is that it means a 'gap' or an 'island' and even these days, when it rains heavily over the winter and the single-track approach roads flood, it still maintains that feeling.
Famous residents: Douglas Fairbanks and the golfer Nick Faldo as well as George Bernard Shaw lived there for 44 years from1906 to his death 1950.
Q.324. Hi Henry. Nowadays Birmingham is said to be the country’s second city after London. What was the second city in Tudor times?
Well there is a clue in the ranking level of the Dukes of Counties. Norfolk is the highest ranking Dukedom under the Royals, the Howard’s were the Dukes of Norfolk and their city of Norwich was the second ranking city after London. It was very rich because of trading and all the Rivers they could use to get to other Cities like Cambridge. It was rich with Wool, hops and European cloth. But one of the biggest things they had going for their title was the washed up fragments of carbonated prehistoric wood from forests long gone and now fossilised under the sea. What you may ask would that kind of flotsam be used for? Well the old wood absorbed Iron Sulphate and with the carbon left behind from the wood it was a treasure chest of chemicals, Gunpowder, cloth dye, ink was all made from this valuable commodity, The collection of the material which became known as Copperas carried on for over two hundred years. However, now move on to the Industrial Revolution of the Victorian age and Norfolk being a county void of Coal, it’s importance diminished to the extent that the midlands became more wealthly and Birmingham took over. You could say that Birmingham with it’s coal fired iron works gave Norwich a black eye.
Q.325. Hi Henry. How did they make Chain-mail hundreds of years ago?
First of all they did not have very good machines to shape Iron, except for the hammer and the skill of the Blacksmith. He would keep hitting the soft, red hot Iron until he got it forged to a small diameter rod. Then he would curl it around another rod to make what looks like a spring. By cutting along the springs length all the curls of the spring would fall off as circular pieces that look like the Letter “C”, not full circles as the saw cut out some metal. Not he would weave them together in loops, closing the circle as he went, this makes a sheet of flexible mesh but it is still very bumpy, so he would then heat it up again and flatten the sheet until it would be fairly comfortable. Some flexibility would have been lost but sufficient left for muscle movements.
Now here’s an extra bit about chain-mail! The mail was hard to stop rusting, so the blacksmith heated it up and quenched it in oil, the carbon in the oil absorbed into the iron and made it black, hence the name “Blacksmith from the iron now called Black-iron, and Knights roaming around the country solving problems for the people for money, would ask for Blackmail money! Did I say Solving problems? Sorry I meant Causing Problems!
Q.326 and Q.327. Another question. What is a Shaffron and was there really something called a Baldrick?
That’s two extra questions!
A Shaffron or Chanfron is the iron helmet which a Knight fits to his horses head.
Yes funnily enough there was a Baldric, no K. It is the leather strap which crosses the body from shoulder to hip, to carry a heavy sword hanging from the hip. Hey there was a man called Blackadder too! He was in the Scottish nobility during Queen Mary Stuart’s time.
Q.328. Hi Henry. When you wrote “Past time in good company” what was it about?
Pastime with good company
I love and shall until I die
Grudge to lust, but none deny
So God be pleased, thus live will I
For my pastance,
Hunt, sing and dance,
My heart is set,
All goodly sport
For my comfort:
Who shall me let?
It was for times when I was with my friends and doing what we loved. Hunting, Dancing, singing and of course feasting.
Q.329. Hi Henry. Did the Tudor play football?
Yes. But! There were no football fields or stadiums, it would be one village against another village. There would be no rules, no limit to the number of players and no goals. The actual goals were the gates of each village Church. There were many injuries and even deaths, the Church complained to the courts that people were getting maimed in their grounds. In 1540, I had to ban Football because of the amount of hatred it caused and the number of injuries.
An actual quote from Tudor times!
“Football is more a fight than a game....sometimes their necks are broken, sometimes their backs, sometimes their legs.....football encourages envy and hatred....sometimes fighting, murder and a great loss of blood.”
Q.330. Hi Henry. What weapons did The Tudors use for hunting?
Bows and arrows, Crossbows, Lances, knives and swords. The use of guns was seen as poor sportsmanship although the use of Hawks and falcons must have been similar but wholly excepted.
Q.331. Hi Henry. Must be a simple sort who asks a question then continues to insult me. So here's the answer for others to read, but no more questions opened from this guy.
What were the dates of the marriages to your wives?
1509 - 7 June Henry married Katherine of Aragon in private chapel of Placentia at Greenwich
1533 - Henry marries Anne Boleyn in secret (25 January)
1536 - Henry marries Jane Seymour
1540 - Henry marries Anne of Cleves - divorced 6 months later.
1540 - Henry marries Catherine Howard
1543 - Henry marries Catherine Parr
Q.332. Hi Henry from Ray
I was quite surprised at the lack of detail in text books given to the person who was potentially going to be King Henry IX, Henry Fitzroy. Born out of wedlock to my King Henry VIII with a courtier called Elizabeth Blount, during the marriage with Katherine of Aragon. I acknowledged his being, because it did not look like I would be getting a son in wedlock for the inheritance of the English throne. Politically a potential nightmare scenario, with Plantagenet Howard’s watching the throne carefully and hoping to be seated there themselves, Fitzroy was sent to Windsor for his education, with Howard’s son Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey. Howard was a fine poet and became rather famous in later life; they became inseparable friends just as I had planned. How can a close friend betray Fitzroy in the future, was my thought pattern in this decision.
I even agreed that Henry Fitzroy marry Mary Howard, so that their off springs would give the Howard’s enough Throne to keep them down, but alas I was not aware of the deep betrayal in the veins of Howard kin. Poor Fitzroy died young, in a mysterious manner and was buried undignified quickly by the Howard’s, I suspect foul play to this day. I have written a poem depicting this sad tale for you to ponder about the lad who would have been King after me.
By Henry Tudor
A son with Bess, my son no less
A prodigy, a double of me.
A boy of mine, Henry nine
Fitz the son, my only one.
Windsor turn, there to learn
Take a friend, Surrey’s end.
Keep the faith, I do make
Watch your back, from attack.
Howard’s all, you may fall
Marry well, Mary swell.
Create our kin, then re-begin
In Fitzroy’s path, strike your staff.
Tudor way, will be yours one day
Hold it tight, it is your right.
Accept the throne, as your own
Royal child, may be reviled.
Prove your worth, with Royal birth
Give them a boy, my Fitzroy.
Mary Howard, unlike the coward
Will love you true, I’m telling you.
Watch her kin, they might walk in
And take your throne, for their own.
So Richmond, make this a bond
I am so proud, and say aloud
My son Fitzroy, is my boy
Your future King, my loins did bring.
We comfort to know, his throne will glow
And England’s way, is safe today.
Q.333. Hi Henry. What was Tudor Tennis really like? Did it have an umpire, a grass surface like today?
Nope. One or two of my courts may have been out of doors but mainly I built purposely my courts under roof. The one at Greenwich was a timber clad building but my favourite one I built at Hampton Court in 1534 a brick building with crenulations in the design, and with two levels of windows filled with leaded glass which was protected by iron mesh grills in case the ball would smash the windows. The court surface was of stone slabs to help with the bounce and the walls touched the sides, the ball could bounce back into play and it was the aim just to make the opposite player miss the shot. Sadly it does not exist today as it was demolished and rebuilt in the 1620’s to a lesser design.
As far as umpires were concerned, if I was playing, I decided the point!
Q.334. Hi Henry. Who built the fantastic stained glass windows in Royal Palaces?
My Father, Henry VII brought Dirck Vellert from Antwerp, Barnard Flower and Galyon Hone from Holland to work on the windows in Kings College, Cambridge. But the English glaziers did not welcome these foreign craftsmen as they resented being overlooked by the Royal court for the best jobs. The foreign craftsmen kept to themselves and did not mix with their English fellow glaziers.
At Hampton Court the most well known master glazier from Holland, Galyon Hone, built the polished stained glass windows with their heraldic captions around 1531. He found virtually constant work from Henry VII and Henry VIII in all their major Palaces and even had to change his own designs as the latter Henry’s wives changed! October 17th 1544, Galyon Hone returned to Whitehall Palace to change the symbols in the windows to those of Katherine Parr.
The present day use of the term to Hone something means to improve the surface finish for exact fitting together of two mating components. Galyon Hone was a master craftsman who could use abrasives in an artistic manner to create cloth-like folds in seemingly three dimensions on the surface of his glass work. As the surface of glass is abraded the colour lightens slowly, Galyon would manipulate the colour to look like a folded silk dress or shirt spending much time for such small but intricate details.
Q.335. Hi Henry. Was Thomas Cromwell always a lawyer for a profession?
No not at all, as well as being a trained accountant and banker, he had many professions in his lifetime. He was a Lawyer foremost, but also set up businesses as merchant, money-lender and even a clothe processor with the fulling of woollen cloth
Fulling, tucking or waulking are all the same process and is a step in woolen cloth-making which involves the cleansing of cloth to get rid of oils, lanolin grease, dirt, and other impurities, and then thickening it. The worker who does the job is a fuller or a tucker or the walker. The lanolin was used as a face cream for society women, and a base for perfumed balm creams. Fulling involves two processes - scouring and milling (thickening). These are followed by suspending the cloth on wooden frames known as tenters and held onto those frames by tenterhooks, hence the saying when being kept in suspension “being on tenter-hooks”. People’s names, Fuller, Tucker and Walker came from these professions.
Q.336.Hi Henry. Did the Tudors have sewers?
Nope. This is why the plague and sickness was most prevalent. The moat was the final resting place of many a latrine which would turn the water green, the stink would be obnoxious and the occupants of the said castle or Manor house would leave for a holiday whilst the poor servants had to get in the moat and dig out the waste materials. Queen Elizabeth, my daughter had the first actual sewerage system and that was down open topped channels and they took the waste in flowing water away from the house, but it ended not at a sewerage plant, but in neighbouring villages.
Q.337. Hi Henry. Need help for my Daughter’s homework, What was the full name of King Henry VIII?
You will never find any other name in your research because a Tudor or Elizabethan character would not use what we now call a "middle name," which is essentially an extra given. Double given names were slowly spreading on the Continent, but the custom had not yet reached England, and in fact did not become really common in English-speaking countries until much later, as late as the 19th century in places. We know of literally only about a dozen cases in all of Elizabethan England (before 1600), and most of them are among the nobles, or are people who were born abroad, such as Jane Sybilla Grey, who was born in France.
Talking of Lady Jane Grey, did you know it was not her name when she was executed by Queen Mary I? Lady Jane Grey was forced into a marriage with a son of the Protector, Dudley so she was technically Lady Jane Dudley when she became the nine day Queen.
Henry was Prince Henry Tudor, Duke of York before being King apparent after the death of his brother Arthur. See what happens when an interesting point is made, I go off on a tangent. Now King Henry would never be called VIII or number eight, he preferred King Henry Octavian, which of course means the same in latin.
Q.338. Hi Henry. I read with interest that the Mary Rose was built of many types of wood, not just oak, and that Wych Elm had a significant part to play in the build. Is Wych Elm a British tree and what does “to stand down” actually mean when the navy is told to relax?
No not a native wood of Britain, Wych Elm introduced by the Romans to drain the boggy land of the flood plains of East Anglia, Somerset, Lancashire and Cheshire. There you will find towns with the ending …Wich, from these huge forests.
Wych Elm has a strong, irregular grain structure which made it ideal as planking for the ship’s boats as it was bendable, in fact I think the term Wych means “to bend” in Latin. As well as transporting people and goods, these boats were used as tugs to tow the ship on days when there was no wind. They were not considered as lifeboats – if a sailor was unlucky enough to fall overboard he was unlikely to be saved. Renowned for its strength, wood from this evergreen tree was seen in contrasting places on ships. Elm was particularly valuable to ship builders as it does not rot when kept in water. The keel of the Mary Rose and planking beneath the waterline were made out of lengths of elm. It was also used for casing the pumps, used to prevent the ship from sinking. The capstan, used to raise the ship’s anchor, and the carriages which supported the enormous guns were also made of this wood. The term to stand down in the navy meant to lower the masts and rigging because of no need for sailing in the near future.
Q.339. Hi Henry. I read in your website, the colour of Mourning was Yellow, why was it not black like it is today?
Simple really, the colour easily washed out and when it did it became a rat colour of dull grey. Only the Nobility with their access to the colour fixer Alum Flour could keep the colour in, so Black was the colour of Noblemen’s clothes for business. Yellow was the colour of mourning because everybody could make it and so it was universally used. However, there are some very unusual names for some of the Tudor colours, I have listed them here in Alphabetical order. Notice just what carnation means! Carne!
Black. A nobleman’s colour
Bristol Red: A "pleasant" red.
Cane Colour: Yellowish tint.
Carnation: Resembling raw flesh
Crane Colour: Greyish white
Dead Spaniard: Pale greyish tan
Gingerline: Reddish violet
Goose-Turd: Yellowish green
Hair: Bright tan
Isabella: Light buff
Lincoln Green: Bright Green
Lustie-Gallant: Light Red
Maiden Hair: Bright tan
Milk and Water: Bluish white
Murrey: Purplish red
Orange Tawney: Orangish brown
Peach: Deep pinkish orange
Plunket: Light blue
Popinjay: Bluish Green
Primrose: Pale yellow
Puke: Dirty Brown
Rat's Colour: Dull grey
Sangyn: Blood red
Sheep's Colour: Natural
Straw: Light Yellow
Tawney: Brown tinged with yellow
Yellow: Used for mourning.
Watchet: Pale greenish blue
Whey: Pale whitish blue
Willow: Light green
Q.340. Hi Henry. There are many pictures of you in records and Palaces, but not many of your father, King Henry VII. Have you got any pictures of him never seen before?
This is asking a great deal and so I have made a picture for you out of his death mask which will show you exactly what he looked like.
Not as handsome as me, me thinks!
Q.341. Hi Henry. This questioner was in person at the Hall.
What actually was the price of salt?
I have put this togther to explain the cost with actual recorded evidence.
The Cost of Salt.
By Henry Tudor
Based upon the Cheshire Wyches and terminology of a Shire being a “hundred” these are the writings of salt dealing. Dates, about 1200.
"Whoever carries away purchased salt in a cart from these wiches paid four pence in toll if he had four oxen or more in his cart ; if two oxen he paid two pence."
Now a rough guide of carrying capacity had been drawn up which compared Oxen+cart with horse drawn cart with human carrying. From the figures below it is as follows.
One cart with four oxen paid 4 pence, a man with two oxen paid 2 pence, so the charge was one penny per ox.
One half penny per horse and cart this being half the charge, so a horse was ½ penny each load.
A single man was considered to be equal to one eight of an ox!". If on foot, "twopence or a penny", respectively "for eight (man) loads".
There were local concessions. A man from another hundred "paid two pence" for a horse-load, "a man from the same hundred only a half-penny".
There was a three day credit line, this allowed regular customers to take away the salt, sell it and come back and pay for the salt as well as picking up the next load.
"Anyone who brought a cart with two or more oxen from another shire paid four pence in toll. A man from the same shire paid two pence for his cart within the third night after his return home."
"A man from another shire paid a penny for a horse-load", but a man from the same shire paid 'a minuta' "within the third night."
The selling of salt had a season! Probably due to weather conditions both for mining the salt and for travelling to distribute the commodity. So could this be where “to season with salt” comes from?
"If a man living in the same hundred carted salt about the said county to sell, he paid a penny for each cart as often as he loaded it. If he carried salt on a horse to sell he paid a penny at the Feast of St. Martins" (which feast marked the end of the 'season').
What about during Tudor times?
'In the earlier years, when Sir Richard Shuttleworth was resident at Smithills [near Bolton], his younger brother Thomas acted as his steward. At his order the yearly supply of salt was bought each summer at Northwich and brought home by one or more of the servants.' The salt was bought by the 'crannock' a size of uninterpreted magnitude, 'but costing 14s. to 16s.,' against 11s. to 12s. 'paid for a 'lode' or a 'quarter' of salt in later years.'
The toll paid on two crannocks was fourpence. [The price of one Saxon cart with four oxen at Nantwich & Middlewich].
In June, 1586, 'twoe krenneckes and a halffe of salte at the North - Wyche ~~35s.
spente in fetching the same and for that which was payed for towle~~~~~~3s. 4d.
July, 1590 - towe crineokes of sallte~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~31s.
toule in the wyche for the same sallte~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4d.
June, 1591 - thrie crynokes and a halfe of salte~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~54s.
those that fechide the same at towe several tymes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5s. 6d.
towle at the Wyche for the same~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~8d.
It is not to be supposed that Northwich was the only source of salt for these households. (For example after the death of Thomas the Steward.) If more expedient, salt was also gotten from other sources eg Clitheroe (1602 - one mette of salte in Clitherew - 2s. 6d.) and Manchester (1611- Four lode of sault - at 11s. ) ; and once, when the same household had run out and was in need of urgent supply for salting the winter beef, cote-salt was bought: this would be salt from the Lancashire coast.
Q.342. Many a soul has asked me how much the cost of living was in Tudor days. So here for you is a chart. Work it out as follows: all category costs are 100 in the year of my birth 1491.
Just see that chaos occurred in the Edward to Mary to Elizabeth fiasco!
As you can see, the poor would have seldom eaten meat and the advent of Technology brought in the Industrial changes.
If you want a full Excel chart then click here.
Click here to download this file
Q.343. Hi Henry. Nowadays we have Pounds (£) and Pence (P). But what are £sd. I understand the pounds and shillings but why the letter D for pence? I asked my dad and he's old, but he didn't know, I asked my Grand dad and he's ancient and he didn't know either!
Well, that was long ago, when pennies were white, because they were then made of silver. Each one was worth a denary, which was a coin worth about a shilling, or a quarter of a dollar. Hence £ S D. If your grand dad is ancient, what am I?
Q.344. Same lad. Who invented money?
The Roman's they named it after Juno Moneta, a goddess in Rome.
Before money was invented, exchanges of goods was the method of bartering. Salt for meat etc. The Roman’s bought about the use of Money although metals were considered good for battering with well before the coin first appeared.
Q.345. Hi Henry. I love the way you tell us where names and sayings come from. Where does the term “Sticky Fingers” come from?
To catch a crow for food was not as easy as it sounds, the birds were nearly impossible to shoot with an arrow and to lay traps meant you had to build it first them leave it near the tree from where the trap was often stolen. The poorer people had a nasty trick for catching Crows for food. They would make a glue which looked like bird droppings and spread the glue on the tree branches. The crows would get stuck fast and the people catch them easily. It was seen as nearly stealing the crows form the trees. The glue was made from boiling the bark of the Holly tree, the glue was so powerful that the hunters had sticky fingers hence the saying for hunters who went after crows. The glue was called Bird Lime which has mistakenly been used to refer to the bird droppings.
"Bird lime" is also providentially sticky; hence it may be used to refer to a "sticky-fingered person"
The use of glue to catch birds was made illegal.
However the poor hunter also had another nasty trick up his sleeve. He would climb the tree where there was a crow’s nest and chicks in it. He would then tie a thin chord to the chicks legs and wait until the chicks were older and about to fly the nest. The birds not knowing what was tied to their legs would try to fly off but got caught at the end of their rope and dangle helplessly until the hunter came to collect his booty. Hence “at the end of the rope”. Again this practice was outlawed, not because of cruelty but because it was very efficient.
Q.346. Hi Henry. Is it true that the Tudor's had an Organ musical instrument? If so how did they make it work?
Yes we did, I was quite proficient on it too. Mind you the power source for all the air pressure was rather crude, here’s a picture to show you what I mean!
Many thanks to Trouvere.
Go see this website, well worth the effort.
Q.347. Hi Henry.
Did you choose to be buried at St. George's at Windsor Castle? Why not
Westminster Abbey with your parents? Why didn't you have a more
elaborate tomb designed to befit your status as England's greatest monarch?
More than one reason.
1. I never got on with my father.
2. I designed and had built the principle entrance to the castle
3. I wanted my favourite wife to be buried there, Jane Seymour
4. I wanted to be buried with my wife.
5. I wanted the procession to enter the castle with my coffin through my gate.
6. I had a lost baby son buried there before Jane, Ann Boleyn's still born child which changed our relationship drastically.
I wanted to be alone with my lost wife, I actually used the tomb cover Thomas Wolsey had made for himself, plain but dignified.
K is my Gate
G is the place of my burial
After me King Charles I, was buried in the same chamber.
See the picture for the close proximity.
Q.348.Hi Henry. What ever happened to the portrait by Hans Holbein of Amelia von Kleve?
Well by not choosing her from her sister Anna, the picture was discarded or lost. Here is a copy.
Q.349. Hi Henry. My Father says his car is a Sedan which was a very old carriage without wheels, is this correct?
Actually a good point. From about 1700 the roads were very rough and rich people would get from one place to another in a carriage, which actually was carried by two men in between two long poles. Here is a picture.
The name Sedan became the description of a motorcar with separate, engine and luggage compartments and only two doors. If your Father’s car has four doors it is a saloon.
Q.350. Hi Henry. I love your website, we go on History trips now and I can talk to teachers knowing things more than my friends. How can I tell when an old building has been changed in its past history?
Glad about your new status as class genius, well look for the way the walls have been attached together. Nowadays they latch in the bricks to create a strong joint because a brick is relatively thin, medieval building of thick stones were very difficult to latch together so they just built new walls up to old walls. Here is a picture which shows the poor joining on an old Abbey, they obviously built an extension onto an old outside wall and created a strange arch to cover an old doorway. Look at the differing stone quality and standard of building.
Q.351. Hi Henry. I know you will defend your actions in the demolition of the Roman Catholic monasteries and abbeys. But why did you not punish the people who helped themselves to the masonry before you had the stonework removed to build your forts?
Hmmm! A trouble maker methinks. Well to put it simply, the more people who profited by the dissolution of the Monasteries the more that would not retaliate. Go see the quality of the houses around the old ruins of monasteries and abbeys, they have wonderful arches, fireplaces and chimneys, carved oak doors and regal looking wrought ironwork. So paying for a priest to pray in Latin, certainly did nothing for the Church of Rome, after all it started Martin Luther on his Protesting path. Here is a poem describing the theft as a National event.
Where did all the stones go?
By Henry Tudor
Not just Royals with their carts
We were there first to collect
Glass of colours and arches
The rest they can have for their forts.
Over the wall we went, peoples army with intent.
Intent to carry off our rightful stone
We alone paid for it, it is our own.
The King cares not for Papal lands
Take what you can in your hands.
Be quick, be stealthy, be strong
Hide the booty, us it wisely, belong.
Troops will move fast, to claim the last
So make your move and be fast.
Abbey, Monastery ruined and broke
Now your house a chimney smoke.
Arch your door, carve your gate
Use their wall for your estate.
Glass is class, get the lead cames too
Build a window, then look through.
No draught, no wet, just coloured tones
Now surround them with mighty stones.
The King will take all the blame
He doesn’t care it’s all the same.
He’ll build our defence with last large stones
Leaving only the Papal, monastery’s bones.
The reformed way is better now
We all feel richer for it somehow.
English bibles, no mass, no saints
A simpler faith for us he paints.
Harry takes and gives out too
The Church of England, for me and you.
Get in the loop, don’t take your time
Be part of this enormous, crime.
Let him head the faith, it is his way
But get your bit, this very day.
You’ve paid your dues to past regime
Now collect, first come, first seen.
Hide your loot inside your home
Don’t show wealth, you’re not alone.
Time will pass and time will heal
But you’ll still have the spoils to feel.
Nicking stone and glass today
Make the Roman forever pay.
Remember the cost of large cuboid stone nowadays would be about £100 each, so a cart full was real booty, consider the cost of stained glass and lead and then think about what the poor thought about the priests and their wealth. It was a change about to happen all over Europe caused by greedy men and weak helpless poor people being their victims for centuries before any reformation.
Q.352. Hi Henry. From a Little girl and her Mother in the crowd at Samlesbury Hall. What were you really like?
This is the most difficult question ever to answer. Psychologists say we are all three people!
1. We are what we think we are.
2. We are what people think we are.
3. We are what we want people to think we are.
So starting with number three. I built up my reputation, looks and persona to make the people believe me to be a strong, healthy, intelligent man with a strong heart and solid outlook. This would be the greatest impression a King, who is sole ruler of a country, to portray. I did this by way of enhances portraits, lots of jewels, lots of parties and Royal events and making decisions quickly and sticking to them.
Number two, if people think I am magnificent then I act more magnificent thus giving them what they want. They see me as a ruler who does not make mistakes, so all my decisions are final and may seem cruel but are still final.
Number one. The real me, I need company of intelligent people, I need to be loved, I love my children and my family. I get scared of making bad decisions, I never want to hurt people but sometimes it is unavoidable, my personal life should be separate from my public life but it isn’t. I desire peace and quiet, my own space with people not afraid of my power, but this is impossible as a King.
So again as the psychologists say, the three people inside us all mix together to make our personality, but number one is our true self.
Q.353. Hi Henry. Why was Charles Brandon given to you officially to be your best friend?
If we did not like each other it would not have worked. Charles is older then me, he was a young baby when his father was killed in the battle of Bosworth Field where my father Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III. My father promised the dying Brandon that he would look after his son Charles and he did by putting Charles into schooling with me with my tutors. Being together at all times and he being older, we became best of fiends, I looked up to him as an older brother. We hunted, played sport and drank together throughout our lives. If it were not for this bond between us, I would not have forgiven him for marrying my sister Mary without my approval as he did. I gave the couple the Duchy of Suffolk, mainly to keep an eye on the Norfolk's whom I never trusted, and to pay off a fine for the marriage. They went on to have daughters, a Tudor curse it seems, and grand daughters one of whom was Jane Grey.
Q.354. Hi Henry. What to do think of the latest TV show called “The Tudors”?
A misrepresentation of the first order. If you were to spend millions on such a series, filmed over a long period, you would think they should have gone out and bought a history book! Maybe even read it. Just keep a count of the errors in actual events they call history, the worst being Mary Tudor marrying the King of Portugal!!!!! When it was the old King of France she married. I am six foot two tall; this lead actor needs a box to stand on. Red hair, blues eyes where were their researcher looking when they cast the show.
A typical Americanised tale perpetuated by producers not caring about truth, but more concerned with making money from an audience who wouldn’t know real history if it perched on their heads and pecked out their ear wax.
Q.355.Hi Henry. Why did you just drop Mary Boleyn for her Sister?
Mary Boleyn was the court girl, she came from the court of Francis I having been escorted around by most of their top courtiers, including the king himself. She was in France with her younger sister Anne, though much different in nature. Anne preferred the company of the Queen Claude and kept away from the bawdy life near the amorous King. Anne was very conservative and wanted to keep herself for only one man, her future husband, whoever that would be. Mary came back to England first and came into my court where she used her attractiveness to gain access to the top levels of the court, including myself. Mary gave birth to two children, some say both were mine to make me look full of virility whilst I was going though the worst time with Katherine the Queen. A girl and a boy were born, both looked like me, one called Catherine, the boy we named Henry. We married her off to a lower level family called Carey and her new husband William took good care of the children as I gave the boy a pension of £30,000 per year in your money.
Anne Boleyn was my prey, I was the hunter she the deer, she resisted and made the hunt all the more enjoyable. In modern talk, I would be seen as a stalker, and that is just what a hunter is, he stalks the deer until it gives up. After many months had turned into years, she gave in. I sent her a roe deer I had killed myself, and had a jewelled necklace placed around its neck. She saw this as herself with a collar of captivity. In the end of all my misfortunes with lost babies and a miserable wife, I could see a shining light in the distance where we would marry and live happily ever after!!!
Marrying the quarry after a long hunt, using all your skills and tricks to win the battle of wills ends up with complete boredom and Anne only survived as Queen for 1,000 days. Still! Many more deer in the forest.
Q.356. Hi Henry. Was the marriage between Mary Tudor, the dowager Queen of France and your best friend Charles Brandon, done just to spite you?
Lots of writers have come to that conclusion, but there is another line of thought which adds to it comfortably.
Yes it is true that Mary my little sister and the darling of the court, was an impetuous, self centred, aggressive girl with sudden mood changes and a displeasing nature when you got below her graceful well acted surface.
Yes it is true I arranged her 61 day marriage to an ailing King of France for a handsome dowry. And yes we did agree verbally to let her marry her own choice when the sick King died and left her the widow of France.
But she had always hankered after the like of Charles behind closed doors, he being a gruff, strong and handsome athlete, well respected and powerful in his proximity to myself.
But, over in France Mary played the field of parties and balls, after the death of her husband and the pregnancy watch period after, she had a great time. Her new nephew the new King Francis even considered marrying her, even though he was already wed to Claude the Queen, who was busy producing a brood of babies. I in my mistake, sent over Charles to bring her back from this cesspit of shame, to marry another younger Royal, whom I had chosen and bargained another handsome dowry. Yes you could say I broke the verbal agreement, but she needed to be calmed down by a Royal position. She however forced Charles into an illegal marriage, close to traitorous act had she not been a sister and he a best friend. I fined them the dowry to get my money. It is at this stage that Mary nurtured a deep hatred for Anne Boleyn, who had been watching her antics in the French court from the relative safety of the French Queen’s chambers and knowing of her involvement in unsavoury antics which could be used in a blackmail scenario. Though Anne Boleyn always kept what she saw to herself.
Q.357. Hi Henry. Why did the Roman Catholic Church embrace the man Thomas More to become their hero?
What you meant to say was, how did Thomas More rise from a mere Lawyer to become the Saint?
The answer has been used by many authors who have expanded on the theme of a Man’s religious principles. However please don’t read all and believe all, there was a man under this shroud of respectability who had a deep hatred of other religions and who spent most of his life verbally hunting down non Roman Catholics to aid in their destruction.
Find his book, “Dialogue Concerning Heresies” written in 1529. A rather awfully written, crowd stirring book of hatred for fellow humans centred upon the Lutherans of Europe who had broke free from the Papal reigns. I could not write here on this website the actual wording a it is so foul mouthed and obscene. Even Cardinal Wolsey was embarrassed by the book and forced More to use a false pseudonym of William Rose. Thomas more even wrote his own reviews for the people to believe the book was the highest order of truth, he even invented false names of foreign reviewers to give credence to this rubbish. Not the saint as painted, more the man as hidden.
The Roman Catholic church had organised a gruesome murder of Richard Hunne, a respected merchant, who was accused of heresy in being a reformist and folloer of Martin Luther. He was taken by the church soldies and died in his cell under suspicious curcumstances. Because of the uproar the Church tried to quell the people by actually digging up the body and burning it in a dramatic re-execution. The Church were found guilty of murder but nobody was brought to justice. Thomas More was the lawyer who was hire to fight the case for the church.
I’d rather not write the words of his enemies at the time, as it would be seen to be using the same tactics as More himself, but read for yourself the words of Ridley and Joanna Denny then judge this complex character for yourself.
Q.358. Hi Henry. I read that you believe the Roman Catholic Church was doomed to reformation because of the greedy individual who ran it. How much wealth did the church have in England before the reformation?
They owned 1/3rd of all England, the manors, the lands, and even foreign territories. They owned 1/10th of all crops, meadow, pasture, grass, wool, colts, calves, lambs. pigs. geese, and chickens. Then worst of all they demanded 1/10th of all persons wages. They never paid for anything, just took it. Now do you see why the people were over the walls well before the soldiers arrived in the destruction of the monasteries.
Q.359. Hi Henry. How much would it have cost for a Peasant in Tudor, pre-reformation times to be Roman Catholic?
The old Papal Church took in huge revenues across Europe, pay to be preyed for, was a real money earner and eventually the Church’s downfall in many countries.
Sinners could buy redemption as the Church openly sold them, they were called Indulgencies. People on their deathbeds could buy their way out of Purgatory too, which was the place name for the waiting room to heaven or hell. Tithes were the Church’s protection money payment, a tax on the people to ensure a passage to heaven. 10% of all crops, stock and income was the cost to all the working population. The population of priests were infested with swindlers who lined their own pockets and lived lavish lifestyles. Religious relics were used to raise money too, put on show the Church would charge poor pilgrims to just view them or kiss them. An infamous Holy site was Hailes Abbey in Gloucestershire, which had the blood of Christ weep out of a statue, only to be found to be a series of manually activated pumps delivering fresh Duck blood. But over the Centuries this fake produced huge revenues for the Abbot.
Q.360. Hi Henry. How could Jane Seymour just sit and watch how Anne Boleyn was framed and murdered by her future husband.
Strong words, but true. Jane Seymour was seen at first as the hope of the Roman Catholics to rid England of the Evangelical Anne Boleyn and bring back the old faith, thus reinstating the ex-Princess Mary to her rightful succession. The Seymour’s were seen as respected Catholics but not expected to change to embrace the new reformed church when Jane actually became Henry’s third wife. She was not well educated and quite a cunning person who watched as her marital obstruction was finally killed off. Gambling upon the birth of a son for Henry to give the Seymour’s a mighty position was in her mind. However her plans went astray when she died of blood poisoning from the delivery of Edward. If history could be re-written, just how long could she have lasted had she not died so early on in the marriage? Would Henry not have become bored with her too and trumped up more charges to get another lover?
Unanswerable questions thankfully as one Royal debacle is enough, that is until Catherine Howard came on the scene and revived Henry’s homicidal tendencies.
Q.361 Hi Henry. Is it true that even Serf’s had to pay to let their daughters marry?
Not if they were to marry a man in the same manor, but they still needed the permission of the lord of their manor. However if the marriage was between the daughter of a man who was from outside the manor, the father of the girl had to pay his lord of his manor a sum of money called the Formarriage or Merchet.
Q.362 Hi Henry. Did Castles have advertisements?
This question nearly caught me out and I nearly dismissed it as seriously daft. But, yes they did!
Just before a battle the castle would hang a wooden balcony over the stone walls so that they could drop missiles and boiling oil over the fearsome intruders, they would also either paint or hang a clothe saying for the aggressors to read, warning them not to bother attacking as they will all die a horrible agonising death. This temporary structure was called a Hoarding. Nowadays the large temporary advertising signs on the side of the road are called hoardings.
Q.363 Hi Henry. What does “Hue and cry” actually mean?
The requirement of all members of a village to pursue a criminal with loud horn and high voices.
Q.364 Hi Henry. What does “LEASE FOR THREE LIVES” mean?
Fairly easy really, leasing land as a farmer had a lease period of people’s lives not a defined period. So a farmer could lease the land for his life, his Wife or Son’s life and then his Grandson’s life span. Notice the absence of “daughter”!
Q.365 Hi Henry. How much wages did metal workers in the Minting of money earn?
Mmmm! This took a while to find the answer. When there was 240d in one Pound the Moneyer (Mint worker) would keep one penny or as a fraction 1/240th of the value of the amount made.
Q.366 Hi Henry. I was in your audience some time ago and remember you mentioning that dead people had wooden soled shoes on their feet during the Wake in the parlour. What were the shoes called?
Thanks for the memory. The wooden shoes were only soles with straps, the fire nearby would curl them up off the corpses feet so “popping their clogs”. The wooden soles were called Patten’s. They were also used for people to wear over their soft “slippers” when they went outside for a short while.
Q.367 Hi Henry. Where did Piccadilly in London get it’s name from?
A Piccadil is a special cut of opening in Tudor/Stuart clothing. The neck and armholes had a flanged edge as a fashion of the aristocracy and a tailor in London made them especially for them, his shop area became known as where the Piccadils came from.
Q.368 Hi Henry. Could a serf run away from his master and gain freedom if he stayed away for a year and a day?
Yes. Town’s had charters to proclaim freedom of any serf who lived there for a year and a day, without being recaptured by his lord. The saying “TOWN AIR IS FREE AIR”
Q.369 Hi Henry. What was the state of the Church when you died? Thaks Fernie.
People were having problems with the Roman Catholic Church ever since the Black Death, plague of the 14th Century when 60% of all priests died of the disease. The Pope ordered that any man with reading ability could be taken on as a priest which opened the gateway for poor second sons of middle class people who began to rob the people by charging for prayers with the threat of not going to heaven if they missed a payment. The people were not happy at all with their church. When I wanted a divorce for my first wife Katalina de Aragon, her nephew Charles the Emperor of Rome told the Pope not to grant my wish. This went on for 6 years and so I threw out the Pope’s rule of the church and created The Church of England, thus allowing me to grant my own divorce. However, it was still Catholic except for the mass and the saints, and I allowed for the first time, English written bibles so the people knew what the priests were saying.
Thomas Cromwell, my councilor masterminded the entire change over, even letting people cross the walls of old monasteries to take away stone for their own use, leaving the big pieces for my soldiers to take and build my castles along the south coast of England.
Major problems were caused because the Roman Catholic countries suddenly became my enemies and I was excommunicated from their church. My ex-wife Katalina even plotted against me, trying to get her nephew to come and kill me, and put our daughter Mary on the throne in my place.
My son Edward went to live with his uncles, the Seymour’s who by then were Protestants and when he came to the throne, the Seymour’s had already changed the Church of England to protestant. When he died, my niece, Jane Grey was put on the throne by the Government though she only lasted 9 days because Mary came and arrested her. Jane was completely innocent of treason as she was forced to do it by her parents. Mary wanted to let her go, but the Pope and the Emperor demanded she be executed for treason or Mary would not be allowed to marry the Spanish King to keep the Roman Catholic faith back in England. Poor Jane died.
When Mary died her sister, Elizabeth, a Protestant came to the throne and re-establish the new Church of England.
So you see, if the Pope had granted me a divorce, and Katalina had not pressured her nephew, we would probably still be a Catholic nation, Jane Grey would have survived, and Elizabeth may still have been a Protestant as her Mother was one.
After the Tudors. King James I came to rule England, he was a Protestant but his executed Mother, Mary Queen of Scots, was a Catholic. This led to rebellion and the gunpowder plot!
Lots of problems eh!
Q.370 Hi Henry. On all your travels, what is the strangest stone carving you have come across, and what was the meaning of it?
It is true, History has given us some weird stone effigies to ponder about. Apart from the horrible gargoyles, I came across a rather gruesome carving whilst in Germany last September. We were in the City of Kleve to investigate the Anna Von Kleve story and there in the grounds of the Cathedral was this strange piece of Gothic type art.
I later found out it was not Gothic, but fairly modern and was made when the war damaged Cathedral was rebuilt, it was in remembrance of the holocaust.
Q.371 to Q.375 From Sivad in Athens, Greece.
Ah! (sigh), Athens one of my favourite places in the World.
Q.371. What was a marital relationship like between young child wives and older widows given the huge age difference and how did child brides cope with supervising a manor/ household staff if they were so young?
Strange as it seems in Tudor times, age was not the same as we view it today. For the poor to middle class, no child had their birthdays each year and they were not seen as a potential surviving member of their family until they had reach the age of eight. The children suspected of being about eight were made to undergo the left arm over the head test to touch the lobe of their right ear. If they could manage it then they were deemed to be eight and now they can be betrothed to be married, by parental arrangements. They married about 11/12 years of age to get as many childbearing years into the marriage. By the time they had reach 20 years of age on average 6 babies would be the norm, of which 3 will have died. By 24 they were grandparents, 36 they were great grandparents and 40 they were dead. So a bride of say 15 years of age was a fully recognised adult and managed their houses as such. Lots of women/girls viewed the marriage as a major risk to their life as the number of deaths during childbirth was staggeringly high.
You might think this eight year old test to be ridiculous, but we were still doing in Victorian days when apprenticeships were being taken up by young children and the average age of adults around the dirty cities was only 28 years. I know that some countries still do this test today 2008!
Q.372. As she was a queen, why did the government fail to provide a casket for Anne Boleyn; was this intended as a final insult? What is the measurement of the arrow box that she was placed in? Would her body have been prepared in any way by her ladies-in-waiting or was she just thrown into the box?
Anne Boleyn was executed as a traitor who had bewitched the King of England, the people mainly hated her for causing the break up in the King’s first marriage, although the break was on the cards BEFORE Henry actually started courting Anne. She was executed on the green in the Tower and her body was expected to be removed by her lady’s in waiting, her body put in an arrow box as non was supplied by her family. Her body put in the chapel as a matter of course for Royal executions. She is now with many other “traitors”, Catherine Howard, Essex etc.
Q.373. Given the history of dislike between the sisters, why were Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I buried together? Did Elizabeth leave instructions to be buried with her half-sister? Did Mary Tudor ever have an effigy over her tomb when she died and if yes, what happened to it? Under Elizabeth's effigy, is one casket on top of the other or are they placed side by side?
After all they were sisters and both daughters of Henry who had ruled their lives so greatly. Mary never liked Elizabeth, but initially Elizabeth loved Mary until the poor health of Edward was looking like Mary might influence her life as well. Elizabeth never knew about how her Mother had died until at the execution of Catherine Howard, when someone let it slip that Anne Boleyn died the same way. From then on Elizabeth disliked her own father and would never have wanted to be buried with him and her step mother Jane Seymour.
Q.374. After their deaths, what happened to all of the costly gowns/ shoes of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I, and do any of their gowns still exist intact and on display? How did they select what they would wear on a daily basis and how were their gowns & shoes stored? Do you know who made their amazing gowns? How long would it take to produce a jewel studded gown?
Now get this into perspective. Kings and Queen’s don’t have large filled wardrobes, because they do not want to be seen in the same clothing twice. They buy large rolls of cloth, boxes of jewels and blocks of gold. Then they have professional jewellers, dress makers to make their clothes, usually to their own whims and ideas. After maybe only one third of a day X three days, which equals only one full day, they would have the clothes dismantled and the un usable bits burnt. I have probed the reason for burning old clothes and found that it was to stop others spying on their health, and passing around the Royals own designs. I don’t think you will find more than ten dresses for Anne Boleyn, even less for King Henry VIII. I would say the most are in Hever Castle and Hampton Court. Clothes like these are now worth millions and so fragile nobody can touch them. The Royals were fashion icons of their day, other would see their new clothes and rush off to have copies made, but then another design would appear, nobody could second guess the Tudors for design. Anne Boleyn had French influence on her ideas and so the court began to look French in nature and more flowing, brighter in colour and the colour of clothes increased the level of status.
Q.375. Prince Arthur and Princess Katherine were raised from a young age understanding what their royal 'responsibilities' were. What is the chance that the young couple never consummated their 6 month marriage as Katherine claimed - especially as other accounts at the time mention otherwise.
Arthur was always a weak boy and by the time he married Katalina he did not look like a King in the making. To die after only 6 months of marriage of a lung disorder, he must have been ill for over two years. Katalina must have been aware of her problems and would have tried to get pregnant as soon as she could with her new husband. I think he would have been able to consummate the marriage, even though records were written to the contrary and for the convenience of the lady’s next role. No proof what so ever about whether the marriage was in fact consummated, but I think it was as this Princess needed a baby boy to keep her in the Royal league in England. HenryVII actually waited to see if she was pregnant before he even tried to contact the Pope for dispensation to allow the marriage with his other son.
I use the name Katalina for Katherine of Aragon. The Tudors used Anglified names to create less disruption amongst the people for the King marrying a foreign Princess. Katalina was her proper name.
Q.376 Hi Henry
The armour in the Tower of London is seven feet tall, why?
Propaganda sir that’s all. It has spacers in the feet and shoulders, yes I can wear it but only if I stand still as when watching troops or as people pass in a ceremony. So the armour was made just to spread the rumour of me being a tall, strong leader. Hehehe.
Q.376 Hi Henry
What kind of shoes did you wear?
Do you always wear the same kind of shoes? For walking, running, climbing, hiking, riding horses, soft ones for the evening, waterproof ones and snow coverings?
Well I did the same. I would have long leather boots for riding and jousting, flat soled leather shoes for dancing and walking in the Palaces and a variety of shoes for comfort. Yes! We had slippers. They were soft leather soled shoes with woollen tops for comfort and warmth and they were named for not slipping on a marble or stone floor.
Q.377 Hi Henry
How much warning did you give to your hosts when you went on one of your Progresses?
My plans were made a year in advance and my hosts were chosen by me from my courtiers as they were close at hand. I would only pick political alliances and host who could afford my visit. I took about 12weeks maximum for my progresses and travelled not more that 20 miles per day between hosts. I would also choose the host with good hunting and space for dancing in their houses. There were sudden progresses caused by the spread of sickness nearby, I would up sticks and move one without much notice, a rider would be a day for so in front and declare my intention of arriving at a venue without much notice at all. These hosts may have considered my visit to be a burden with the cost being so high for my entourage, I may reward them with honours but never lower myself to pay for my own keep.
What’s that I hear you mumbling to yourself? Why twelve weeks maximum?
Well, if you were the first inherited King in the Tudor line and there were thousands of Plantagenet supporters out there waiting to take over and restore the old line, would you stay away a long time?
Q.378 Hi Henry
Why do you never wear a crown?
I do wear a crown, but so infrequently that I am never seen in public in one. My hats are my fashion and serve the purpose of keeping my head warm in these dark, cold Tudor days. My head is shaved to keep away mites and insects and of course where would I be without my slanted hat to produce by Evil eye?
My father started the hat fashion and even James I carried it on, though much more flamboyant than any on mine.
Q.379 Hi Henry
What ever happened to Will Sommers your famous jester?
Jesters were seen as the TV for rich people, entertainment, the Xbox of today. There were initially two kinds of Jester both based upon a “silly” look. There were Natural deformed characters who used their deformity to make people laugh. There were Artificial characters who acted the deformity for make people laugh. I had many jesters of both categories.
Martin (natural) inherited from my father, Sexton and Patch (both natural). Then along came Will Sommers with a party of cloth suppliers for payment. He was a skinny, bow backed boy with a ridiculous sense of humour but who could bring a smile to any frown. I made him my Greenwich palace jester where he stayed for all his life with my court.
Will actually lived to 1560 a grand old age and was inherited to Edward, Mary and Elizabeth’s court. He finally worked with her favourite jester, Jane the fool.
Notice how close his clothing was to mine, cocked hat, false chain and fur top. This showing how much status he had.
Will was also my spy in the court, he told me about Wolsey hoarding gold in his cellar and that started me watching this greedy man in more detail, some say the beginning of his demise.
Q.380. Hi Henry.
Whilst up in Cumbria last weekend I noticed there was a medieval hall there called Moot Hall. What does Moot Hall mean?
Sounds like you were in Keswick in the Northern lake District. Not medieval this one though. There the Moot hall was a place of Judicial meetings, its spelling would then have been Mot or Mote, actually just meaning Meet. It was a place where an assembly of people could discuss legal things, Things that were Mooted about were being put up for discussion, a Moot point I might add. I don’t think they had Moats, but they would have had some sort of local security to enable serious discussion without fear of interference.
Thanks to www.visitcumbria.com/kes/kestic.htm
Q.381. Hi Henry
What evidence is there that Anne of Cleves real name was in fact Anna Von Kleve?
How's about her actual signature!
Q.382. It is not often that I cannot prove a source. But here is a question answered from verbal evidence, word of mouth over a period of 500 years must have a lot of changes but hopefully some of the content has original truths. I got this description of Samlesbury Hall's own Tudor dance steps from two elderly ladies visiting the house who remember it being done in their youth. How can we keep such stories without passing them on?
Tudor dances invented for large Palaces such as Hampton Court did not travel well to the provinces. They would not fit into small halls, the travelling minstrels would change them and thus alter their steps and meanings to suit their audience and so beyond the original recognition. A sort of Chinese whispers.
A Tudor Hall far away from the cultural capital would however design their own dance and music. They would base it upon what would suit their houses and the number of people dancing.
The Hive is a dance from a small hall in the North of England, 250 miles from Hampton Court. It is based upon a Bee Hive where Bee's buzz about in their own tiny space.
The man holds out his right harm, palm downwards, if he keeps his hand level aiming at the ladies face it means he has affection for her, if he points his hand towards the floor, no affection, just a dance. The lady touches the back of his hand with only two fingers to pivot.
The man bows without being "Forward" that is he slides his left foot in a curve to his rear and bows with a stiff back. This makes his behind move backwards and his head just drops not going forward, considered rude. At the same time the lady curtsy's with her left leg behind her right leg.
When the man slowly raises back up, he lifts his right arm and the Lady walks two steps to stand under the arch created. The man now struts slowly around the lady with three steps. The man's arm now lowers to shoulder height, then they take two steps forward, turn and bow/curtsy again, all this is repeated until the music stops. A good speed and tune is Henry's "With goode Company" though the local hall would not know this song and would play their own. I do not know of any local tunes to fit this dance.
Basically it is a local evening dance, to get to know each other better!
I actually demonstrate this dance to visiting schools at the Hall, it fits in beautifully in their room for about 40 people.
Here is a poem about the Hive steps.
By Henry Tudor
Swing good leg around and back
Never leave the floor, that’s slack.
Keep your back straight and tall
This night of Tudor, no drink, no fall.
Bow not stoop for Lady true
Don’t lean forward, shame on you.
She will curtsy low in tune with song
Not need for rest, not very long.
Hold your arm above her head
She steps into the arch instead.
Stride around her back to guide her on
Two steps forwards, now you’re gone.
Repeat these steps ‘till tunes doth stop
Do not change your hand from flop.
Unless you now like her be praised
For she will see now your hand has raised.
This simple dance in Tudor hall
Maybe done in Palace Ball.
Indicate the man’s intention
Must be Henry’s cunning invention.
So what must we call this small hall dance?
So short of space, it doth entrance.
To bring together man and girl
By just a simple, tuneful twirl.
Q.383. What was Birdlime and was it associated with Honeydew?
No both are quite different.
Birdlime is a viscous sticky stuff prepared from holly bark and used to catch small birds. Poachers would mix the glue and then paste it on the branches to look like bird droppings. The Crows would walk on the glue and stick to the branch, the poachers would climb up and steal the stricken birds, leaving them in a sack for another accomplice on the other side of the boundary fence to collect. This accomplice was called the “Fence”, meaning a man who passes on stolen goods.
Honeydew was a sticky substance exuded by insect, aphids, firstly named from sticky sap from plants, so only connected to the Birdlime by way of it could have come from a Holly tree bark.
Q.384. Hi Henry. How did they catch large animals to eat?
Not just by the obvious of using arrows from a crossbow, we also dug large holes and put branches across then chased the animals into it. This pit gave us the term “Pitfall” meaning a trap hidden from view.
How did people see out of windows if they had no glass?
Windows were filled with oiled linen in place of glass which was expensive and hard to obtain, it made the linen translucent which is not transparent but shapes can be seen through it and it let in the sunlight. The oil used was called Linseed Oil which had many uses other than for their poor window panes. Linseed could also be used to dry paint and varnish, waterproof cloth and when heated it went darker and harder and linoleum and oilcloth was made from it. Did I say varnish? Yep! Tudors had varnish, it was made from the shells of Lac beetles and called Shellac!
Oh, and the very poor had no windows anyhow.
Q.385. What was an Eaves Trough?
Early roof guttering on the edge of the slope of the roof.
Q.386. Hi Henry.
Why did families have to provide a dowry for a marriage?
Actually it was only for the girls parents to provide a dowry. The money or property she gave towards the marriage offset the fact she was a woman in a time when men were seen as superior. They Endow a gift towards the marriage, usually left as an inheritance for the marriage of a daughter or granddaughter, an endowment. If the man dies before the woman then she becomes the Dowager widow who inherits. The law of marriage however was very biased towards the husband, “What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine too!” The dowry level depended upon the position of the man in society, not necessarily his wealth so a girl marrying into an aristocratic family would need a larger dowry than if she married a farmer’s son.
Quite right too, says Henry!
Q.387. Hi Henry. I believe your second wife Anne Boleyn had a dog; do you know what breed it was and maybe even its name?
Yappy little horror and I mean the dog! He dog was called Purkoy another of her French ways, from the French Pourqios which I believe meant “intuitive” or could not keep its nose out of anything! As for the breed, not sure at this time, but will get back.
Q.388. Hi Henry. Do you know the names and jobs of the senior staff from the Palaces, I mean the skilled workers.
Oh! Ask me a hard one, some would shudder at such a question and declare that they would not be aware of such commoner names, but I am a Humanist at heart and I know that talent is cross status so I would know the people who pleased me most. Here is a list as far as I can remember, if I leave any off please do not take it as a slight on their character nor a lapse in my memory.
From my childhood, my teachers:
John Skelton--- Poet
Bernard Andre--- Latin
Richard Croke--- Greek
From my household:
Galyon Hone--- Glazier artist
John Browne ---- Painter and decorator.
John Rastell---- Painter and decorator.
Clement Armstrong--- Designer of my pageants
Alexander Barclay--- Poet
Richard Gibson--- Builder of pageant scenery and pavilions
Lucy Cornwallis--- Confectioner
George Talbot--- Lord Steward in charge of all 25 departments.
Sebastion Le Senay--- Maker of my Coat of Arms though not resident.
Jean Millard--- Mapmaker and my globe maker.
John Craddock--- Maker of fine rush mats for the halls.
Anne Harris--- Keeper of my linen
William Abbott and Richard Hill--- My personal cellar men
John Shirley--- Provider of food, he located and purchased meats and vegetables for all my palaces.
Pero Doux--- My personal French Chef
John Bricket---Master Chef
John Wynkell--- Master baker.
Richard Harris--- My senior gardener.
Will Sommers--- My favourite Jester.
Q.389. Hi Henry. Love the website and your answer to the question of when did Henry meet Anne Boleyn has intrigued me. If she was in a play and so were Mary Tudor and Mary Boleyn, where was it held?
Now what a revelation my last trip to France to research the Field of the Cloth of Gold, has been. Some months ago I was happily reading a wonderful book about the Boleyn’s and mentally noted the meeting circumstance, not the place, but the reason Anne became an obsessive of Henry. Now here I am researching the Field of the cloth of Gold and up springs Anne Boleyn yet again, this time in the town of Ardres, in the place where Francis I had his castle headquarters. Their literature describes the meeting. So I can actually answer your question quite new information.
Here it is: the play was put on to entertain both King’s Henry and Francis in The Bastion du Festin in Ardres the location of King Francis’s quarters. The dowager Queen of France, Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor was lead role, Mary and Anne Boleyn were in the play. Anne Boleyn played a role called Perseverance, a character portrayal of a girl with hard to solve problems and that attraction to men of a challenge. This actual meeting now answers a question in my mind too. How did the Boleyn girls get into Henry’s court so quickly? Now add the fact that their father was ambassador to Paris and now add that Henry watches Anne in the play in France, Francis tells Henry of his affair with Mary Boleyn. Do I need to paint a clearer picture? When diplomatic niceties where long gone and we recalled the Boleyn’s back to England, they were place into Henry’s court straight away, Henry took Mary Boleyn as his mistress thus telling Francis his rival in straight and manhood just who has her now! Anne Boleyn must have been Henry’s target from day one, because he knew Francis had not managed to seduce her, so it started as a ploy to beat the French King which finally got out of hand.
And a date for you then, what year did Henry actually meet Anne Boleyn, must have been 1520 then!
Here is a picture of the Bastion du Festin.
Thanks to the Historical Society of Ardres (Feb 2008).
Q.390. Hi Henry. Wow! Why have many books not seen the Anne Boleyn meeting before?
Sometimes accidental luck occurs. I was not looking for anything about Anne Boleyn so I was not focussed on where to look. I was browsing through a pile of paper in the Historical section of the Tourist office in Ardres and low and behold, I saw the name Anne Boleyn (Bollin). This raised my eyebrow and latched together the story of the play and the placing of Anne in the French court at about the same time. So it was pure luck, not even deep research.
Q.391. Hi Henry. Just how big was the Field of the Cloth of Gold?
I knew my new trip would conjure up a few hard questions.
One Royal camp at Guines the other at Ardres which are 11 miles apart. The field of the cloth of gold is 5.5 miles for each place and is now the village of Balinghem. The entrance to the Field was 0.5 miles from the centre where the Royal pavilion was placed. So therefore I suggest it was either 1 mile in diametre or 1 mile square. The land was very flat and with soft topsoil so it would have been quite muddy with horse’s hooves throwing up the soil. The weather was poor and a storm stopped the proceedings thus causing the two Kings to have a banquet and play indoors in Francis’s castle at Andres.
Q.392. Hi Henry. Is there a picture somewhere in Historical circles which shows your bad leg?
Defined bad leg. Is it the normal malady of which Courtly Knights endure when they put their off leg into the horses stirrup, the armour clashes with the skin and a bruise appears, thus being hidden by a garter. Or was it about the ulcers which appeared in my old age due to the broken knee joint which festered and came out eventually as my great illness.
Well there is a picture from France, of my malady leg but there is non of my final bad leg though you could say it would look like the malady but ten times worse.
Here is the picture of the bruised leg. At this point I must show you a strange bit of evidence as to Henry being left handed but trying not to show it. The garter is missing and normally would have covered the bruises, Henry in France with Francis I not wanting to be in any way seen as inferior! Strange times.
Q.393. Why did you wrestle with Francis I of France?
Sport of course, wrestling was a close contact sport and we were in competition with each other to see who was the fittest King. Just a bit of fun really at the end of the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
I have put togther two portraits by Holbein, one coloured which shows how he doctored the original picture showing the wrestling match and the other showing it before being doctored.
Q.394. Hi Henry:
Why was Lead used so much when it was a poisonous metal?
Nobody connected the poison of lead to anything. Lead was used for water tanks and pipes, sealing of roofs and the jointing between stone blocks to make them watertight, cannon balls and any large container needing metal to stop burning. However it was also used to copy ornamental objects in other metals. Say for instance a Bronze casting was one of a pair and the other was lost or broken, the surviving one would be pressed into sand and molten lead poured in to copy it. Painting both would hide the forgery. Lead was used also in an alloy with tin to make pewter, what looks like tarnished silver. Pewter was used for plates and drinking tankards, rich people would get lead poisoning and be seen to droop, with bluish eyes and teeth. Called Rich-man’s dropsy it was seen as an ailment only for the rich so being acceptable.
Lead was used for counterfeit coins by thieves who had stolen it off the roofs, to make money to get into taverns when there was a one penny tariff to cover cost from drunken fights. Lead was used to make whole windows of Quarries and Cames which we called stained glass windows today. Mines in Derbyshire would have serfs working in them, a better job than farming as the pay was higher. Only five days were allowed off per year and others could claim the mine if they could prove the miner had missed five days. Men would sit outside the mine entrance and carve a Groove or Nick on the entrance lintel. Getting a mine this way was called Nicking the mine. Containers for logs could be made out of lead as it is easy to make into sheets, impress a pattern on the surface then roll up and weld into a circular vessel with a round base welded on. No need for draft casting angles this way and complicated shapes could be fabricated.
Q.395. I read your poem about Sticky fingers and the poaching of crows from private land. What do crows nests look like in stately home grounds?
Easy to show you with a picture
I am told that a crows nest is usually sited along the edge of a forest to give access to tall trees in flight and not too high for Eagles and hawks to prey.
Q.396. Hi Henry.
Were there ever any “Black people” in the Tudor palaces?
Never being one to run away or ignore difficult questions, I had to dive in deep to find the answer to this important point. The Tudors were aware of other nations and some of African and even Chinese origin managed to get to England. In the courts of King Henry VIII there is only one recorded Black person in a prominent “seen” position and he was called John Blank, he was a trumpeter in a troupe of sixteen musicians who announced the Royal entrances to their visitors.
Q.397. From Miss Chorley class three.
1) What did you go hunting for and how did you capture the animals?
2) How much time did you spend on your royal duties?
3) Did Francis Drake ever meet Henry VIII before Henry died?
4) How many men fought in the War of the Roses? How many people died?
1. I went hunting most mornings for Deer. Wild boar. Sometimes I would get up between 4.00 and 5.00 am to catch the sunrise in the forests. Return at 07.00am for food and then go out again until 11.00am and dinner. Dinner took two whole hours because it was usually two shifts for the 200 courtiers all to get served. I would then work with my Council until about 4.00pm signing laws and declarations. It was the work of close council to organise all banquets and visits by ambassadors but they had to wait for me to be ready, sometimes all day. Evening supper was between 7 and 9pm and then we danced until 10pm. We went to bed then to be ready for another early start. Household servants rose at 07.00am and only my inner servants got up with me.
We ate the animals we caught after they had hung in the kitchen for three days.
We would hunt with Bow and arrow and occasionally a lance or spear, never used traps as this was not sport.
If you want to read a book which describe my normal day as King
Try this short book by Christopher Gidlow, who is a good friend of mine and curator of Hampton Court and The Tower of London for HRP.
“Life in a Tudor Palace” ISBN 978-0-7509-4608-7
2. So from the answer to question 1. I only spent about 2 hours per day on actual duties.
3. Sir Francis Drake. Born: 1540. Died: 1596
So he was only 7 years old when I died in 1547.
4. For casualties in battle during the Wars of the roses go to this website and click on each battle, it will tell you so you can add them up.
Q.398. Hi Henry. Why did Tudors consider a candle to be a spice?
Only partially true, the Beeswax candles used in the presence of the court were very expensive as they were hard to produce and did not give off a nasty smell, so they were stored with the spices because of their value. They were not considered to be spices. The poorer people used candles made from animal fat called tallow, I have found that the cooking of pork was always done away from a main hall because the smell was similar to tallow candles burning and the courtiers did not want to appear to be using tallow candles. So the idea of a roast pig turning on a spit in the middle of a Great Hall with Royalty present is not correct, it would be cooked in the kitchens and then dressed on the Sideboard dresser ready for serving to the guests, thus leaving the smell of cooking pork in the kitchen and not interfering with the smell of Beeswax candles lighting the room.
Now that’s what I call snobbery.
Q.399. Hi Henry. I wonder just what the court thought of all your marriages?
People will always have their opinions it is human nature, although to voice one’s opinions could be considered dangerous. My daughter Mary was demoted to Lady Mary when I annulled my marriage to her Mother, however some still considered her to be a Princess, a Lady Hussey was sent to the Tower of London for calling Mary a princess out loud! Remember the fate of Catherine Howard, she the traitor who dallied with Thomas Culpepper, well two of Anna von Kleve’s ladies ion waiting were sent to jail for muttering “….how many wives will he have!”
So you see, the rule of survival in the Royal court was definitely, “keep your opinions to yourself!”
That's it for this page, Question 400 onwards is on the next page.