How did I know there would be so many questions. So here we are starting another 100, hopefully on the way to the magic 1000 questions answered.
Ah! The Art of the Blacksmith.
When Iron is a pure metal, Wrought Iron, it is very soft. By adding carbon it becomes steel which is very strong. But shaping the steel is a highly skilled job which makes the product very expensive. Steel can be shaped in four differing ways:
1. It can be cast from molten metal into a mould and a lot of carbon is needed to make it flow, this causes a random structure which is very strong in compression but weak in tension and bending making the product fairly brittle. This is the cheapest way to make many copies of Steel products like spear heads and cannon barrels.
2. It can be worked when hot to change the structure from a random arrangement into a directional flow to increase its strength and harden its working edges like swords and long spikes. This is done by a skilled blacksmith and is very expensive, the products are also not identical.
3. It can be shaped when cold with a hammer, though this ruins the structure and can cause surface cracking, it is usually the last process to refine the product such as patterning, beating a fine edge.
Some products can have all three processes involved in the making. It could start with a rough casting, then be reheated to be shaped on an anvil to a more complex shape, then finally finished cold to get that final shape and surface finish desired. Cold working also work hardens the metal so a keener edge could be obtained.
4. It can be cut away or added to, machined or fabricated, like adding rivetted joints.
Basically it all depends how much money you want to spend, a lowly pike-man will be given a cast-steel pike end for his pole. A knight will be able to afford a pike which has had the spear-end lengthened by forging, whilst the Duke can afford his armour to be made with embellishments because he will not be fighting, his metalwork is for show only.
Now locks and hinges are normally only forged to make sure they are strong enough to secure the contents.
See the picture below to show you what to look for.
Before any metallurgist jumps in, Tudors mainly worked by the rules of learning the hard way, they did not know about grain structures and Spheroidal Graphite cast irons. They would find stronger steels by accident which have been contaminated at some time by carbon from their own graphite powered forges. Quality of steel would vary considerably from town to town, forge to forge and even the time of year influenced the product outcomes. The best steel seemed to come from Northern Europe, countries liked Sweden and Northern Germany seemed to have more consistent metals and nominally consistent working conditions. It would have been quite risky to assume that all cannon barrels made of cast iron were the same and that one sword was as strong as its stable mate.
Q. 602. Hi Henry. How did the Tudors make soap?
You may not like the answer. Refined pig fat would be mixed with caustic soda and then it would be scented. If you read the manufacturing declaration on a modern packet of soap or shampoo, it does contain animal fats today!
Q.603. Hi Henry. What was Tin used for in Tudor days?
Tin is a pretty useless metal in its pure condition, too soft for weapons, too silver-like for jewels. It does however have a glorious property, it mixes well with other metals and makes them flow better when molten, it also hardens other softer metals like Copper to become Bronze and added to Lead makes it hard wearing to become an alloy called Pewter. So Tin made other metals more productive.
Q.604. Hi Henry. What did Tudors think was happening when there was a natural eclipse of the sun?
We were not stupid, we knew the moon was an object which moved around Earth, but then we also thought the sun did too, which as you know is wrong. Nobody had worked it out that our system revolved around the sun and also we rotated on our own axis too. Not knowing when it would happen is all we are ignorant of, when it did happen that the Moon aligned with the Earth and the Sun it came as a surprise but not a warning, there would have been recorded words about eclipses of the past.
Q.605. Hi Henry. I read that you wear three suits per day is that true? Who was your tailor?
Yes three complete suits per day to suit the activities, so a heavy Surcoat and inner hunting suit in the morning. A court suit at mid-day and a banqueting and ball suit for the evening. We had no dry cleaning so the suits would be dismantled and all jewels removed every three days and the rest burnt. My tailor was called John Malte of London, he would oversee the maiking of each set of three new suits and his workers would make them.
Here is a poem about John Malte.
John Malte the Tailor true.
By Henry Tudor
In London, this Citizen and Merchant tailor did excel
His coffers, his reputation, his standing and skill did swell.
He was the finest tailor in our land, artwork from his very hand
Designing the best his sewing never bland, prowess he would expand.
His family so proud of the King’s new Clothes, by father’s hand
Would celebrate the triumph of each one with party grand.
Their wealth grew fast as did their art, no humble tailor anymore
Royal suit after suit to add to the mounting score.
Master Holbein can you paint me well, did so King Henry tell
Of course your Majesty must see your Tailor for silk to sell.
And so it goes, The Tailor worked and produced a suit, no single fault
Down in History he did go, the skills and talent of the said John Malte.
John Malte’s story to further tell, his daughter Meriel, married well
Into the Family Horner of Plum Pie spell, Jack’s son loved her ever so well.
Riches came and grew to land, beginning with this tailor’s skill
Be the best at what you do, then all your dreams you can fulfil.
Q.606. Hi Henry. Love the pictures of Galyon's glass.
How did Galyon Hone paint pictures onto the actual glass?
I had to be metal based and melted into the glass surface. Iron or Copper oxide was used and mixed with a glue called “gum-arabic” plus a fixing agent (a mordant) of vinegar or urine will make it insoluble, it would then be painted onto the glass and then heated to weld it into the surface.
Q.607. Hi Henry.
How did Galyon Hone get the window to the perfect shape?
First of all he would make a wooden fixture the same shape as the opening, then he would lay it down upon tressles like a table top. Now he would draw the window design in chalk with the thickness of the chalk the same as the lead he was going to use. All the pieces were now the correct size and shape, he would now ask the client to come and view the mock-up picture, any changes can now take place before any glass is made. Each piece is now made and then laid out in the correct place touching the chalk line.
Now here’s where there are two different routes for the actual making, but I consider the first one as the most obvious to make sure the lead sets correctly with the help of gravity, and the window can be put into the opening in one day.
Method 1. (This is the method I believe to have been used)
Build the whole window on the table fixture with cut pieces of Lead Came and weld with the melt toward the back of the window. Test for water ingress by pouring water into each quarry and waiting to find a leak. When fully sealed fix the whole window to the fixture and lift the whole assembly by “A” frame into the opening. Remove the fixture after the window has been fitted.
Take each piece one by one from the bottom of the picture and weld it into the window opening by melting the Lead Cames. Build up the picture and seal off at the top. This method is for small windows as sealing is difficult.
Q.608. Hi Henry
Is it true that you gave your daughters’ the Welsh Leek to wear on St. David’s day?
I have a hero in my life, Edward the Black Prince who adopted the Leek as a bravery symbol for his Welsh archers who fought for him in his victory at Crecy in 1346. I carried on the tradition from my Father who was born in Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire. I gave both my daughter the Leek to wear in 1536 to celebrate St. David’s day. The Welsh wore the Leek in their hats.
Q.609.Hi Henry. I read somewhere that in your day you had stone louvered windows, is that stone windows with louvers or stone louvers in the windows?
I was well before my day, the large windows for light to enter a dark room were constantly under the threat of invasion or penetration by cannon balls. Also an angle downwards was needed to fire arrows at any approaching enemy, so louvers were fitted in the strongest material to hand, stone. If an object were to hit the stone on the edge in an upward direction the louver could withstand the force, but if an object was fired upwards and it descended towards the louver hitting it on the flat side, it would shatter. Luckily it was too difficult to undertake the downward action. Here’s a couple of pictures of Stone Louvered windows.
Q.610. Hi Henry. I see you like bird watching, as do I. Why are Blackbirds, Crows, Ravens attracted to the grounds of Castles?
They live where the food is and they nest where it is difficult for birds of prey to attack them, so in the holes of a stone wall is a good place to be. They are vulture like scavenger birds and the Castles are generally on the tops of hills, near the sea overlooking the plains, this is a good place to watch for animals in distress. The Raven began to be seen as a Bird of the Nobles because they lived alongside. I took these pictures recently around the walls of The Bishops Palace and St. David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.
Q.611. Hi Henry. I’m studying Castles and Old houses at school, why are windows pointed at the top and not flat like in my house?
Mmm, well spotted. They look like they are pointing towards heaven but in fact they are designed to carry the weight of the house above them better in a pointed shape. The Romans taught us how to make doorway and windows with arches and keystones. Two stones leaning on each other transmit the load from above to each side of the opeing and then to the floor, this is why windows are placed above each other and not staggered. If they were staggered the load transmitted from above would add to the loads above itself causing extra material stress. At least one window apart the lower window must be placed. It takes a clever mind to notice this, carry on.
See this diagram below to explain the positioning of stone windows as well as load distribution.
See these pictures of actual windows, see the one with the collapsed frame and how Physics naturally creates a pointed top! Maybe too deep for this question, but if a compressive load is applied to a brittle object it usually fails with a 45 degree angled break. Says a lot eh!
Q.612. Hi Henry. Why did King and Queen of Spain pick the pomegranate as their emblem?
A sought after fruit of African origins and needing lots of sunshine in an arid climate with water underground from aquifers, these are the requirements for nature to allow one to grown them. The Moor’s invaded Spain for 700 years occupation, the aquifers are under the northern plains and run down to Granada, the climate is hot and the ground is arid. All the boxes are now ticked to grow the special fruit. The King and Queen of Spain, Fernando and Isabella named the fruit for exportation and it means “The Apple of Granada”. Pomegranates stored well and travelled well but were very expensive so only the super rich could afford them, they became a showing off fruit, eating them with gold sticks to take out the fleshy fruit. The Royal ship Mary Rose had a “brother” ship built at the same time for Katherine of Aragon, she named it Peter Pomegranate.
Q.613. Hi Henry. What are Encaustic Tiles?
Usually brownish-red background with cream patterning, not very accurately marked out due to the low tech process. The pattern is painted on the clay blank with wax colours and heated to fix, the wax often runs and expands differently to the clay causing swelling of the pattern. But must say they are still beautiful. Here is a picture of the tiles.
Q.614. Hi Henry. Is there any place where the Tudor declaration of deserving to be Royals is written in the public domain?
Well, obviously an historical geek like me!
Mmm. Here’s how we work out where to look.
1.First of all we are looking at the time of King Henry VII, not me.
2.Must be within the reign but not at the end, early on to show who’s boss.
3.Lady Margaret a genius at propaganda will have had some hand in the display of proof.
These are the factors to work out where and what we are looking for, a plaque on something religious, say a coffin, grave or Tomb. Now who is related to Henry VII and Margaret Beaufort and has creditable history of Royal connections?
Answer: Edmund Tudor Margaret’s late husband and Father to Henry Tudor.
Edmund was half brother of King Henry VI who both had the same Mother, whilst his father was Owen Tudor. He died in 1456 aged 24 and never saw his son born to his 12 year old wife Margaret, he was buried at Greyfriars in Camarthen but then moved to St. Davids Cathedral during the dissolution. The whole tomb was moved and the lid had a bronze plaque mounted added which stated in “Latin Father of one King, half brother of another.”
Here’s a picture of the tomb and the plaque. (Had this question for weeks waiting for the trip to St. David’s, so thanks DM for waiting).
Go one then ask me why they moved his remains to St. Davids. Well the first Protestant Bishop wanted the central Welsh Cathedral to be in Camarthen because his remains were there. But, Royalty wanted St. David’s to be the Central Cathedral of Wales so they moved him instead.
And another daring question. Why St.David’s when it so far off the beaten track?
Not so, you must think of travel by sea as the answer, St. David’s is central to have a port for Scotland, Northwest England, Cornwall, Normandy and Brittany and it was called the “Bridge to Ireland”. So St. David’s was in fact a very central place.
That’s it now, I’ve got a headache.
Q.615. Hi Henry. I love your website, must have taken years to compile.
Here’s my question. I understand the nature of a barrier at the end of a chapel for sanctuary and it has the name Rood meaning cross, and the barrier is called a Rood Screen. But, what is a hanging Rood?
Simple really, if the chapel or church is large and cannot be divided easily to create the Rood-end, then they could hang a wooden effigy over the declared entrance to the safe area. It is still a Rood-end but has no screen. Here’s one for you to see.
And, yes it has taken nearly 8 years to produce this website, which is constantly being added to, changing and redesign modifications. Please notice that there are no paid advertisements in it, no swearing, no negative comments and great respect for all religions, non-religion beliefs or in layman’s terms “open house to anybody.”
Rats! I meant .................or in layperson’s terms “open house to anybody.” Did I say “rats!” I meant “Oh dear!” See how hard it is to stay on top of it, hehehehehe.
Q.616. Hi Henry. Have you got a full Tudor Dynastic Chart?
Yep. See the picture below or if you want a larger one load the file. The time line is there to give you a feel for the dates but as you can see I took up a lot of space thanks to having six wives.
This picture show the content of the file below, download it for a large clear picture.
Click here to download this file
Q.617. Hi Henry. Racked with Pain, has this saying come from the torture chamber?
Yes. It means what it says. Here are the two most used Torture treatments from Tudor through to the end of Elizabethan days.
Also, did you know that it was illegal to kill anybody in the Torture Chamber, they would cover up such crimes by executing already dead prisoners!
Q.618. Hi Henry. I’ve read that your servants ate and lived quite well, what were the conditions like in the smaller manor houses for servants?
They were not treated well, and their home was tied to their positions, poor wages and left over’s, mainly all cooked in cast iron pots. See this set of pictures from various visits to different houses, they all have a similar theme. The large kitchen set is the highest class.
Q.619. Hi Henry. Do you have a picture of your Mother before she married your Father?
Yes, and my Maternal Grandmother.
If you find a picture of me when I was a cute little boy, see just how I look like my Mother!
Q.620. Hi Henry.
Everyone has heard of the Spanish Armada which your daughter Queen Elizabeth I beat. But what were the English Armada and the Portuguese Armada’s?
Basically the word Armada is not owned by any country and not a Noun. It just means “Armed Fleet”.
Q.621. Hi Henry.
I went into an old Tudor house in the town of Ludlow next to the Castle, it had wooden floors made from timber of all different widths and thicknesses. Why is that?
The builders of the house were buying second hand timber from ship breakers and the wood is called “Ship’s Timbers”. They seem all to be different sizes but that is an illusion. They are from different ships so they would be in batches of different sizes, big ships produce big timbers and so on. So make a list of widths and count each width to support a column, this method will tell you how many different ships were being broken up.
By the way, my deceased brother, Prince Arthur, died in that castle as he was the Prince of Wales and oversaw his Principality across the Welsh Marches from Ludlow. The Town took on a new role with Arthur as he was the first Tudor Prince of Wales, the house was probably built in the expansion. The ships were probably old merchant ships as my Father King Henry VII would not have destroyed fighting ships without using the timbers again.
Q.622. Hi Henry
I read that Mary Queen of Scots went to Buxton, Derbyshire to take the waters. Is that true?
Yes. The waters in Derbyshire have always been there since the Ice-age, the Romans made Buxton as important as Bath for the healing properties of the waters. Mary Stuart was under house arrest with the Earl of Shrewsbury and travelled to Buxton with her captor’s family to take the waters. House arrest was not a jail cell, it was more like a captive house guest who lived a very comfortable life style with the family.
Q.623. Hi Henry
Were there any commoners amongst King Henry VIII’s court whom he admired a lot?
A difficult question if you want to find answers from normal History books. But, consider how he would address them and this will tell you how he admired them. If he addressed a man as Master and a woman as Mistress, then these people did a job for him that was very difficult, if he addressed a person by their first name then this person is high in the King’s opinion. Master Hone (Galyon Hone), Master Holbein (Hans Holbein), Master Moody (Edmund Moody) and Mistress Cornwallis (Lucy Cornwallis). All these commoners impressed the King. Then there was Will (Will Somers) his trusted Jester and confidant.
Q.624. Hi Henry
In all your portraits that have survived you never seem to wear diamonds, why is that?
Simple really, we had diamonds but we did not have the technology to polish them. We could cut them roughly, rough-cut, but to polish and bring out the clarity it would need very high speed diamond faced discs. Spinning things very fast without wobbles was impossible in my age. We would use diamonds as a cutting tool to shape other softer stones. It was my intention to own all the mines and metal sources, or as many as I could get. So the Welsh gold mines were the source of my gold unless it was a gift from abroad, I had copper, tin, lead, iron and silver and the famous black stone we call Jet from the mines in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast. I used Jet a lot in my chains, here’s a picture. As you know Jet if formed from fossilised Monkey-Puzzle trees which are usually grown naturally in a hot rain forest. Well, before the Ice-age we were a tropical rainforest county and Monkey-Puzzle trees grew only in East Yorkshire. If you go down the coast to Norfolk, the fossilisation of the rainforests changes to another type of tree and produces a black softer resource which is mixed with iron in the ground, this product makes out permanent black ink.
Sorry I diverted, but I love telling folk where we got our riches from. Here’s a picture of a Monkey-Puzzle tree.
Q.625. Hi Henry.
You wear lots of pearls, where did they come from?
Oysters of course. Most of our wide, fast flowing river inlets have plenty of Oysters. Bristol, Morecambe Bay and the Wash were virtually farmed for the Oyster meat and the potential of Pearls. I never ate Oysters, we considered them poor meat for the poor, though the Romans loved them and farmed them. We also had fresh water Pearls which were not perfectly spherical as the river ran only one way, we liked them though as they gave off a pinkish sheen.
Q.626. Hi Henry. How did people find out what was going on in Tudor Days?
What a deep question! No such thing as the internet, no newspapers for the rural country (we did have a news-sheet published for London with my blessing and patronage called The Sun), no phones, no television nor radio, no magazines and no bill boards. The only method of passing along a story was by mouth. Now we have all heard of Chinese Whispers where a story gets changed as it is passed around, mainly because of memory, building up a theme, biased views, and also skulduggery. So when I was in great sorrow after the death of Jane Seymour, many believed I had died of a broken heart and the story went around the country that the King was dead with half the country mourning and the other half plotting. A story which has travelled a great distance from mouth to mouth would be called a “far-fetched story” and could harm the subject of the story or build up the character into a myth such as King Arthur and his Round Table. Flanders-Mare was a cruel manipulation of the real facts into a story which cast the Lady from Kleve into an ugly laughing stock.
Q. 627. Hi Henry. I read in your QA section that the Tudors were not that big on accuracy in the buildings and artefacts they made, do you have any pictures showing examples?
Functionality was the name of the game with the Tudor era of manufacturing, also one off products are virtually designed as they progress through their making. “We’ll add a bit here. Cut that bit off to make it fit”, these would be in the mind of the maker right from house builder to ship builder down to treasure chest builder. Here’s a picture I took from the Red House in Bristol, just check the inaccuracies but see how the overall product does not defer from its charm.
Don't forget that there are three methods of manufacture, 1. One off which is developed at it is made. 2. Batch production where jigs are used to keep a constant shape and then 3. Mass Production where all the manufacturing operations are isolated and many automations used.
Q.628. Hi Henry. Where did we get the names of the days of the week?
The time was the dark ages after the Romans had either left or integrated into Briton society, we were left in an exposed time where we could be taken over by more violent societies like the Picts or the Angles. Then in came the Saxons who beat the hordes and established a heathen, multi-god society. They had a God for each day of the week.
Let us start the week on a Sunday.
Sunday....................Sunnan daeg, the day of the Sun God.
Monday...................Monan Daeg, the day of the Moon God.
Tuesday...................Tiwes Daeg, the day of the God of war, Tiw.
Wednesday.............Wodenes Daeg, the day of the chief God, Woden or Odin.
Thursday.................Thunres Daeg, The day of Thor the God of Thunder.
Friday......................Frige Daeg, the Wife of Odin, Frige.
Saturday.................Saeter Daeg, the day of Saturn.
Then of course they changed their religious views and became Christians, they left the names of the week because everybody was used to them.
Q.629. Hi Henry. Was a man called a Freeman because he was not a slave?
Not really, it actually meant “Free Necked Man” a person who never bows his head to anybody. A soldier or leader who would lead a small community.
Q.630. Hi Henry. I am a History academic and use your website for ideas and to guide my train of thoughts. I agree with your philosophy of “being there” to get the best view of Historical events and the lives of the people. I am presently studying the buildings of Tudor England and like your good self have found the glazier’s story the best focal point. How should I restart my look at such a skill?
Hi there Sir. First of all forget the modern world which has 10 times the population, too much mechanisation and easy transportation. Then consider the prospects of a poor family with mouths to feed and future incomes to make. Sons would be expected to follow the father’s footsteps and would be trained from an early age of say 8yrs to help and so learn the basic skills. The Low Countries in Tudor times are not the same names as today, so a place or district like Flanders would now touch into Holland, Belgium and Germany but in Tudor days it was a low lying flat district with good natural harbours. The City of Antwerp was built up by trade into the newest and biggest hotspot in Europe, the building of its Cathedral took nearly 200 years and so would have had generations of families living and working there. These people would have been drawn to the City because of earning a wage with the skills they had.
Antwerp Cathedral would become not just a building site, but also a training school for the children of craftsmen, they would mingle with other workers and apprentices to the exclusion of new craftsmen trying to enter as the school expanded with home grown students. This became a closed knit building community and would then be called a Guild. Have a look at the City of Antwerp map and you will find the Guild houses built for the workers by the workers, but being the detective you will notice that the dates of the first Guild buildings are about 80/100 years after the beginning of the Cathedral build. The Guild Houses increased as the Cathedral went into its second century build, differing skills therefore differing Guilds therefore differing Guild houses. The additional Guild Houses will tell you the stages of the Cathedral build.
Quarry + Stone Mason + Stone carving + Carpentry + Glass making + Glazier + Painting.
Going back to Galyon Hone, he would have been an apprentice at the Cathedral, possible trained by Flowers who was a prominent glazier. Flowers would have been there when King Henry VII “sent” the windows for the Chapel and so Flowers may have been the man who managed the actual build. “Sent” is not the same as today, no big truck with a team of installers. Sent would be money and a picture (cartoon) of the windows for a local team to make the glass and produce the windows inside a frame next to the opening being glazed. It is possible that Flowers and his team, or a team with Flowers in it, would be the makers of the gift.
As you know it is well recorded that Flowers became the King’s glazier in England and lived here the rest of his life, this now supposes with a good chance of being reality, that when he retired he would be the one to recommend his “heir apparent” and his knowledge of Galyon Hone would put his name on the list. Picking Galyon Hone the pupil of Flowers was both a wise and a wrong move on the part of King Henry VIII. The wise move was that Hone being trained by Flowers would keep the standard and style the same in the Royal buildings, any repairs would be unnoticeable and expansion next to a Flowers window would flow in comparison. On the wrong side the choosing of another Flemish Glazier would and did upset home born glaziers and cause industrial unrest. It should be noted that Galyon Hone stayed here all his later life and had family here, yet no more Hones were employed in the Royal Palaces after his death, more a diplomatic decision me –thinks. The Hones continued the Glazier skills but the onset of the Protestant faith in England with its simpler religious outlook and plain windows, stained glass glazing declined.
Galyon Hone descendants moved to where the work was and now we have the work of the late Evie Hone (1894 – 1955) the Irish Stained Glass artist.
You will not find the birthplace of Galyon as would have been built out of timber, decrepit due to being poor and deserted when the family moved for work. He could have been born anywhere within walking distance of Antwerp but definitely near glazing sand and foundries. A search of mineral deposits around the Lowlands would pick up possible locations.
Hope this is enough, we all help each other.
I have spent only a few minutes to find these pictures on the internet. They give the research a flavour, but going to Antwerp and finding glazier skills first hand is the way forward.
Q.631. Hi Henry, This is Sandy from Gloucestershire.
With your great wealth of knowledge, could you tell me about Tudor shepherds in Gloucestershire.
I know it was a thriving county for wool production as my family were weavers in North Nibley at the time.
How did shepherds cope with orphaned lambs, as they didn't have powdered milk then.
What did they do with any dead ewes and were shepherds fined for losing any sheep.
Lastly did Henry V111 wear woollen garments made from Cotswold sheep’s wool.
Hello Gloucestershire, I was in your county only two weeks ago.
The story of shepherds drastically changes at the reformation.
Before the Reformation, English wool being the best in Europe, in demand and attracting the best prices was in fact the biggest earning export we had. The trouble was that the Roman Catholic Church controlled the majority of the production as their land was where the sheep were bred. Some farmers leased the lands but control was in Rome with the Vatican. To ensure that shepherds did not leave their placements and thus disrupt the income, the Church held them tied to their homes and Churches. Permission would have been needed from the Bishop for a family to move, not often granted. This caused many upsets and stifled the development of skills in other areas, such as weaving, milling, metal working etc. A skilled man could only afford to train one son in his trade as there was not enough work in his village. People would be related to most in their village and go to regular mass for which they had to pay to pray, usually deducted at source from their meagre wages. Sons without work would attend prayers at the back on the Misery seating.
Most of the wool left England via the Norfolk coast to Antwerpen which became the biggest wool port for Europe.
After the Reformation, I the King declared the new Church of Catholic England to be free to pray, free to move about and let the people decide where they live and pray. This was called “Godding about” and soon became Gadding about. Now skills could be taught to all the family and the skills moved to where they were needed, I believe this to be the seeds of the future Industrial Revolution. People took rubbings of their loved ones graves and left the village, this promoted the transition from metal oxide rubbings into the printing industry.
Now with this scenario in place, to answer your other questions has a logic about it.
1. Before the reformation weavers also had to purchase the high quality Alum Flour mordant from Vatican approved sources, again tying them to the Church. After the reformation, I had my own chemical production at Ravenscar in Yorkshire and the price of the fixer came down considerable thus producing a new era in coloured clothes.
2. Orphaned Lambs could be put with surrogate mothers or hand reared. A lamb was a considerable asset and easily traded to small holdings as they stepped up the new ladder of enterprise.
3. Dead ewes would be a source for the Fat producing of candles, soap, glue, animal food, leather. Nothing was wasted.
4. Cotswold wool held together well in the carding operation and could be spun quite thin and stay strong. The higher order gentry would want Hose for their legs to hide blemishes and produce that “whiteness” of the rich. The method of making the hosiery was simple but needed very thin wool which was washed in Alum Flour to produce as white as possible. A wooden ring with an odd number of nails or spikes around the rim. Tie the wool to one spike and go around the rim over and under. When it gets to the beginning again it is one spike out of alignment, now go around again, when on the second ending, pull the first loop over the second loop. Do it a third time then pull the second loop over the third and so on. The round knitting will produce a tube of wool which is called the Hose. Pull it through the hole in the middle of the hoop and make one leg at a time. Sew the two hose together to get Hosiery. The West and Midlands produced the Royal Hose.
Hope that’s all as I’m hungry now.
Q. 632. Have you a story about poaching?
I have written this just for you "Stone the Crows"
Stone the crows
By Henry Tudor
“That’s it lad, dig it deep until the sap rises. This cup will collect it, so we’ll leave it there for a couple of days. Let’s go to the next holly tree.” Davey whispered to the left ear of his son and heir. “There’s not much night sky left, the sun will
soon come up and nosey eyes will be about. Can’t get caught here, it’s the master’s forest.”
“But father, are the birds not free, they fly anywhere they want to, why are they the property of the Master?” Enquired Young Davey, named after his father.
“The trees belong to the Master so the nests do too.” Replied Davey now putting all his knives and pots into his Rook sack then throwing it over his shoulder to guide his son out of the dark forest.
“Why do we take the sap of the holly tree, father?” asked young Davey as they emerged from the dark forest and onto the dirt track made by the cattle and the hay carts.
“I’m gonna show you how to make a special glue to catch them crows up in the Master’s trees.” Replied Davey as he held the shoulder of the lad who one day will show his own son how to survive.
“You got some sap lads?” Enquired Ma, “the hearth is nice and hot, you can use the clay pot, but don’t get it too close to the flames.”
“See lad, the sap boils easily, then it goes thicker and very sticky, as soon as it bubbles we take it away from the heat and let it cool slowly.” Explained Davey to the eager lad.
“This glue is instant, the birds get caught straight away”.
“Won’t the birds see the glue, it is white after all?” Asked the lad now carrying the pot to the stone step outside their mud covered, wooden framed house.
“Not where I’m gonna put it, it’ll fool the birds, you wait and see.” Replied a smiling father watching his son help feed the family.
“We going out tonight, Davey?” Said a deep man’s voice from outside the house, as Davey’s family scooped some of the broth out of the pot hanging over the fire.
“Meet you there ,Tom, next to the nesting site. Just after the Sun goes down. I’ll bring the glue, you bring some worms and bread.” Davey whispers to the shadow of the man stood at the glassless window opening.
“You gotta take care tonight Davey, our son is with you and he’s part of the crime if you lot get caught.” Sal’ his wife whispered to her beloved husband by common law.
“I’ll keep him on the right side, don’t you worry, he can be the fence and collect the takings outside the master’s land. Even if we get caught he’s legally innocent and on common land.” Answered Davey knowing the dreadful outcome should anybody be caught inside the boundary fence.
“Don’t you forget to take the pig fat, it’ll save your life one day.” She shouted to her man.
“Now lad, you’re the fence, you receive all the stolen birds and place them into the correct Rook sack, make sure the right sack for the right family.” Davey whispered to his son in the darkness of the cloudy night, as he prepared to enter the illegal zone. “I just take the glue and some bits of bread and worms for any chicks that could make a noise.”
The poacher father now entered the forest behind his friends and they made their way to the tall trees with no leaves, the nests lit up in the moon light of the Autumn nesting. The Crows and Rooks where out hunting for food as their black plumage hid them from their own enemies, which included the local human population.
Up into the trees the men climbed, knowing that there would only be chicks in the nests, not fat enough to eat and should be left for the next years bounty. They climbed higher and higher until they reached the nesting zones. The chicks began to make noises to attract their parents back, but the men threw worms and bread to them. The chicks stopped crowing, they began to eat the food.
Perched on a branch under the nests the men began to apply the white glue along the branches next to the nests. The tops already had white areas from the defecation of the birds about to take to flight. These poachers knew their prey, they knew the birds clear their bowels before flying and the branch was their ablutions. The white glue matched the bird poo and was spread along the cover the tops.
Now the men climbed down the trees and sneaked out of the forest to meet up with their fences lying in the grass waiting.
They all heard the birds returning, the wafting of their wings overhead in a silent setting was nearly deafening. They waited until the wing flapping had ended, then the men slowly re-entered the forest again.
The birds were all hanging upside down with their feet firmly stuck to the branches by the white holly glue. Their wings were contaminated with the glue and the feathers glued together. Now the men had stones with them, one or two had sling shots with small pebbles as ammunition. They began throwing stones at the Crows and Rooks hanging helpless to the branches.
One by one they died, exhaustion and the stoning, the men had stoned the crows.
Leaving one man as a lookout, the rest climbed back up the trees and threw the bodies of the birds down, the lookout took them in bunches to the fences who put the birds into the bags belonging to the names given. By the middle of the night they had bagged at least fifty crows.
The poachers all walked back to their homes with their rook sacks full of food for their pots, they knew that the flesh of the birds must be stripped off the carcasses and cooked that night, to hide amongst the rest of the pot contents.
“Another great collecting night, we will eat all week off that load.” Declared Davey to his family.
The next day the village ale-house was raided by the Master’s men. They were all well fed and muscular and had no care of how they handled the drinkers sitting along the wall, facing the open fire.
“All be up standing now. All men hold out your hands face upwards to show your palms.” Shouted the leader of the Master’s men.
The leader walked up and down the row of men with their hands out, touching each one’s finger tips as he passed.
“You outside, then he moved on, you outside.” Shouted the man into the faces of the men. Then he marched outside to find the others of his gang, holding the men against the wall.
“You men are thieves, you all have sticky fingers. How do you plead?” Shouted the leader. “Stealing crows and admitting to it you will lose your house and be banned from this area. Not admitting to it and being found guilty by the magistrate, who is also your master, you will hang.”
Each of the men nodded that they had stolen crows the previous night and so their families were moved on. Davey however knew that the glue was nearly impossible to remove from the skin. He had greased his hand in pig fat just before he had applied it to the branches. He had told his friends about his idea but they had scoffed at the thought.
Davey lived for another ten years and died of natural causes at the ripe old age of thirty-one. His son Young Davey married by common law at the age of fifteen and was already poaching food for his own family and looking after his mother at the same time.
He became the head of the family, the one responsible for filling the pot over the open fire, in the mud covered, timber framed house, outside the forest where the crows live.
Q. 633. What were the major changes that you started in England and are still with us still today?
Many things change through history, the most by gradual evolution from a single seeding.
The biggest change originally seeded by the Tudor reign was the reformation of the Roman Catholic Church into the English Catholic Church.
Before the reformation the Holy Roman Empire owned a great percentage of our farmland, breeding sheep for wool and mutton. They employed most of the villages as shepherds. The Papal control wanted to keep their business intact so they stopped villagers from moving away, they tied them to their local church and their houses. Now take the example of the local Blacksmith who has two sons. The Church allowed only the eldest to be trained to be the next blacksmith, the second son had to be the shepherd. This kept skills tied to the village.
Now the Reformation came along and allowed freedom to move, so the blacksmith trained both sons. The youngest son moved to a village with no blacksmith.
This seeding of change began the movement of skills in England and was the root of the Industrial Revolution two centuries on.
The monasteries were built of stone, they had huge stones for their foundations, structural stones in the middle and embellishment stone at the top. The reformation allowed the local to enhance their own properties by removing the small stones, the local lords were allowed the structural stones, then the foundation stone was left exposed. This is what we wanted, now the 26 castles and forts were built from them to produce our coastal defense in just two years. A defense that is still there that protected us in both world wars and against the Spanish with Elizabeth I. The coast was then the place to build a 70 ship Navy, which became our defense and expansion to an Empire. Portsmouth was expanded as the centre of my Navy.
The Bible in English. The English language was written by sound. So different dialect and accents produced different spellings. The Bibles in the Roman Catholic Churches were all written in Latin, the Reformation took them out and replaced them with a standard English version. This brought together the words everybody used with a common spelling. The Common Bible. Eventually a dictionary was written.
4. Many other things changed or were added, Ice-cream, tea, chocolate and potatoes were amongst them. But cast Iron was a major seed of change to our history. Cannons were made of bronze (Copper and Tin), they were cast with a tapered bore and so the ball would zigzag out at great speed from the end. The direction of the cannon ball was very inaccurate and the range short.
Cast-iron (grey cast iron) produced a cannon where the bore was machined and so was parallel, the ball a tighter fit would now exit straight and fast. This made our defenses much more efficient against attackers. However it also meant they were much lighter, so more cannons could be mounted in ships, a disaster for the Mary Rose as the new extra layer went down near the waterline. This ship sank when a side wind tipped the hull to collect water into the cannon holes.
PS. I hope you picked up on the Ice-cream! Where did we Tudors get freezers from?
We built Ice Houses under ground for insulation, next to lakes. When they froze over in winter, we broke up the ice and stored them in the ice-houses. My favourite flavour was Honey.
5. Colour in our clothes was a symbol of status. Red and Blue were very expensive, so mixing them to purple was Royal. The chemical needed to fix the colour into the cloth was called Alum Flour. This is now called Aluminium Sulphate. It naturally occurs in red shale, but we had virtually none so we bought it from the Pope. He stopped us having it when the Reformation took his powerful control off him.
We found black shale in Ravenscar in Yorkshire, burnt to for a long time to become red shale, then we set the World’s first ever chemical factory. It ran for nearly three hundred years and even exported the product to the Europeans.
I could go on and on about what we managed to do, but I wont as my Dinner is waiting.