Private Lives of the Tudors Tracy Borman 9781444782929 (1)

9 surprising facts you never knew about the Tudors

Posted on: 10/03/2017 with tags: English History, henry viii, history, Tudor

  1. Henry VIII kept his dead brother Arthur’s clothes in his private wardrobe, right up until his own death.
  2. Henry VIII suffered from such severe constipation that his doctors regularly administered enemas, which were made from pig’s bladders.
  3. During her nine-day reign, 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey wore high heels in an attempt to appear more ‘queenly’.
  4. Henry VIII enjoyed some unusual foods at his feasts. Kitchen accounts include swan, peacock, porpoise and even dolphin.
  5. Henry VIII was a fan of football, or ‘camping’, as it was sometimes known. He even had a special pair of football boots made.
  6. Elizabeth I cleaned her teeth with soot, which was actually very effective at removing stains and odours.
  7. The Tudors had some inventive cures for stomach ache. One potion included wormwood, spearmint, vinegar, rose water and a dead chaffinch.
  8. Henry VIII loved to gamble. He once lost £450 (equivalent to £145,000 today) in a single game of dominoes.
  9. The Tudors kept pets. Mary I had a pet parrot, and Elizabeth I had a monkey.

Tracy Borman’s The Private Lives of the Tudors is out now

Author: Tracy Borman

Tracy Borman is joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces and Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust. She studied and taught history at the University of Hull and was awarded a PhD in 1997.

Tracy is the author of a number of highly acclaimed books, including Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant, Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England, Elizabeth's Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen and Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction. Tracy is also a regular broadcaster and public speaker, giving talks on her books across the UK and abroad. She lives in Surrey with her daughter.

Follow Tracy on Twitter @BormanTracy

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