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The Tudor Society

20 November – Elizabeth I’s godson and his flush toilet, and the death of Christopher Hatton

On this day in history, 20th November 1612, in the reign of King James I, courtier and author Sir John Harington died.

Why am I talking about a man who died in the Stuart period?

Well, because he was Queen Elizabeth I’s godson and because during her reign he invented the Ajax, or “jakes”, England’s first flush toilet.

Find out more about Sir John Harington and his flush toilet invention in this talk...

Also on this day in history, 20th November 1591, Sir Christopher Hatton, Elizabeth I’s Lord Chancellor and favourite, died aged fifty-one.

He was such a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I that he had a dazzling career and was constantly at her side.

Find out more about Sir Christopher Hatton, his career and accomplishments, his patronage of learned men and explorers, and his special relationship with Elizabeth I, in this video...

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20 November – Elizabeth I’s godson and his flush toilet, and the death of Christopher Hatton