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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...

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  • 20 November – Sir Christopher Hatton Elizabeth I’s mouton and lids

    On this day in Tudor 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 today’s talk.

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  • 20 November 1591 – The death of Sir Christopher Hatton

    On this day in history, 20th November 1591, Sir Christopher Hatton, Elizabeth I’s Lord Chancellor and favourite, died aged fifty-one at Ely Place in London.

    Members can read more about Sir Christopher Hatton’s life in Alex Taylor’s excellent article on him, but here are some photos I took of an interesting panel at the National Portrait Gallery. You can read a description of it in the third photo.

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  • Christopher Hatton (c.1540-1591)

    Christopher Hatton was born around 1540 during the reign of Henry VIII. He had a particularly interesting life, originating from a gentry family with few connections to the royal family. He was the second son of William Hatton and his wife, Alice, daughter of Lawrence Saunders. Very little is known of his early life, excepting that his early education is said to have been supervised by his maternal uncle, William Saunders. Regarding his later education, it is recorded that on 26th May 1560 he was enrolled in the Inner Temple. However, this part of Hatton’s life is equally as elusive; arguments suggesting that he may have been a barrister. Hatton’s fame and position came through the unusual concept, by sixteenth-century standards, of ‘social mobility’; essentially rising from one’s social class through personal merit and skill rather than relying on nepotism or family wealth. Hatton did this through monopolising on a relationship with Queen Elizabeth I, which shall be the primary focus of this article.

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