The Tudor Society
  • Sir Henry Norris (1490s-1536)

    Sir Henry Norris was born sometime in the late 1490s and was the son of Richard Norris and grandson of Sir William Norris of Yattendon and his wife, Jane de Vere, daughter of John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford. Norris’s family had a long history of serving the monarch – his great-grandfather, Sir John Norris, had been Keeper of the Great Wardrobe to Henry VI and his grandfather, Sir William Norris, had been Knight of the Body to Edward IV. Sir William Norris had been attainted after being involved in the Duke of Buckingham’s rebellion against Richard III and had been forced to flee to Brittany, where he joined the forces of Henry Tudor and may even have fought at the Battle of Bosworth. Sir William had a command in June 1487 at Stoke and went on to become the Lieutenant of Windsor Castle.

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  • How did the Tudors go to the toilet?

    Thank you so much to Oscar for inspiring this week’s Claire Chats with his question “What did the Tudors use to wipe their bottoms?”. In the following video, I answer that question and also talk about Tudor toilets.

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  • What is a Groom of the Stool? by Sarah Bryson

    The Groom of the Stool, or, as the official title was known, The Groom of the King’s Close Stool, has gone down in history as one of the grossest jobs available. As the name suggests the Groom of the Stool was responsible for attending to the King’s toileting needs. The Groom would care for the King’s toilet, known in the Tudor period as a ‘Stool’. He would be responsible for supplying water, towels and a washbowl for the King when he had finished his business. There is some debate as to whether or not the Groom of the Stool was responsible for wiping the King’s behind, with some believing he did and others thinking his duties did not extend to that extreme.
    While being responsible for the King’s bodily functions may seem quite disgusting for us in today’s times when going to the bathroom is considered to be a private matter, it was very, very different in the Tudor age.

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