the TUDOR TUTOR

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Oldest Toilet in England

Image by Jose and Roxanne via Flickr

Before Sir Henry Norris became One of the Five Blokes to be Beheaded for Getting Randy with Anne Boleyn, he held the title of Henry VIII’s Groom of the Stool. Nowadays this sounds like the worst job ever, and yet at the time it was the crème de la crème of jobs in the royal Tudor household.

It meant you were close enough to the king to have access to his most intimate parts (you and various ladies of the court, but different parts for them). You got to empty and clean the royal loo, as well as the plump royal bottom. Since the king was believed to be a divine being, it was all the more honourable to be in such close association.

The job is explained beginning at 2:20 in this video featuring Tony Robinson (Blackadder’s “Baldrick,” for fans of the series).

So here’s to you, Sir Henry, the Head of the Head before you, well, lost your head. Cheers!

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