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Horrible Histories Facts!

Ahead of our trip back in time with Horrible Histories this December we decided to research the Tudor and Egyptian period. Here are some of the weird, wonderful and ever so slightly gross Terrible Tudor and Awful Egyptian facts we discovered!

Terrible Tudors Facts

• King Henry VIII was so fat he had to be hoisted into his horse saddle with a crane

• King Henry VIII's toilet attendant was the most important royal servant

• King Henry VIII once planned to marry two of his children to one another

• People in Tudor times didn’t eat with a fork – they ate using knives, spoons and their fingers

• The official penalty for brawling within the royal court was the loss of a hand

• Queen Elizabeth l passed a law telling people they had to wear woollen hats on a Sunday and created a new tax for all men with beards

• Queen Elizabeth I was considered one of the cleanest women in the country and was proud of taking a bath once every 3 months

• While Henry Vlll’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was being beheaded Henry was busy playing tennis

The Tudors had many weird and wacky cures


o Got a headache? Then rub your forehead a rope that was used to hang a criminal

o In pain with gout? Boil a red-haired dog in oil, add worms and the marrow from pig bones. Rub the mixture in

o A painful liver? Drink a pint of ale every morning for a week - with nine head-lice drowned in it

o Are you bald? Use a shampoo made from the juice of crushed beetles. When the head is clean then rub in grease made from the fat of a dead fox

o Are you a martyr to asthma? Swallow young frogs or live spiders, cover them in butter to help them slide down easier

Awful Egyptian Facts

• The Egyptians built huge pyramids as tombs for their kings or pharaohs when they died

• The Egyptians tried to stop dead bodies from decaying. They believed that if they mummified a body and protect it in a pyramid the person would live forever in the afterlife

• To mummify a person they would remove all the internal organs and brain. The inside of the body was dried and stuffed with linen, natron, sawdust and sweet-smelling spices. The body was then wrapped in bandages and a mask was put over the mummy’s face

• Mummification was expensive and time consuming and so reserved for the wealthy. The vast majority of Egypt’s dead were buried in simple pits in the desert

• Inside the tombs rich Egyptians where filled with everything the dead person might need in their next life. There were such amazing treasures, robbers soon broke into the tombs and stole the treasure. This is why today so little treasure has been found

•A pharaoh would jump in the river fully clothed if he’d accidentally touched a pig because they were considered unclean

•To show his success in battle an Egyptian soldier would take home the severed right hand of each of the dead he’d killed so the pharaohs could count the number of their enemy’s soldiers killed in the battle

•As a status symbol, pharaohs often wore a false beard made of wood and hung by wire from a band around their foreheads

•The Egyptian Pyramids were not made by slaves but by paid labourers. These ancient construction workers were a mix of skilled artisans and temporary hands, and some appear to have taken great pride in their craft

Weird Egyptian cures-

o To cure baldness they mixed viper’s oil with bats ears and rubbed it all over the bald patch

o If you had a toothache you were advised to cut a live mouse in half then while it was warm and fresh place it in your mouth

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