The answers to the last of the Tudor Fact or Fiction

16. Tudors thought gardens were a waste of time.  Very much FALSE.  The Tudors loved their gardens.  They would be laid out with great care and attention into shapes, hedges, ponds and lakes.  The clipped hedge shapes would ‘tell’ stories. Many were used to create mazes – perfect for a secret trist with a member of the opposite gender.  Statues would abound in many gardens – often telling stories of the Rome of the past or the heroic activities of the present.  There would be many walks weaving their way through the ‘decorations’ – ideal for private discusioins and personal planning.

17. The first firework display in England was given for Queen Elizabeth.  The answere here is probably FALSE. The first recorded fireworks in England were at the wedding of King Henry VII to Elizabeth of York in 1486.  However – we do know that Queen Elizabeth was so fascinated with fireworks that she created an honorary title, “Fire Master of England” for the individual who created the best fireworks.  There is one very cautionary tale from the time of Elizabeth.  In 1572 she visited Robert Dudley at Kenilworth Castle.  A mock battle was staged for the Queen’s benefit – complete with pyrotechnic dragon effects and fireworks shot from cannons into the sky.  These resulted in a volley of misdirected fireballs falling on the adjacent town. Several houses were burned to the ground, and at least one man was killed in the blaze. Elizabeth was forced to compensate the townsfolk with a payment gift of £25.

18.  Queen Elizabeth wore a wig because he hair had fallen out.  This is TRUE.  Toward the end of her life the Queen became almost totally bald.  There is much to say that this was a common Tudor problem as many used chemicals and potions to colour their hair. The up-side of this was that there was a good trade in selling good quality hair – especially that of a golden yellow tint – for making wigs.

19.  Tudors used anethetics to ease pain.  This is FALSE.  No anethetics were available and Tudor doctors would tend to use simple herbs, leeches and blood letting.  If nothing worked there was always your horoscope they could consult – in fact, this was the first thing the doctor would do..

and last but not least

20.  William Cecil did not help much in Queen Elizabeth’s court.  Very much FALSE.  Before I tell why this is false I feel that I have to admit that for the past 10 years I have been a guide at William Cecil’s first great house – Burghley.  I am biased – but I am also honest.  Queen Elizabeth did come to visit Willian at his then work-in-progress house at Burghley.  It had taken four days, it is said, for her to get there and she was not amused when she learned that William’s daughter was contagiously ill. She told him that if he was to be of help to her he needed to be where she was.  He did as he was told; left the completion of Burghley to his son Thomas and built a new one called Theobalds close to London.Many people believe that William was her greatest and most trusted adviser and responsible for numerous decisions and changes which happened during Elizabeth’s reign that help make it such a successful period in English history.

That’s it – we have come to the end of this glance into Tudor history.  I hope you have found it interesting and informative.  I’ll see what I can put together for the weeks ahead and, in the meantime, take care of yourselves.

I will be back!




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