Saint Thomas’s hospital in London was founded in around 1106 and was named after Thomas Becket who was made a saint in 1173. Becket was an extremely popular saint, who people believed had miraculous healing powers so he was a good choice to name a hospital after. Thomas was born in London in 1118 and became an ordained priest in 1162 and he later became an archbishop. Becket began to excommunicate his opponents in the church and this angered the king, Henry II.
It began when three Archbishops crowned the heir apparent. It was common in medieval times to crown the King’s heir in the lifetime of his father to prevent disputes about the succession after the king’s death. This was in breach of Thomas’s privilege to fulfil this role and so he excommunicated the priests who took his place at the ceremony.
Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 by four of the king’s knights who misinterpted the King’s angry words, ‘Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ thinking that it was a direct order to kill Thomas of Canterbury.
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The site of St. Thomas’s death (Note the four swords above where Becket was kneeling in prayer) and the marker of his shrine in Canterbury Cathedral
The early medieval hospital was named after Saint Thomas and was run and staffed by Augustinian monks and nuns. The hospital performed three important functions. Hospitality was given to poor travellers and pilgrims, a home was provided for the destitute and aged, and the sick were nursed. Catholics believe that when they treat those who are despised by society they are in reality showing God their love for him. This is based on the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 35-40:
Could this letter have been sent from Anne Boleyn to her husband, Henry VIII, while she was imprisoned in the Tower of London awaiting her trial or is it a forgery?
The letter in the British Library
A legend claims that ‘Anne’s’ letter was found amongst Thomas Cromwell’s belongings, In his rooms after his execution, in June 1540. The letter above is said to be a copy of Anne’s original letter which had been damaged.
Cromwell was the king’s Principal Secretary who many historians believe planned and arranged the fall of the Boleyn family and their friends in one foul sweep in May 1536. Cromwell certainly, gained prestige from the disgrace of the Boleyn family:
Tudor physicians believed that fish could cause leprosy, Fresh fruit was considered unhealthy and the stars could put our bodies ‘humours’ completely out out of balance.
The bills of mortality show that Tudor people thought they could die from things such as: wind, worms, gripping of the guts, the teeth, a cough and even of surprise. There were many other Tudor ailments that we don’t even think of as being fatal or even ailments at all. Tudor beliefs about health and medicine can be very strange to modern eyes.
Readers could be forgiven for feeling that the surviving notes of doctor Hall, who practiced in Elizabethan England are more like spells from J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter books than anything like the serious medical documents they were intended to be:
To stop bleeding from the nose a small cloth was dipped into frog spawn and left to dry. This little ‘tent’ was then inserted into the nostril. (Frog spawn was meant to cool burns and inflammation.) Then clay was applied to the forehead, temples and neck. Continue reading “Tudor medicine… Frog’s spawn anyone?”→
I cannot put into words how good Kentwell Hall ‘do Tudor.’
If you want to experience an authentic recreation of Tudor England then this incredible Suffolk experience has to be the best. Kentwell Hall have been staging live Tudor events since 1978 and when they say ‘Our Tudor days are unrivalled in scale‘ and ‘What we offer is still the biggest, most comprehensive, and most authentic Tudor experience you will get anywhere’ on their website they are not exaggerating! They have over 250 ‘Tudors’ who are enthusiastic and thoroughly absorbed in their Tudor roles. Continue reading “Take a walk down the Time Tunnel and spend a day in the Elizabethan England…”→
For a small fee teachers can book a web chat session for their school from the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth England. The Mary Rose website says:
‘Talk to our experts via live video link. Find out more about life on board the ship or how our scientists have conserved her for future generations’
Teachers say,“It was a wonderful way for the children to become more engaged with history and each class left enthusing about how interesting it had been. I will whole-heartedly recommend the service to friends and colleagues.”
“Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to you and your team!!! Exwick Heights really enjoyed their web session and hope to do it again in the future!”