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The Tudor Darwin Awards… Strange accidental deaths

Dr Steven Gunn has been trawling 16th Century coroners’ reports from 1551 to 1600 and researching accidental deaths in Tudor England. The results are both interesting and sad.

As far back as 1363 parliamentary laws insured that Englishmen spent their Sundays practicing archery with their Long bows. England had no standing army and archers could be needed at any time and come from all walks of life.

The coroners’ reports reveal that fifty six accidental deaths occurred by people standing too close to targets or by men collecting their fired arrows at the wrong time. Nicholas Wyborne was lying down near a target when he was hit by a falling arrow, which pierced him to a depth of six inches.

In 1552, Henry Pert, a gentleman of Welbeck in Nottinghamshire shot himself in the head with his own bow. Henry drew his bow to its full extent with the aim of shooting straight up into the air. The arrow lodged in the bow, and while he was leaning over to look at what had happened, the arrow was released. He died the next day.

Continue reading “The Tudor Darwin Awards… Strange accidental deaths”

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Posted in Tudor cookery, Uncategorized

Genuine Tudor recipes that taste good…

Mustard eggs:

1oz/25g butter

1 Tsp/5ml butter

1tsp/5ml mustard

1tsp/5ml vinegar

a pinch of salt and pepper

Eggs_with_nest

Boil the eggs for five minutes. Meanwhile lightly brown the butter in a pan and allow it to cool. Then quickly stir in the other ingredients to the butter. When the eggs are ready peel them and quarter them. Arrange them on a dish. Reheat the sauce and pour it over the eggs before serving.

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Does this old Rhyme describe Henry VIII’s marital history and executions?

Continue reading “Does this old Rhyme describe Henry VIII’s marital history and executions?”

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Dance Until Death… The dancing plague of 1518…

In 1518 a woman from Strasbourg stepped into the street and began to dance wildly. Her name was Frau Troffea and she had no music to dance to and her face showed no signs of pleasure. Her involuntary jig lasted all day long and after hours of exhaustion she collapsed in a sweaty heap.

Within hours she was up again and resuming her silent dance. She danced all through that day until she collapsed and slept briefly.

By the third day Frau Troffea had bloody and bruised feet but her dancing continued. Now a concerned group of neighbours surrounded her as sweat dripped down her back and her shoes filled with blood. Some of them knelt in prayer and others attempted to stop her dance with no success. Continue reading “Dance Until Death… The dancing plague of 1518…”