Posted in Places to visit, Tudor Medicine

St. Thomas’ Hospitals dark past…

 

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St Thomas’ hospital today

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.

 

 

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:

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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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Posted in Tudor Medicine

The mysterious Tudor epidemic that killed thousands…

In August 1485, Henry Tudor had just won his crown from Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth field. By October of the same year several thousand of his subjects would be dead of a mysterious new epidemic. It was called, ‘The English sweating sickness.’

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Posted in Crime and Punishment

Bloody and brutal, Tudor Punishments…

Pressing

This was a very cruel way to die and it was used to convince a prisoner who refused to give a plea of innocent or guilty to change their mind. If no plea was given then a trial could not take place. Pressing took place inside prisons like Newgate or the fleet. The accused was laid on a table and had another table put on top of them. Then lead, rocks and weights were put on until they either decided to plea or were crushed to death.

The prison guards or ‘Keepers’ fed the victim with ‘Three morsels of barley bread without drink for the first day and as much filthy water as they like if they survived to the next day.

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