Hello ! I have to tell you how much I enjoy your website. I have been fascinated and obsessed with the Tudor Dynasty, and life in the 15th/16th centuries, for years now. Your site has answered so many wonderful questions that I have aways had. I do have a few more to ask you, though…first one is this…Did Elizabeth have any bitterness towards Henry for the cruel and unfair death of her mother?–or did she believe her mother was guilty as charged. Second…I am very curious about Tudor hygiene. I am wondering how they cared for there teeth. I am assuming that their breath must have been horrible in those times….and who wants to smooch with a King who must have had an frowzy mouth? LOL

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy using the site.

We don't know Elizabeth's true feelings about her father and what happened to her mother, but it appears that Elizabeth did not bear her father any ill will and, in fact, idolised him. I have actually written an article on this very point over at The Elizabeth Files so here is the link to that as it explains my thoughts on this subject - http://www.elizabethfiles.com/elizabeth-i-her-fathers-daughter-and-the-lions-cub/3515/
I don't believe that Elizabeth felt that her mother was guilty but I don't think she harboured any bitterness towards her father either, perhaps she felt that Anne was conspired against by Cromwell and the Seymour faction? We just don't know what Elizabeth was told.

As far as Tudor hygiene is concerned, I have read that they cleaned their teeth with tooth picks and cloths and that honey was often used in pastes applied to the teeth to keep them clean - of course, they didn't realise that the sugar in the honey was bad for their teeth. They kept their breath fresh by chewing herbs such mint and aniseed. Author Wendy Dunn has written a great article on hygiene, see http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/tudor/96379/1

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3 thoughts on “Hello ! I have to tell you how much I enjoy your website. I have been fascinated and obsessed with the Tudor Dynasty, and life in the 15th/16th centuries, for years now. Your site has answered so many wonderful questions that I have aways had. I do have a few more to ask you, though…first one is this…Did Elizabeth have any bitterness towards Henry for the cruel and unfair death of her mother?–or did she believe her mother was guilty as charged. Second…I am very curious about Tudor hygiene. I am wondering how they cared for there teeth. I am assuming that their breath must have been horrible in those times….and who wants to smooch with a King who must have had an frowzy mouth? LOL”

  1. Shoshana says:

    I can not remember which Lady, but I once read – many years ago – of a noblewoman who bragged that in her lifetime she would be bathed but 3 times; at birth, at marriage, and at death. People thought bathing could bring about illness if one became chilled and just the logistics of preparing the bath would discourage many.

    Today most people take their modern bathrooms for granted; but having been brought up on a large farm in Southern Texas by a Grandfather who was born in 1883 and immigrated to the US in 1899, and bought his farm in 1900, I never take mine for granted. Grandfather put in electricity in the 1930’s but it would not be until the 1950’s before there was a shower; he built a “shower shed” and piped ice cold water from an artisan well up to the shower head. There was no hot water tank and winter or summer, you showered in water cold enough to make your teeth chatter. It would not be until 1963 before a modern bath with all the comforts would be added – and then only because a new house was built after the orginal was destroyed by fire and the bathroom was included in the insurance settlement money! Needless to say, I was well acquainted with chamber pots and outdoor ammenities when Mother Nature called!Yet even with these disadvantages to hygiene, we managed to be very clean; there were No. 3 washtubs for the children and even as adults, we would stand in one, soap and rinse to avoid that shower shed!I don’t recall ever thinking that in one in our large family smelled or looked bad.

    I wonder how some kids today would react if told they would have to spend time without a modern bathroom! It would be fun to find out.

  2. Doris Idar says:

    People were actually cleaner in the Middle Ages thanks to public baths (called “etuves” in French). With the Renaissance came the odd and deadly idea among the scholars that dirtiness was a “gift from God” and that any cleansing was an offence to Him. And public baths home for prostitutes and centers of indecent sexual contacts. Remember than in the Middle Ages, people often bathed together, males and females together I mean (see the traditional Japanese baths).

  3. I believe I an related to Mary Boleyn through my Grandmother Ella’s Knowles Willett. How can I learn more about Mary and her child with Henry VIII?

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