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  • A Tudor Elevator? February 6, 2018

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    A Tudor Elevator?

    At the trial for Duke of Norfolk, at the very end of Henry’s reign, Bess Holland, Norfolk’s mistress gave the following testimony about Henry VIII’s obesity. She claimed that the Duke had told her: That the king was much grown of his body and that he could not go up and down stairs and was […]

    Jane Fool July 8, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Jane Fool

    In the famous image of Henry VIII’s family from 1545 there is a mysterious figure walking on the left in the background. The woman apparently has no hair (note the back and front of her head and compare with the princesses in the picture) and she seems rather lost, perhaps even confused. Different theories for […]

    Tudor Sex Romps October 26, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Tudor Sex Romps

    The lovemaking of other ages is often obscured from us. A natural reticence, which the twenty-first century has largely given up on, draws a veil around medieval or Tudor sex. Our few exceptions include some rare pornographic accounts and a handful of legal descriptions where sex was getting someone in trouble and needed to be […]

    The Lost Tragedy of Anne Boleyn January 28, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Lost Tragedy of Anne Boleyn

    An entry in the burning libraries catalogue… In 1536 Anne Boleyn was executed for sexual betrayal and for plotting the murder of the king, her husband Henry VIII. Beach has examined these extraordinary claims in another post, sufficient to say for now that there was almost certainly no substance to them, but that Henry VIII […]

    Anne Boleyn Loses It October 16, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Anne Boleyn Loses It

    Anne Boleyn was, of course, the second wife of Henry VIII, who ended her short life with French steel interposing between her chin and her shoulders, 19 May 1536. Her execution came after a travesty of a trial in which she was found guilty of high treason against the king (a man of unusual psychology): she […]

    Arty Monarchs November 21, 2013

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
    Arty Monarchs

    How many rulers can you think of who show a gift for the arts? By this we don’t mean a Charles I or a Cosimo de Medici who could talent spot. Rather Beach is looking for blood-line rulers who were actually good with the paint-brush or with chisel or (taking the broader sense of ‘the […]

    Botched Beheadings April 29, 2013

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    Botched Beheadings

    The guillotine was originally invented as an act of humanitarianism to liberate criminal kind from the axe. It made sense, after all, to remove a criminal’s head from his or from her shoulders if that criminal had to be killed. But the procedure was messy. Two important things could go wrong while removing said head […]

    An English Queen and Child Abuse? February 16, 2013

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    An English Queen and Child Abuse?

    There are three characters in this sorry tale: a 14 year old girl, her forty-one year old step-father and her thirty-six year old step-mother; the girl’s biological father and mother are both dead. The child attracts her step-father’s attention (sexually-speaking) and he begins to take liberties with the girl: though how far these liberties went […]