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stories and histories HENRY VIII'S TOILET TROUBLES

Henry VIII's Toilet Troubles
Henry VIII's Toilet Troubles

In 1539, Thomas Heneage, the Groom of the Stool, mentioned a severe episode of constipation to Thomas Cromwell, who was closely interested in the King's medical issues.

To ease their master, the doctors prescribed an special enema: a pork bladder with a metallic pipe inside, all greased, which was inserted into Henrys anus.

The bladder contained more than a mug's worth of liquid- an infusion of saline and herbs, that was supposed to remain there for about two hours. After administering this pretty unpleasant treatment, the doctors advised the monarch to go to bed early, although it was quite hard to imagine he could do anything else.

Heneage mentioned Henry slept until two in the morning, then woke up and basically sieged the toilet. And that was not an unique event. Due to numerous similar episodes, he developed haemorrhoids, which were treated with rhubarb. Despite all this discomfort, Henry was determined not to change his eating habits.


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