The theme for this week’s #TudorTuesdays with @Historic_Houses is Tudor Childhood.
On this Tudor Tuesday, we take a look at Hever Castle as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and at some of the artefacts from Tudor childhood that can be found in the Castle.
Hever Castle is best known as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. It formed the unlikely backdrop to a sequence of tumultuous events that changed the course of Britain’s history, monarchy and religion.
Little is known about Anne’s childhood, but as the children of a wealthier family, Anne, Mary and George would have had a nursemaid to take care of them.
‘Childhood’ as we know it now (a time of innocence which should be indulged by adults and free from labour) wasn’t really a true concept until Victorian times, but Tudor children did have toys. Even poor families could make rattles out of twigs or straw, or whittle skittle or peg shaped people out of wood. Jacks and marbles were made out of baked clay (we use these in our Time Traveller school workshops) and there were games such as horseshoe and fox and geese using pebbles or shells as pieces.
In the Castle itself, we have the rocking cradle and the high chair, which has changed very little in modern times (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) and we also have the model of Anne’s nursemaid holding an early type of doll called a Bartholomew baby, which people used to buy during the fairs that were held on St. Bartholomew’s Day. So one of the biggest differences between then and now is the availability of toys and the fact that many would have been homemade.
If you enjoyed this item on Tudor Childhood then why not discover the previous #TudorTuesdays news items: