10 Horrible Historical Facts about Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians

Posted on 7 October 2019

With Horrible Histories back at the Belgrade this October with a half-term double-bill, we’re getting ready for an invasion of Awful Egyptians and Terrible Tudors on our Main Stage.

Based on the bestselling books by Terry Deary, these spectacular shows from the hugely successful Birmingham Stage Company bring the past vividly to life, combining live performance with amazing special effects!

Ahead of the two shows coming to Coventry 23-26 October, here are ten horrible historical facts that you might not have heard before…

  • The first Horrible Histories books were first published 26 years ago in 1993, and the first two titles were about none other than the Tudors and the Egyptians!

Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors


  • Queen Elizabeth l passed a law telling people they had to wear woollen hats on a Sunday and created a new tax for all men with beards.
  • Elizabeth I was considered one of the cleanest women in the country and was proud of taking a bath once every 3 months
  • While Henry Vlll’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was being beheaded Henry was busy playing tennis
  • Henry VIII is often seen as a jolly fat man with a lot of wife problems but he was actually a very ruthless king and had over seventy thousand people executed during his reign.
  • Men trying to cure their baldness in the 16th century were told to shave their heads and smear them with the grease of a fox or the juice made from crushed beetles. Other Tudor remedies for sickness were to swallow powdered human skull or eat live spiders covered in butter, to help them slide down more easily.

Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians


  • Egyptian remedies for baldness were just as bad! To cure baldness they mixed viper’s oil with bats ears and rubbed it all over the bald patch. If you had a toothache you were advised to cut a live mouse in half then while it was warm and fresh place it in your mouth.
  • A pharaoh would jump in the river fully clothed if he’d accidentally touched a pig because they were considered unclean.
  • To show his success in battle an Egyptian soldier would take home the severed right hand of each of the dead he’d killed so the pharaohs could count the number of their enemy’s soldiers killed in the battle.
  • As a status symbol, pharaohs often wore a false beard made of wood and hung by wire from a band around their foreheads

Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians and Terrible Tudors show at the Belgrade Theatre from 23-26 October. Tickets are available to book now. Don’t forget that you can claim 20% off your tickets when you book for both shows together!