Needless to say, royalties have gone to all extremes to keep this velvet covered and shiny before the royal shitting. For kings and queens everything had (and still has) to be perfect. Extravagance and glamour shrouded their life. And it did not deter to seep into their excretion! Yes, there are amusing lore to recite when it comes to the royal shitting.
Everyone deserves some peace in the toilet. But it seems that the kings and queens in the old days did not think in the similar way. Owing to dirth of work or abundance of time, they indulged in super-complex ways to shit!
Let’s talk about the Groom of Stool in England. It might sound bizarre but it is true that the Groom of Stool was one of the most prestigious office in the country back then. So, What was the job of one of the most respectable person in the country? They were the personal attendants to accompany them while royal shitting and taking a dump. As per the Atlas Obscure it has been described as a “highly coveted position”. It was believed that the best way to keep oneself close to the King was to be the guy who watches you crap.
The term “Groom of Stool” originated from “close stool”, which was the name for the king’s toilet. He was not a normal servant. As opposed to it he was one of the closest confidants of the King. It has also been said that his work involved wiping the king’s ass. But due to lack of evidences there has been no concrete base to it. Whatever it may be, this type of royal shitting is really bizarre!
Queens does not lag behind in this race. They followed equally horrid ways to excrete. During 1500s Queen Elizabeth employed Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber who replaced the Groom of Stool.
What were the other jobs of the Groom of Stool?
The duties of the Groom of Stool was not just restricted to his toilet. He had extensive powers that spread over various arenas. According to Atlas Obscure he also influenced over the king’s personal affairs and directly over the finances.
According to the book “If-Walls-Could-Talk” written by Lucy Worsley, discussions that King Charles-I & King James-I had with their toilet attendant might have triggered the start of English Civil-War. What a shitty reason to start a war.
The last person to have the precious title “Groom of the Stole” was non other than James Hamilton, the second Duke of Abercorn who served the Prince of Wales from from 1838 to 1913.
Everyday as the King sat on his royal, soft velvety stool, he revealed some of his darkest secrets to the Groom of Stool. The king asked for counsel and help even regarding some of his personal matters.
So, before cribbing about your job remind yourself of the poor fellows who actually had to smell and watch another person releasing the foul-smelling buns of last night’s dinner!
What was the arrangement for human waste disposal in medieval age?
The importance of proper human waste disposal was unknown in the Middle Age. No hygienic measures were taken to safely dispose the waste without causing harm to health. However, the medieval towns of London followed various laws and ordinances regarding personal and public hygiene. The residents were responsible for the cleanliness of the city. Fines were imposed on people littering the streets.
The larger houses had enclosed latrines that emptied into deep cesspits called “gong” or “jakes”. The ones who were employed to carry out the foul-smelling task of emptying these pits were called “gongfermours” or “gong farmers.” These men were well-paid, and the gongfermours of London usually end their day with a dip in the River Thames.
The methods and ways of shitting and shit disposal has fortunately taken a much more civilized form over the centuries. The bizarre and weird devices used by the royalty, ironically, little reflect their classy nature and polished etiquette.
A throne is only a bench covered with velvet. –Napoleon Bonaparte