20 Reasons Why You Would Not Have Kissed Shakespeare (Or Anyone Else In The Middle Ages)

5 min

Get ready to pinch your nose! Here are some of the shocking hygiene practices of Medieval times.

#1. There wasn’t any toilet paper.

No one had toilet paper, not even the wealthy. Poor people had to use leaves or moss to wipe their bottoms, while the rich used lambs wool.

There wasn't any toilet paper.

Thangaraj Kumaravel

#2. Royal bum wiper

If you were the King, you would appoint someone to wipe your bottom for you. The position was called the “groom of the stool.”

This photo is the royal toilet, and still on view at Hampton Court, London.

Royal bum wiper

#3. Chamber pots

Chamber pots were used for collecting urine during the night. It you weren’t quick enough, you’d find yourself being showered with the contents of these pots that were hurled from windows.

Chamber pots

Peter Reed

#4. People shared bathwater

Because of the scarcity of firewood, taking a warm bath wasexpensive and not everyone could afford it. Family and friends would have to share bathwater. Men were first to bath, then women. Babies were always the last to get bathed, and that’s where the saying “throw out the baby with the bathwater” came from.

People shared bathwater