A hitherto unknown fact about Henry VII….!

While reading Terry Jones‘s Who Killed Chaucer? I came upon a truly astonishing sentence. So astonishing that I have to share it with you. “…Henry VII, mysteriously, paid half a mark to a friend for eating coal…”

Well, I find that hard to believe. No, no, not the bit about the coal – the fact that Old Miseryguts had a friend !!! 😂

The illustration above has been tweaked a little by me – to make him look less grim, of course. But apologies to the artist. (The original is below.)



  1. I’m wondering why he ate coal? Sounds like Tudor dared him to for a bet….. the friend grabbed the chance of extracting a coin out of the skinflint’s purse!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. as my right wrist is in a cast, you’ll have to forgive lack of capitalizations in my reply… but, isn’t charcoal an antidote to some toxins …maybe they were trying out something noxious, and, thus needed a dose to counteract it ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you could be right Diane. I’d forgotten about it until I read your reply, but when I had my first baby (many years ago now) and she had colic, my father in law used to make ‘cinder tea’. This involved taking a hot coal from the fire and dropping it in a cup of water, which was then strained and the liquid given to the baby. It seemed to work really well, so yes, following your train of thought, I think we could be on the right track.
        Well done, and I hope your wrist gets better soon x


  2. Blanc Sanglier, I wondered that too, a very strange thing. I can’t see he’d willingly pay anything out of his own purse. Having said that, nothing about this awful personage would surprise me!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Agreed. I even felt sorry for the dragon. Mind you, that said, I don’t think the dragon is all that pleaxsed – it seems to be trying to set fire to the disreputable fellow on the right!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Viscountessw, half a mark is quite a sum, far more than ole ‘Miseryguts’ paid for many an informer for anything they could find at Sheriff Hutton – or later concerning Warbeck. Very odd, and knowing Terry Jones’ penchant for tongue-in-cheek humor, could this be a bit of that?

    Here’s a total aside, but someone may know, I thought of it when considering Harry T may have been advised by his astrologer, or even a necromancer (isn’t that what mom had, in Nandyke?) that if his ‘friend’ ate coal he might hmm, expel gold? The friend got the half a mark, Harrrryyyyy the gold?

    now, the question, I’ve read H7, H8, and Eliz I all had court astrologers, did Edward IV or Richard have one??? I have never come across even the slightest mention of one for either Yorkist, nor for their mother, nor Margaret of York. Was this a Tudor thing??? ( Just an idle mind wandering off course ….)


    1. Don’t know about Richard, but Edward employed at least two physicians who cast horoscopes for him: Roger Marshall and John Argentine. “Astrologer” doesn’t seem to have been their official or primary designation, though. He also took the astrologer John Stacy with him to France in 1475, for unknown reasons–and it doesn’t seem to have worked out too well since two years later Stacy ended up arrested, tortured, and hanged for forecasting the deaths of Edward and the Prince of Wales. The difference, as I understand it, was that Marshall and Argentine had Edward’s permission to make their forecasts, but Stacy didn’t and thus committed treason.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear NB, I’m impressed, and a little shocked that I haven’t come across any of this in the (vast) available material – maybe I should check the indexes of Ross, Hicks, Scofield et al and see if Marshall and Stacy are in there? But Argentyne??? wow, just wow. It does appear to be that era (before and after WoTR) where someone is considered/referred to as a physic, a ‘doctor,’ a necromancer, an astronomer/astrologer … as to this Master John Stacy, my mind is spinning off in a very different direction there.

        Unless, this is the same Stacy connected to GdC’s Thomas Burdet? Via Crowland’s account? (it would go a long way to explain E4’s savage use of torture/execution in 1477).

        But thank you enormously for the info, and I would be really shocked to ever find anything on Richard (or their sister Margaret of York) concerning an explicit use of astrologers – then again R retained virtually all of the (medical) doctors and apothecaries (still living) who had served E4 so who knows with that hazy definition of ‘doctor’!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: