Historical sketch show. Featuring naughty Napoleon annoying his Josephine and horrid Henry VIII getting married again. There's also a song from wily Winston Churchill.
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# Terrible Tudors, gorgeous Georgians Fighting Frenchmen, vile Victorians
# Woeful wars, ferocious fights Dingy castles, daring knights
# Horrors that defy description Cut-throat Celts, awful Egyptians
# Smashing Saxons, cruel crimes Punishment from ancient times
# Romans, rotten, rank and ruthless Normans, savage, fierce and toothless
# Civil wars, brainy sages Mean and measly Middle Ages
# Gory stories, we do that And your host, a drumming rat
# The past is no longer a mystery Welcome to...
# Horrible Histories. #
Horrible Histories presents...
Hello there. Welcome to Rotten Rulers,
my selection of the most dastardly and tyrannical rulers we've seen in history.
Perfect timing, really - you caught me preparing for global domination!
You see, my local rat nest is looking for a new ratty ruler
after the last rat ate some rotten toothpaste and snuffed it.
Minty-fresh corpse, though.
So, I'm off on the campaign trail.
I want everyone to vote for me to be King Rat! Yeah.
Mind you, as we'll see,
when you're top of the tree, not everyone likes you.
Take crooked King John in 1215.
He was a truly rotten ruler who annoyed his people so much,
they rebelled against him
and forced him to agree to a list of their demands called Magna Carta.
And Johnny boy was not happy about that one bit.
we the noblemen of England
are worried about your continued abuse of power.
It threatens the future of the realm.
So we have gathered here at Runnymede
and we've written a list of grievances in this document here...
called the Magna Carta.
Really ticked off, actually.
-Really ticked off.
Magnum Carthorse, whatever.
I've got some grievances of my own, actually.
I think you'll find our grievances are more serious.
I think you'll find mine are.
I don't think you will, actually.
-I think I will, actually.
-I don't think you will, actually.
There's only one way to settle this.
..a grievance battle.
Baron, hit it!
-Wh-wh-wh-where to start? Which part?
We've got so many grievances we could fill a cart
Let's start with some facts, like tax
They're so heavy that they're gonna break our backs
We can't pay, there's no chance
We lost all our money when you lost France
The northern bit, anyway
Your Majesty, you got pwned
Drop some beats, player
I'm confused, is this real? I thought I was the King
I'm holding his seal
Kneel to the King I'll see you grovel in the grime
I'll tax what I like I'll even tax this rhyme
Barons don't grovel, it's time to get real
Listen to me, dog Or you're gonna feel some steel!
This charter's tight We don't need to fight
Just hit it with your seal and give us our rights
Some serious points
I ain't finished, we want a council to represent rich people
We want a free church with a free steeple
We want you to stop stealing our sons
And holding them hostage, like you have done
There's vital stuff here that you've gotta give us
There's also some stuff about fishing in the rivers
So stop, read what we plead
Agree the deed in Runnymede
Do what we ask or we're gonna make you bleed
Yeah, I hear what you're saying
If I don't tread gently, for my life I will be praying
So tell me what to do, you're the boss
Though we'll have to do this later Cos I'm taking up the cross
-Interesting development - I wonder...
-I'll shut up.
Hang on a minute You must think we're barmy
While you're talking here you're hiring up an army
So how about this? Let's barter
BARONS: We'll stay loyal if you agree to Magna Carta
Whatever, dog, I'll agree your skanky scroll
I'm tired of this game and it's time for me to roll
I ain't bothered, it don't fill me with sorrow
No-one will even remember this tomorrow
Plus, it messes with the Pope And he'll ignore this ting
I do things my way Cos I'm John and I'm the King. Boom!
Man, this king is fat.
Crikey! King John's subjects thought a lot of him.
Just a shame it was all bad.
People will love me, though, when I'm King Rat.
I'm brave, brainy and beautiful,
a bit like Cleopatra.
She was Queen of Egypt just over two thousand years ago.
She was a ruler who stood up to all the men around her.
Then again, they were sliding all over the place.
Your brother's forces have been defea...
I'm fine. I'm fine.
Your brother's soldiers have been defeated. He has died,
drowned in the Nile, weighed down by his suit of armour.
No-one will touch you any more.
Consider yourself under the protection of mighty Rome.
I'm fine. I'll pay for that.
Are you all right?
I'm... I'm... I'm...
Up, up. Up.
I'm afraid the expensive marble floors
of our palaces here in Alexandria
were not designed for your Roman hobnailed boots.
A Roman soldier can endure any hardship.
The polished floors of a palace hold no challenge to him.
Yeah? No? No?
You are once again Queen of...
Once again, you are...
Queen of Egypt, and with Rome's support
you will stay there. There's nothing any of your family can do about it.
No-one will be able to take the throne away from you again.
How can I repay you?
There is one thing.
Whatever you wish.
The wealth of Egypt is yours,
even its queen.
Name your price.
POTS AND PANS CRASH
Could you put some rugs down, possibly?
MATERIAL RIPS Ooh, they've torn!
MORE BANGING AND CRASHING
On your feet, man!
Caesar eventually fell head over heels in love with Queen Cleo,
but that too proved a slippery road - to his own death. Hm.
Cleopatra wasn't the only rotten ruler who liked to be in charge at home.
Great French leader Napoleon, who became Emperor in 1804,
was a bit of a control freak too,
especially when it came to his wife, Josephine.
I have returned!
What is wrong with the door?
Wide-open doors are dangerous. It is obvious, no?
Sometimes it is hard to believe you are France's greatest general.
-Isn't it great?
-I didn't expect you back so soon.
Well, I mentioned it in my letters. I wrote them to you every day.
Yes of course, your letters.
How I treasure zem...
Zey are in ze bin! You have not read them.
Of course I have read them!
Which letter was your favourite?
Oh, it's hard to say. There were so many.
Really, so, so many...
And zey were all, er, really good.
Zen you must have read them, because they were all really good.
What has been happening since I have been away?
Bought any new dresses?
-No! You will hate zem and zen spill wine on zem.
Why would I do zat?
It is what you always do when you do not like what I am wearing.
I have literally no idea what you are talking about!
Oh, yes, oui! Oh, yeah, oui, oui!
Ah, no, that is lovely.
Oh! Oh, no! I spilled wine all over it.
And it must look like I've done exactly what you said I would do on purpose,
but I totally didn't.
-Show me another.
And zis one?
Oh, dear, you are out of wine.
Oh! I must write an urgent letter.
Oh, and you know what?
I really, really liked zat one, and zat is from ze heart.
Do you have any more?
Get out! Get out right now!
I would, but ze door is, erm...
Argh! Close it! Close it!
Au revoir, my love.
Oi! Where's my cheese?
Wee on your own feet!
Eat my fleas!
Oh, sorry. I've been practising my best angry voice.
I need to take control, like Napoleon.
If I'm going to be elected as the new ruler of my rat pack,
I've got to get rid of my nice-guy image.
Clean my droppings!
Scratch my scabs!
It's no use. I'm too good-looking to be mean.
No such problem for our next ruler, though, 'orrible Oliver Cromwell.
Ah, he got rid of King Charles I in 1649
and became ruler of the whole country himself.
He was a cruel, bossy leader
with a face that had more warts than a warty toad at a wart competition.
Greetings. Cromwell here.
Now, you might think I was happy
to get rid of the annoying King we'd spent so long fighting,
but I really didn't want to execute him.
Unfortunately, something changed my mind. What was it?
The answer is A.
Even though I had treated him with respect as a prisoner
and given him servants and paintings to enjoy,
King Charles escaped from Hampton Court Palace.
When we caught him on the Isle of Wight, I realised the only way he could be trusted
to remain a prisoner for the rest of his life
was if the rest of his life was very short indeed.
Now, King Charles I was forced to give up the throne by Cromwell,
but I'm not sure this is the kind of throne they were arguing about.
But no matter how comfy the big chair was, I'm sure I'd find it hard to sit still
if I was a ruler and had piles of problems to deal with.
Alfred the Great was King of the Anglo-Saxons in the ninth century,
and his big problem was piles of actual piles.
What a pain in the bum!
Asser, my trusted advisor, what business have we today?
We have messages from all the great men of Europe, Your Majesty.
They mean to compliment us on our victory over the Vikings
and the great country that we've built.
We must be the talk of Europe.
Shall I, er, put a cushion down, sire?
Er, no, why should I have a cushion?
-I told you not to mention my bottom problems.
I'm meant to be King. I don't want everyone talking about my backside!
Oh, sire, you've had piles for 20 years now.
But, you know, I don't see how anyone could know.
Yes, all right, all right.
If they're not all talking about my bottom,
then why all the cushions?
Oh, it's a coincidence, Your Majesty.
When I prayed to God to make me ill so I could focus on my work,
I was not expecting an attack from the rear...aaargh!
-Still, as long as no-one's talking about it.
I bring word from Jerusalem... HE LAUGHS
The head of my church
has taken a great interest in what is happening here in Britain.
I told you, Asser.
Our schools, our new towns, our legal codes are the talk of Europe.
I bring herbs and spices...
HE SNIFFS Oh, it's a good one!
..for your...how you say...
runny botty splats. Pth-pth-pth-pth-pth.
I've had enough. No more talk about bottoms.
The next person who mentions backsides will be in a lot of trouble.
Is that clear?
-No, that's his name!
That's his name!
Despite his bottom problems,
Alfred is remembered as a great hero who defeated the Viking invaders.
I guess having a good image goes a long, long way,
which is why I'm about to unveil my new poster for my campaign as rat leader.
I wonder what clever spin the marketing guys have put on this.
"Vote for a dirty rat."
Our next ruler, Mary, Queen of Scots, had some image problems, too.
Her cousin Queen Elizabeth I
thought she was plotting to kill her and steal the English throne.
And although she was called Queen of Scots,
she actually spent most of her childhood growing up in France.
FRENCH ACCENT: Oh, Mary!
Oh, not you, Mary, Mary or Mary. You, Mary!
I was just thinking how 'appy I am here in France,
compared to dreary old Scotland.
Ze weather is better,
ze fashion is better,
ze food is so much better!
Yes, milady, Scotland is rubbish.
SCOTTISH ACCENT: You shut yer geggie!
That's my bonnie wee Scotland you're runnin' doon there!
FRENCH ACCENT: But you're right,
ze day we arrived in France from Scotland was ze 'appiest day of my life.
fetch me my little doggie.
Ah, look what I have stitched.
I have made a new coat
for my little doggie.
I am so 'appy!
But, milady, isn't King Francis still unwell, huh?
I hear he is bravely fighting for his life.
Ah, no, he's just being a sickly little softie, as per usual.
He only has an earache. You cannot die of an earache.
King Francis has died of earache!
THEY ALL GASP
Huh! Apparently, you can!
Oh, my darling son!
Hold on a minute!
If Francis is no longer King,
does zat mean zat I am in charge?
And you, Mary,
are going straight back to Scotland.
Hm. Erm, which...
Who... Who... Which, erm, Mary is that, milady?
All of you!
THEY ALL GASP
SCOTTISH ACCENT: Jings, that's a pure wee downer, that!
So Mary was kicked out of France by her angry mother-in-law in 1561.
And when she returned to her native Scotland,
she found her own Scottish people didn't think much of her, either.
The poor wee lassie.
I am tall, beautiful, intelligent.
You might think zat everyone loved me, but no.
Ze Protestant churchman John Knox hated both me and my mother
because he believed the Bible said women should never rule over men.
Hm. When I met him to discuss this, what did he do?
Ze answer is C.
He shouted at me and made me cry.
He got very angry, because my mother and I ruled Scotland,
and zis was wrong to him. But we showed him!
Mr Rattus, Mr Rattus, what do you say
to rumours that you've been spreading fleas, the bubonic plague and dysentery?
I would have to say...
CLAMOURING No, no more questions.
No more questions.
They say a great king needs to think on his feet.
But what if his feet fall out from under him?
If there's anyone who knows the answer to that question,
it's our next ruler, William the Conqueror.
He invaded England in 1066,
but his arrival didn't quite go to plan.
Call the police, there's a badger at my nana's!
So check it. A lot of time, history is written down by the people
who have killed all the other people who might have written it down.
So it's no surprise that they tend to come out lookin' pretty good.
But let me tell you, yeah, no fool is perfect!
William the Conqueroror.
He's just arrived in England, ready to kick some Saxon butt.
He wants to make a fierce first impression, yeah?
Shame he fell over like a massive, clumsy fool!
William the Clown, more like!
Hey, see how easily I grab Harold's lands.
Pull the other one, Willy, you didn't mean to do that!
Mine... Mine's this...this thing here.
Hardly anyone remembers that little stumble.
But I do! Crazy fools think they can hide in history,
but they'd better wake up and apologise.
I never forget. I'm like an efelant.
Until next time, stay away from stupid, y'all!
PLUMMY VOICE: Yeah, just a bath,
with some oils and some salt, if you please.
Now, if history is anything to go by,
it seems like lots of rulers were just a little bit crazy.
Crazy I can do.
Allow me to introduce you to my chief advisor,
Mr Fwubble Gubble III.
Yes, yes, yes, you're absolutely right, Mr Fwubble Gubble.
200 years ago, King George III was suffering badly from madness
and was still pretty popular with his people. Hm.
Good work, Mr Fwubble Gubble.
WHISPERS: And that's why he's a chief advisor!
Hello! George III here.
Now, I have reigned for a long time,
and my memory isn't what it used to be,
or my hearing, or my sight,
but I'll never forget my coronation. I bet you can't guess what happened.
The answer is C!
Lord Talbot had trained his horse to walk backwards,
because it's rude to turn your back on the King.
But then the horse refused to go anywhere facing the right way,
so Talbot had to ride it backwards all day long.
He looked a right foal,
which is a joke, because a foal is a young horse.
Oh! Oh, you get it? Marvellous.
Very funny, Your Majesty.
Now, no selection of rotten rulers would be complete
without the biggest, most rotten of them all.
Of course, it's King Henry VIII, who went through wives and advisors
like most people go through underwear.
In 1540, Henry got ready to marry his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
Do you think it went well?
No, neither do I.
It's My Big Fat Tudor Wedding,
and this week, big, fat Tudor Henry is getting married again,
after the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour,
if chief minister Thomas Cromwell can talk him into it.
Her name's Anne of Cleves. She's a nice Protestant girl.
Oh, I dunno, Crommers.
I've only just lost my third wife, Jane Seymour,
and now I've got the male heir I want,
I'd need a pretty good reason to marry someone else.
Well, how about to secure an alliance against the Pope
and to ensure the survival of the Church of England?
No, I mean, you know, she'd have to be well fit.
She hasn't got a younger sister, has she?
I'll have that one.
Good choice, sire!
With the portrait of Anne having done the trick,
it's time for Henry to meet his bride.
Now, remember, she's German so quite strait-laced.
Don't worry, I've done this before. Ready, boys?
-No! No, no, no, please!
The entire English Reformation depends upon this marriage, sire!
ALL: Room raid, room raid, room raid,
room raid, room raid...
Your new husband.
Anne's not impressed.
And neither is Henry.
But the wedding plans are well under way.
She looks nothing like her portrait.
Well, to be fair, sire, neither do you.
I mean, your legs are thinner, your belly is much fatter now, and your...
Do you like your head where it is, Crommers?
Unable to wiggle out of the wedding, Henry says "I do".
England is safe!
unlike your head.
Oh, no, please!
There's something I wanted to say. The thing is...
-It's not you, it's me.
-MUSIC STOPS ABRUPTLY
Hang on, I was going to say that.
I guess I'm just not the marrying sort.
I mean, you're clearly a nice person...
I was going to say that, too.
So, great, how about a quick divorce?
Perfect. I'll get my people onto it.
Next week, in My Big Fat Tudor Wedding,
Henry gets married again,
to Anne's former lady-in-waiting Catherine Howard.
And the week after that, he'll probably marry someone else...again!
Bad news for Catherine.
True to form, Henry had her executed and married his sixth wife,
But good news for her, she managed to outlive Henry!
And there's good news for me, too.
You'll be pleased to hear I am the new ratty ruler!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Yeah, yeah! So, what have I got to look forward to being a ruler?
Treacherous underlings, back-stabbing family members,
assassination attempts, invasions, rebellions, untimely deaths...
Being a ruler definitely doesn't...rule.
I mean, just look at Winston Churchill.
He led us to victory in the Second World War and then we kicked him out!
Take it away, Winston.
# In '44
# We turned the war
# D-Day made sure the foe retreated
# In '45
# Our troops survive
# But in the vote
# I am defeated
# The masses spoke, no victory's mine
# Chose some old bloke, ungrateful swine
# There goes my power
# What should have been...
# My finest hour...
# Back in '36
# I tried to fix
# The mad idea Hitler was charming
# Then in '38
# Though I gained weight
# So did my case for re-arming
# In my modest way told all I was right
# But lacked support, had to sit tight
# Till '39
# Justice was mine
# Their finest hour...
# Though often feared
# That we might lose
# I kept my faith
# Words well I'd choose
# Time to bear and endure
# Never surrender
# Blood, toil, tears and sweat
# We'll go on to the end
# Was never so much owed to so few
# Their finest hour...
# I brought us through
# Expected you
# Would thank me true
# And show affection
# But victory
# And love for me
# Did not extend to the election
# Defeating Hitler, we had to fight
# Defeating me, ballot box sufficed
# That's what we killed for
# What blood was spilled for
# Your finest hour...
# I won the war
# But lost the peace
# I can't complain
# My life did not cease
# The only cross
# Was one you wrote
# Your brothers died
# So you could vote
# Didn't just beat me
# You beat tyranny
# Your finest hour... #
Welcome to my election victory party. Help yourself to drinks and nibbles.
Yes, wily old Winston was one of the truly great leaders,
but even he lost the vote after he led us to victory.
Well, there's gratitude for you.
Maybe this ruling lark isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Sounds like sooner or later someone always turns against you,
and you certainly can't please all of the rats all of the time.
Huh, especially my rat pack.
Turn your back for a second
and they'd steal all your best biscuits.
RUNNING FOOTSTEPS Ohhh!
Come on! You rotten lot!
Do you know what?
I'm not cut out for running a whole rat nest,
especially this thieving lot.
At least I've still got my rattenburg cake.
RUNNING FOOTSTEPS Argh!
See? I told you!
Oi, you lot, come back here!
# Tall tales, atrocious acts
# We gave you all the fearsome facts
# The ugly truth, no glam or glitz
# We showed you all the juicy bits
# Gory, ghastly, mean and cruel
# Stuff they don't teach you at school
# The past is no longer a mystery Hope you enjoyed...
# Horrible Histories! #
A special episode of the historical sketch show featuring all your favourite rotten rulers from the series. Including naughty Napoleon annoying his Josephine and horrid Henry VIII getting married again! There's also a song from wily Winston Churchill and, of course, our host Rattus to guide the way!