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# Terrible Tudors Gorgeous Georgians Slimy Stuarts, Vile Victorians
# Woeful wars, ferocious fights Dingy castles, daring knights
# Horrors that defy description Cut-throat Celts, awful Egyptians
# Vicious Vikings, cruel crimes Punishment from ancient times
# Romans - rotten, rank and ruthless Cavemen - savage, fierce, toothless
# Groovy Greeks - brainy sages Mean and measly Middle Ages
# Gory stories, we so like And your host, it's Stephen Fry
# The past is no longer a mystery Welcome to...
# Horrible Histories. #
Hello and welcome to Horrible Histories,
the show that identifies the wider context of important historical eras
and then throws that away,
leaving only the smelliest, silliest, goriest bits,
or as we like to call it, the good stuff!
-(Psst! Are you Agent Sophie?)
-(Yes, I am she.)
Agent Sophie, welcome to France.
I am Claude, your contact in the French Resistance.
I understand you have some instructions for me?
Yes, they are in my suitcase.
-Here you go.
-Wait a minute.
You come all the way to German-occupied France
to tell me I need a wash and to brush my teeth?
No, of course not. Although...
The secret instructions are hidden inside the soap and toothpaste.
-They are written on silk.
-Oh, this is very clever.
So, if the Germans search your suitcase, they won't find anything.
-We thought so.
So tell me, what do you have hidden inside these things?
The hairbrush contains spare money
and the chess set has a map of France in it, if I lose my way.
You British secret agents have so many things
hidden inside other things. It is wonderful!
Oh, I see you have also brought some dinner and what's this?
Oh-la-la! A bottle of wine.
No, no, no, no. Be careful with that.
The wine is actually a bomb.
Of course it is. I should have guessed.
Next, you'll be telling me that you have hidden
a machine-gun inside this fish.
Yes. Is it that obvious?
I'll have to tell the boffins in London to work on that.
They really are geniuses.
They've even made mines that look like animal poo.
Ah, so you are telling me, this cow pat is actually a landmine?
Oh, it even smells like the real thing.
No, no, no, that is a cowpat. I didn't bring that with me.
Will you pass me the soap, please?
Of course, camouflage had to be adapted to suit the environment.
In North Africa, for example,
mines were disguised to look like camel dung.
Anyway, it wasn't just France and North Africa.
All over Europe,
strategies were devised to undermine the Nazi offensive.
Even those who had been captured were doing their bit.
Squadron Leader Higgins, Herr Commandant.
Ah, Squadron Leader, we meet again.
Oh, have we met before?
No, I just like the way I sound when I say that.
I'm Commandant Klinsmann, the new head of this prisoner of war camp
and I hope you enjoyed your brief taste of freedom -
your 23rd escape -
because it will be your last.
I have positioned additional guards here, here and here,
making escape virtually impossi-...
Where did he go?
He's done it again. Send 100 troops to find Squadron Lea-...
-Squadron Leader Higgins, Herr Commandant.
Ah, Squadron Leader, we meet again.
-Are we not counting just now?
Don't think I don't know what your game is here.
British officers are under orders to keep trying to escape,
which means that German soldiers spend their time chasing you down
rather than fighting this war. Not any more! I'm in charge now.
And you will find that I have eyes in the back of my head. He-he!
Now where did he go? What..?
Send 300 soldiers to find Squadron Leader...
-Squadron Leader Higgins, Herr Commandant.
So, we meet again?
Don't say that! I say that!
Give me one good reason why I shouldn't shoot you on the spot?
Because the Geneva Convention means you can't shoot officers.
Yes, forgot about that.
Ah, yes, I see you would like to get hold of my keys, yes?
Let me tell you something.
There are two things in this world that will never happen.
One, you will never win this war.
And two, you will never get your hands on my keys.
They have won the war! We have surrendered! Every man for himself!
Right, this one's for the front door. It's quite easy.
This one's for the back gate.
It's a little bit sticky. You might have to wiggle it a bit.
Lots of the Allied soldiers who kept escaping
were moved to the old German castle, Colditz,
which was meant to be escape-proof.
In fact, there were more escapes from Colditz
than any other prisoner of war camp.
The prisoners had a gentleman's agreement with the Germans
wherein they promised not to make use of equipment given
to them for gardening and so on during their escape attempts,
but only to use kit they had smuggled in.
Sadly, the Germans refused to believe the Allied assertion
that ladder cake and hacksaw sandwiches
were both traditional English delicacies.
Everyone knows that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament
on November 5th.
But did you know that he was just one member of a much bigger gang?
In fact, there were 13 of them altogether.
Come on, Fawkes. You couldn't have done this alone.
Who was in your gang?
-I'll never tell you.
-Oh, we'll see about that! Heh-heh-heh!
You don't laugh, I laugh.
TRAILER-ESQUE: 'It was the plot that seemed unthinkable.
'Fawkes is The Explosives Expert.'
We're going to blow up King James and his entire family
at the State Opening of Parliament?
-Any reason, or just for fun?
'John Wright is The Persuader.'
Because you're Catholic and I'm Catholic
and the King hates Catholics.
-He seems to think we're always plotting something.
'It was the plot that sounded impossible.
'Robert Gatesby is The Brains.'
We're supposed to roll 36 barrels of gunpowder down the Thames,
sneak it into this rented cellar,
wait for Parliament to open, then I creep back in, light the fuse,
run away, blow up the King - all without getting caught?
Just checking I had that right.
'It was the plot that would surely go wrong.'
I've persuaded 12 guys altogether.
That ought to do it, don't you think?
-Do you think we need one more?
-I'll get one more.
Excuse me. Would you like to be in a plot to blow up Parliament?
Oh, yes, why not? I'll just check my diary. When were you thinking?
-Yes, I'm free.
-Fabulous. That's 13, then.
Isn't 13 an unlucky number?
Don't worry, it will go off without a hitch.
'Francis Tresham is The Idiot.'
Hang on, my brother-in-law is due in Parliament on November 5th.
I'll send him a quick letter telling him to take the day off. I'm sure he won't tell anyone.
'It was the plot....'
Three, two, one...
-'..that went wrong.'
'Horribly, horribly wrong. Fawkes' 13...'
What letter? What idiot sends a letter? Oh, no!
'..failing to explode on November 5th, 1605.'
You're going to be hung, drawn and quartered.
-You will be.
Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn and quartered for treason.
But there is some dispute among historians over what exactly the "drawn" element means.
"Drawn" could be disembowelling or it could mean being drawn behind a horse.
Thankfully, such punishments died out long before the world went decimal,
saving us from the confusing spectacle of seeing someone being cruelly hung, drawn and 0.25'd.
James' son, Charles I, was just as keen on grisly punishments.
-Will? Will Prynne? What happened to you?
-I'm sorry, I can't hear you.
King Charles I had my ears cut off for being rude about the theatre.
-I can't hear you.
I had my ears cut off for writing a book that upset the government.
-I'm sorry, what?
I said the king had my ears cut off a few years ago for being rude about the theatre.
And when I was rude about some bishops the other day, he had me branded on the cheek, too.
-Ooh, that looks nasty! How did you get that?
-Listen, I can't hear you.
I had my ears nailed to a piece of wood,
-then cut off and left there.
For writing a book the government didn't like.
-I'll show you if you like. You can still see one over there.
-There is an ear nailed to a post.
-I wonder how it got there?
-Hold on, I've got an idea.
-Can you hear me now?
-It's no good talking to him, he's as deaf as a post!
-I made a joke.
What a weirdo.
What, really? Welcome?
You don't think we're giving out mixed messages?
Staggering, isn't it? Which, of course, is another Viking word.
None of those words existed in our language until the Vikings started settling in Britain.
Their first major attack was on Lindisfarne Abbey in 793,
and there are a number of theories as to why they came to Britain.
CRASHING AND YELLING
Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop! Whoa. What's going on?
We were just minding our own business and they came out of the blue with axes and swords.
EVERYONE TALKS AT ONCE
Ah, ah, ah, ah. One at a time, please.
You. Is what he said true?
I asked you to stop for a second, while we sort this out, please.
I was just... He...
Now, what are you doing here? This is Lindisfarne. We're a monastery. We're peaceful people.
Well, erm, I've never really thought about it before.
Why did we sail here from Scandinavia exactly?
Maybe it's because there's not enough food.
There is a shortage of herring.
I thought it was because we needed more land.
My dad's left his land to my older brother, which isn't fair.
It's a bit crowded. We do need more space to live.
Plus we've got a new Viking king now, and he is SUCH a bully.
-As are our wives.
Right, well, it seems to me like you don't know why you're here.
So why don't you just go home and we'll say no more about it, OK?
No, I've remembered what it is.
It's because killing is really fun
and taking stuff from monks is very easy.
That was it.
as long as we're clear on that...
The Viking influence can still be seen in Britain today in place names
such as Scunthorpe - "Skuma's house" -
Whitby - "white town" - Grimsby - "Grim's town" -
and Swansea, named after King Sweyn of Denmark,
which might explain
why Swansea always looks like it's just been pillaged.
And I mean that warmly and lovingly.
Well, I am a bit, actually.
Stop staring at me. I'm going red.
We Victorians were always coming up with new technology,
like this, a device for the automatic tipping of the hat.
As well as some other, more useful inventions.
'Twas the age of Queen Victoria's
A period notorious
So many brand-new goods we did create
Our list is long and glorious Though I don't intend to bore yers
-Was a time of great invention.
-What it really? What did we invent, then?
Well, I'm just about to mention
Drum roll, please Let's raise the tension
this music hall.
Is that all?
A chap called Henry Bessemer invented molten steel
Which led to other chaps creating the automobile
Which led to petrol tyres and bikes so all that was required
Was roads, so concrete came, and tarmac thought up, too.
-# Concrete, tarmac, steel
# Seal of rubber wheel
-# Such inventive zeal
-Still there's plenty to reveal
# Victorian brains worked overtime to come up with ideas... #
-We invented light bulbs
# Typewriters and radios Now news was fast conveyed... Hello!
# A telephone was no good till a second phone was made... Hello!
# Our inventors did not snooze
# Always had another ruse
-# The latest flushing loos
-Films that did amuse
# Flashbulb cameras to use... #
What a picture! What a picture!
# Vacuum cleaners, toilet paper Postboxes and stamps
# Toilets, aspirin, anaesthetics Locks, electric lamps
# Sewing machines, X-rays, comics Ice cream in a pot
-# Easter eggs and rockets
-We invented the whole lot
# Our... #
Hang on, there's more!
# Trains and lines and bridges and the underground as well
# Paddle steamers, prams and disinfectant for their smell
# Sterile doctors' instruments,
# One last unmentioned brand
# Victorians invented the world's first conveyor band... #
Invented in 1902, the year after Victoria died...
-# Ohhh, barometers were new
-Iron ships a coup... #
# Seems we're almost through
# Just one little oversight... #
We invented dynamite.
She fell over!
You're watching the News at 1066 with me, Dagbert Broadaxe.
And me, Matilda Highwimpole.
And we bring you news of a major battle at Hastings
on the Sussex coast.
Reports of the battle are only just beginning to reach us,
live by tapestry.
We must apologise for the time delay,
but these scenes have taken a while to embroider.
It seems to have started with the funeral of King Edward,
after which, of course, Harold became King of England,
annoying William of Normandy,
who thought the crown had been promised to him.
These pictures show the Normans building their invasion fleet,
stockpiling weapons and setting sail for England.
No resistance when they landed, of course,
as Harold was away fighting Vikings in Yorkshire.
Do we know what the Normans did after they landed?
Well, they do come from France, so naturally, they cooked themselves
a massive meal.
Let's take a look now at the warzone itself.
This report contains scenes of violence
which you may find disturbing.
We're in the thick of battle
and it looks like the English infantry have left the high ground
and been trapped by the Norman cavalry.
Sorry to interrupt, Matilda, but we're getting some breaking news.
It looks like King Harold has been killed. That's what we're hearing.
Yes, King Harold has been killed.
We don't know yet whether King Harold is the one you can see
with the arrow in his eye
or the one on the right being chopped down by the sword.
It could be either.
It looks like it's all over.
So, William is now officially The Conqueror
and the Normans have taken over Anglo-Saxon England.
A truly sad day for us all.
-What's that you're saying?
I was actually going to say it's a very happy day.
Oh, happy day. Isn't that right, Matilda?
Yes, Dagbert. Woo-hoo. Yippee.
There is indeed controversy over which figure on the tapestry
is actually Harold.
Underneath the words "Harold Rex Interfectus Est",
there's the character with an arrow in his eye.
But there's also the one being hacked by a sword.
In fact, the arrow in the eye
may not even have been in the original tapestry,
as the tapestry was restored in Victorian times
and it might well have been added then.
What's more, technically,
the Bayeux Tapestry isn't even a tapestry,
it's an embroidery,
tapestry being a form of textile woven on a loom,
composed of two sets of interlaced threads,
and embroidery, fabric decorated by means of needle and thread or yarn.
There's also debate about where it was done,
when it was done and who it was done for.
But I'm sure we've already lost enough viewers,
so let's crack on.
This is Lord and Lady Posh from the Manor...
Hello. We're very, very, very, very rich.
..and they're doing a wife swap with...
the Peasant family of Poorville.
Hello. We're very, very, very hungry.
So how will these two very different Georgian classes get on?
Show me to my bedroom, poor person.
This is your bedroom.
And our bedroom.
-And the living room, kitchen and dining room.
And where, pray, is the toilette?
Well, there's a hole in the ground out back.
Are you all right?
And things don't get off to a much better start in the mansion.
Ah, you must be Mrs Peasant.
It's dinner time in the Peasant household.
I am absolutely starving. I haven't eaten anything
for nearly an hour. What's for dinner?
Oh, the usual - nothing.
Why is your girl staring at my hair? It is quite unnerving.
I think you've got some food in it.
That fruit is decoration, my girl, hm? Hm?
I swear, I had more fruit in my hair this morning.
That little scamp has stolen an apple.
I shall have a word with the judge in the morning and have her hanged.
Dinner time in the posh house is a very different affair.
Do you know, I spend more on grapes every day
than you probably earn in a month.
We don't earn anything in a month. Not since you posh people
were given ownership of the common land.
Ah, the Enclosures Act. What a wonderful piece of legislation.
I must remember to congratulate my close friend, the Prime Minister.
But we poor people have got no fields left to work.
That is a sad story.
Would you like my private 27-piece orchestra to play you something sad?
Play something sad.
Now, do go on. FAINT ORCHESTRAL STRAINS
I never thought I'd say this about the Lord of the Manor,
but I'm starting to think, in actual fact, he's not really very nice.
It's time for the Lord and Lady of the Manor
and the Peasants of the village to settle their differences.
We really had no idea of the terrible conditions
-in which you peasants live.
-I see, my lady.
So, my wife and I have decided to do something about it.
We're going to flatten your entire village.
Well, it is quite an eyesore,
and it really rather ruins our nice country views.
I mean, you can tootle off to town
and die working in a mill or something.
Oh, no, you're upset. Oh dear.
Orchestra? Play something sad.
Oh, dear, dear, dear.
No crying, no crying, now.
Well, you know, the Duke of Chandos,
owner of the stately home Cannons in Middlesex,
really did have his own private 30-piece orchestra.
He even employed Handel as his resident house composer.
So, presumably, when the Duke went to the toilet,
the orchestra played Handel's Water Music.
And the Earl of Carlisle really did have a whole village,
Henderskelfe, flattened, because it ruined his view,
making him the first landlord to convert every house he owned
quite literally into a flat.
But bad behaviour in the Georgian period
wasn't just limited to rich adults.
If you have any questions while I'm showing you around the school,
don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you, headmaster. How hard will it be for Samuel to get in?
The examination is straightforward.
We examine your bank account, if you've got enough money, you're in.
What is your attitude to discipline?
Discipline is very important at this school.
We really, really wish we had some!
-Do not throw stones in the quadrangle!
Do not fire pistols at on the headmaster!
-If you'd just like to walk this way.
On second thoughts, run!
-What's going on?
-Just a little high spirits.
Must be double chemistry!
-Who's firing pistols? Who's throwing stones?
I think it's class 5B.
-Yes, just a little pupil rebellion.
-Nothing out of the ordinary,
all the best schools have them.
You there! Yes, I'm looking at you!
-You're a bit old to be a pupil.
-Are you a teacher?
-No, no, Colonel Warwick, British Army.
Headmaster calls us in when a rebellion gets out of hand.
They've broken several school rules,
-I think you may need bayonets.
Good luck, Colonel!
Right, that's quite enough of that!
-All of you, see me in my office!
So, hands up if you'd like to see the library.
ALL: Yes, please.
Both hands, if we surrender, they might let us across without firing.
Ow, my leg!
On second thoughts, why don't I introduce you to matron?!
When the Romans invaded Britain,
they had a bit of a problem in East Anglia.
The land they found there was wet and marshy.
Very, very wet, and very, very marshy.
But then one Roman general had a bright idea.
Why don't we use stilts?
His plan worked brilliantly,
the stilts stopped the Romans getting wet.
But, there was one small problem.
The Celts worked out that the Romans on stilts
were very easy to knock over.
The Romans fell like dominoes, and the Celts swiftly finished them off.
Oh well, guess it's back to the drawing tablet.
And don't come back!
The boggy marshes of the East Anglia
were similar to the Pontine Marshes in Italy,
where the stilts had been extensively tested.
Only the Romans hadn't taken into account
the crucial difference in Britain, namely the not-so-friendly locals.
# Gonna cause a stink Won't be the first to blink
# I'm not who you think Don't mess with me, I'm Boudicca!
# My husband Prasutagus died He was a Celtic king
# I was his queen so due to me was half of everything
# Roman law gave half to me so half was what they got
# Till their nasty soldiers came and took the blessed lot
# Hey, Mister, I say you got the wrong end of the stick
# His answer turned this sister into one angry chick
# No, man, Roman Don't push around this woman
# You won't get far with Boudicca
# Bowman, yeoman Smash the Roman foe, man
-# All say, "Yah,"
# I built a massive army Headed straight for the city
# Beat them all with ease Unlike me it wasn't pretty
# Chopped 'em and hacked But what made their red blood curl
# It's bad enough being beaten but beaten by a girl?
# Whacked 'em, smacked 'em Boy, how we attacked 'em
# Near and far, ha ha ha!
# Flay them, slay them up-and-down parade 'em
# Boudicca, toughest by far
# Colchester, London, St Albans
# Everybody talk about dead Romans
# We marched on up the Roman road that's known as Watling Street
# They trapped us in the forest then thrashed us to our defeat
# By now you've guessed I'm not the kind of girl who'll sit and cry
# Be sold a slave to Romans? You know I'd rather die
# They tried to take me prisoner so I led the Roman boys on
# Instead of giving in to them I swallowed special poison
# Martyr, smarter capture a non-starter
# This was our last hurrah
# Slaughtered, dismembered Our tribe always remembered
# Boudicca, superstar
Don't diss this miss.
Well, that's it for this glimpse
of the goriest bits of the days gone by.
The final words
go to Mexican revolutionary Francisco "Pancho" Villa,
whose deathbed declaration was,
-"Don't let it end like this, tell them I said something!"
With that, goodbye.
# 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, cruel and mean
# Bursting out your TV screen
# The past is no longer a mystery
# Hope you enjoyed Horrible Histories. #