The Toilette

Book 2, Chapter 6, The End of the Ninth Century – Anglo Saxon Furniture

We have little information on the secrets of the toilette of the Anglo-Saxons. We know from many sources that washing and bathing were frequent practices among them. The use of hot baths they probably derived from the Romans. The vocabularies give thermae as the Latin equivalent. They are not infrequently mentioned in the ecclesiastical laws, and in the canons passed in the reign of king Edgar, warm baths and soft beds are proscribed as domestic luxuries which tended to effeminacy. If these were really the thermae of the Romans, it is perhaps the hostility of the ascetic part of the Romish clergy which caused them to be discontinued and forgotten.

We constantly find among the articles in the graves of Anglo Saxon ladies, tweezers, which were evidently intended for eradicating superfluous hairs, a circumstance which contributes to show that they paid special attention to hair dressing. To judge from the colour of the hair in some of the illuminations, we might be led to suppose that sometimes they stained it. The young men seem to have been more foppish and vain of their persons than the ladies, and some of the old chronicles, such as the Ely history, say (which would hardly have been expected) that this was especially a characteristic of the Danish invaders, who, “following the custom of their country, used to comb their hair every day, bathed every Saturday, often changed their clothes, and used many other such frivolous means of setting off the beauty of their persons.”

Chapter 6, Ancient Towns and Highways

Domestic life of the Anglo-Saxons



Bells and Churches

Ancient Towns


Chapter 6, Internal Fittings of Houses



Chapter 6, Anglo-Saxon Furniture

Anglo-Saxon Furniture

Food and Drink


Furniture and Beds

Household Economy

Treatment of Slaves

The Toilette

Costume and Ornaments

Chapter 6, Anglo Saxon Hunting and Travelling


Travelling and Inns


The Calendar

Chapter 6, Anglo-Saxon Language

Anglo-Saxon Language

Local and District Courts of Justice


Categories: Book 2

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

%d bloggers like this: