The Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home

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The Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home

Tue 9 Jun 8pm - 9pm BBC Four
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Mon 8 Jun, 4pm - 5pm BBC Red Button 1
Tue 9 Jun, 5pm - 6pm BBC Red Button 1
Wed 10 Jun, 6pm - 7pm BBC Red Button 1
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Fri 12 Jun, 4pm - 5pm BBC Red Button 1


Adding sugar (or white gold, as it was known) to the bland Tudor diet must have had the same effect as sprinkling crack cocaine on cornflakes. But while the Tudors enthusiastically embraced their introduction to such exotic goods, what they didn’t realise is the health problems it would cause.

As Dr Suzannah Lipscomb tells us, it was an exciting time that introduced the notion of using material possessions to indicate wealth and status. Simple ideas, such as the introduction of the chimney, revolutionised domestic life and architecture (although this had a down side, too).

Even worse was how dubious medical knowledge and weird superstitions killed off so many – if the ailment wasn’t the death of you, the medicine probably was.


Suzannah Lipscomb explores the hidden dangers of properties built in the Tudor period by looking at the new style of multi-room homes that only the aristocracy had previously been able to afford, which were now being constructed by the emerging wealthy classes. Plus, the presenter looks at the exotic new goods brought in from the New World by merchants that could actually be deadly.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Suzannah Lipscomb
Director Suzanne Phillips
Executive Producer Jobim Sampson
Executive Producer Sarah Broughton
Producer Suzanne Phillips