Tony Robinson's History of Britain

The Tudors

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Tudors



There’s a whiff of Horrible Histories about this series in which Tony Robinson delves into the miserable lives of ordinary people in the past. He starts with the Tudor era – “a time of sex scandals, executions and cod pieces” – and the work of Thomas Grimes, a knacker whose skills butchering animals earned him a new job as an executioner, a role that was much in demand during the reign of Henry VIII.

Having relished hearing the gory details of decapitation, Tony then learns about Richard Roose, the Bishop of Rochester’s cook, who was boiled to death for allegedly poisoning his diners. It took an agonising two hours.


The actor explores the history of the nation through the everyday lives of ordinary people, beginning by looking at life during the reign of Tudor king Henry VIII. Tony talks about the role of executioner Thomas Grimes, and reveals how Richard Roose rose from pot washer to being the cook for the Bishop of Rochester.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Tony Robinson
Executive Producer Alice Harper
Executive Producer Tony Robinson
Executive Producer Lucy van Beek
Series Producer Paul Bradshaw