Question about Regency/Georgian toilet etiquette

The idea came to me after watching the latest adaptation of Emma. What was the etiquette for genteel women using the toilet while making social calls?

I assume if you were an overnight guest you would have a private chamber pot, commode, or water closet at your disposal. But, what if you were visiting for several hours, at a ball or dinner party? Do you wait until you return home because it is not proper to discuss bodily functions with friends and neighbors? Did you discreetly disappear to use an outdoor privy? Or did you say you needed to wash their hands as a ruse to excuse yourself to use the chamber pot you brought with you? What about traveling long distance traveling long distance? Would the coach stop to allow Lady Catherine to use a chamber pot disguised as a basket?

What about hand washing? Before tea or dinner parties did the hostess provide basins for washing hands?


Anyone know?
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21


Last edited by iara; 11-01-2009 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Mixed subjects
This may just be my favorite post ever. I hope somebody knows. I never, ever thought about it. But now.... I have to know!
I've definitely thought about this before!

I hope someone can answer this!

I feel like I vaguely remember hearing somewhere that they took "retention" supplements of some sort? Maybe on the Pride and Prejudice (2005 version) director's commentary?

"And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this"

“My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.” - Tina Fey
Great post! From what I've read, there was a "retiring room" made available to women at a ball or dinner. The men could take a whizz right in the dining room. When the ladies "retired" after dinner and they enjoyed their port etc. There were chamber pots right in the sideboard. I have no idea about the traveling or the hand washing. Very few baths were being taken during that period. They probably washed their face and hands on rising and before bed, or to wash the dust of the road off at a hostelry.
My blog - http://suburbanbushbabe.wordpress.com/
My FOTKI - http://whatsnew.fotki.com/suburbanbushbabe/


Playing with my hair is a hobby. Fluffy, fine natural 4a. Goal= Healthy, beautiful hair that retains its length.
Quote:
Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
Men just called over the "piss boy" (well, according to Mel Brooks' History of the World..."wait for the shake"). I assume women had rooms with chamber pots available if there was a party, and used the outdoor necessary house if they were just visiting for a few hours. While traveling, I'm sure even genteel ladies squatted behind a tree. If they had a servant traveling with them, the servant could hold up a privacy curtain.
Glad I am not alone in my curiosity. I really am curious how women handled these things that are so convenient now we do not think about.

Great post! From what I've read, there was a "retiring room" made available to women at a ball or dinner. The men could take a whizz right in the dining room. When the ladies "retired" after dinner and they enjoyed their port etc. There were chamber pots right in the sideboard. I have no idea about the traveling or the hand washing. Very few baths were being taken during that period. They probably washed their face and hands on rising and before bed, or to wash the dust of the road off at a hostelry.
Originally Posted by Suburbanbushbabe
Clever. Instead of saying they have to pee they probably said they have to powder their noses. LOL

A retention supplement that stops them from urinating. Interesting. Now I am going to find a copy of P&P 2005 to see what the director says.

So glad I live in modern times. I am one of those 2x a day bathers. I would not have survived infrequent bathing. I wonder how people in the future will look at our bathroom habits.

I wonder what they did from menstruation. I read somewhere that most women bled into their clothes since they did not bleed often. But, that seems unlikely for women out and about in society. They probably used cloths (like reusable pads) hooked around the legs since they did not wear underwear. If they did not, maybe they were confined to their beds during the duration. Anyone know?
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

I've thought about this often, though even further back in time. I've also wondered how certain dishes came to be (as in, what possessed someone to whip egg whites to meringue, etc.).
There was a show on PBS, can't recall the name, about a family that agreed to go back to around this era. They addressed the cloth pads and a few other hygiene issues. It was one of the first reality shows, before they blew up all over TV.
I've thought about this often, though even further back in time. I've also wondered how certain dishes came to be (as in, what possessed someone to whip egg whites to meringue, etc.).
There was a show on PBS, can't recall the name, about a family that agreed to go back to around this era. They addressed the cloth pads and a few other hygiene issues. It was one of the first reality shows, before they blew up all over TV.
Originally Posted by Saria
Yes! Me, too. Actually I am fascinated by every day life of ordinary people in all eras. The cuisine, etiquette, clothing, etc.

Frontier House? I never watched it, but would love to see it. ETA: Wasn't there another one set in Victorian England? Would love to see that one, too.


ETAA: I just googled it. It was called Manor House. I wonder if I can watch the episodes anywhere.

Wasn't there a 3rd one, too?
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21


Last edited by iara; 11-02-2009 at 05:52 PM.
There was a show on PBS, can't recall the name, about a family that agreed to go back to around this era. They addressed the cloth pads and a few other hygiene issues. It was one of the first reality shows, before they blew up all over TV.
Originally Posted by Saria

The 1900 House. It was a great series!

http://www.amazon.com/1900-House-Art.../dp/B0000AYL45
I've thought about this often, though even further back in time. I've also wondered how certain dishes came to be (as in, what possessed someone to whip egg whites to meringue, etc.).
There was a show on PBS, can't recall the name, about a family that agreed to go back to around this era. They addressed the cloth pads and a few other hygiene issues. It was one of the first reality shows, before they blew up all over TV.
Originally Posted by Saria
Yes! Me, too. Actually I am fascinated by every day life of ordinary people in all eras. The cuisine, etiquette, clothing, etc.

Frontier House? I never watched it, but would love to see it. ETA: Wasn't there another one set in Victorian England? Would love to see that one, too.


ETAA: I just googled it. It was called Manor House. I wonder if I can watch the episodes anywhere.

Wasn't there a 3rd one, too?
Originally Posted by iara
I LOVED those shows!

"And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this"

“My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.” - Tina Fey
I was just on the PBS website. You can see clips and read about the most of the shows from the UK and US House series. There is even a Regency House Party, Welsh mining House, and a 1940s House set in London during the blitz.

I do not think I was here when they were shown. I would love to see them. So fascinating. Going to see if Netflix has them.

I wonder if they will do any more.
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

So glad I live in modern times. I am one of those 2x a day bathers. I would not have survived infrequent bathing. I wonder how people in the future will look at our bathroom habits.

I wonder what they did from menstruation. I read somewhere that most women bled into their clothes since they did not bleed often. But, that seems unlikely for women out and about in society. They probably used cloths (like reusable pads) hooked around the legs since they did not wear underwear. If they did not, maybe they were confined to their beds during the duration. Anyone know?
Originally Posted by iara
Don't ask me why I'm oddly fixated on this point (seriously, please, don't ask!) But why did they bleed less often? Is it because they were always either pregnant or recovering from a recent pregnancy?
So glad I live in modern times. I am one of those 2x a day bathers. I would not have survived infrequent bathing. I wonder how people in the future will look at our bathroom habits.

I wonder what they did from menstruation. I read somewhere that most women bled into their clothes since they did not bleed often. But, that seems unlikely for women out and about in society. They probably used cloths (like reusable pads) hooked around the legs since they did not wear underwear. If they did not, maybe they were confined to their beds during the duration. Anyone know?
Originally Posted by iara
Don't ask me why I'm oddly fixated on this point (seriously, please, don't ask!) But why did they bleed less often? Is it because they were always either pregnant or recovering from a recent pregnancy?
Originally Posted by wavycurly40+

Women did menstruate fewer times over a lifetime, because they would breastfeed for years and were pregnant a lot, but they still did have lots of periods, especially in their less-fertile years after 40. I really doubt they let themselves bleed into their clothes. Clothes had to last weeks between washings, so I'm sure they devised some methods to keep their clothes clean, like aprons kept their clothes clean while cooking. People weren't stupid back then, they just didn't have modern plumbing and disposables. They had designated rags to use for menstruation probably since the time cloth was first invented.
There might be something on YouTube. Very interesting shows!
Also,women who lived near the sea probably used sea sponges for menstrual protection, probably both internally and externally. There are mosses and other vegetation that are also very absorbant.

Unfortunately, women have been mostly left out of history writings til relatively recently. A lot of our knowledge and lore has been lost.
I do know the ancient civilization like the egyptians (shown in their hieroglyphs) and greeks used tampons, sponges, and pads. When I decided to wear the cup I found that versions of the cup has been around since the late 1800s although not massed produced until the 1930s. They were probably around before then. But, with their changing rules of hygiene I was not sure about the english/northern french during the late 18th and early 19th century. Definitely did not think they bled into their clothes (unless by accident) as the museum of menstrual history.

Must have been horrible to have cramps and wear corsets. I am always extremely weak on the second day of my period. Probably would have been one of those who fainted and always looked pale.

Saria, I did not find them on youtube, but Netflix and Channel 4 (for those in the UK) have them.
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

Yes, chamber pots were used and stored in the sideboard, but if you were out at the opera (or similar function) you had a 'bourdaloue' which is like a small chamber pot but more rectangular in shape - like a gravy boat! They were often made of fine china or porcelain, and beautifully decorated. You could discreetly pop it under your crinoline and pee. You then left it for your maid to empty. They are collectors items now and quite rare. I saw an amazing collection of them at a lavatory exhibition - yes, I do go to some odd events!
Marchioness Chinoise in the land of Mancunia Productia Junkia in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

DT: AOHR
Wash: Anita Grant babassu bar
Leave-in: Body Shop cotton seed curl boost with manuka honey mixed in
Gel: Umberto Giannini Curl Friends scrunching gel
Odds & ends Lime juice, honey, Anita Grant cafe latte
I brush with a Tangle Teezer & love Flexi-8's

www.public.fotki.com/janeyliz
www.thelilyfoundation.org.uk
Regarding periods, in the UK they tended to be infrequent due to poor nutrition in the lower classes. In the upper classes - or those who had a better lifestyle and ate better - they used rags to soak up the blood. Linen was a favourite, apparently.
Marchioness Chinoise in the land of Mancunia Productia Junkia in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

DT: AOHR
Wash: Anita Grant babassu bar
Leave-in: Body Shop cotton seed curl boost with manuka honey mixed in
Gel: Umberto Giannini Curl Friends scrunching gel
Odds & ends Lime juice, honey, Anita Grant cafe latte
I brush with a Tangle Teezer & love Flexi-8's

www.public.fotki.com/janeyliz
www.thelilyfoundation.org.uk
I was just on the PBS website. You can see clips and read about the most of the shows from the UK and US House series. There is even a Regency House Party, Welsh mining House, and a 1940s House set in London during the blitz.

I do not think I was here when they were shown. I would love to see them. So fascinating. Going to see if Netflix has them.

I wonder if they will do any more.
Originally Posted by iara
I came here to post about Regency House Party, but just noticed that you already posted about it. Seal's sister is in it! It's been in my Netflix queue for a while.
In search of a lost signature...
DP
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21


Last edited by iara; 11-03-2009 at 05:16 AM.

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com