When you’ve got to go…how did you go?
So glad you asked.
A chamber pot. Also, looking-glass and remedy critch.
What better way to start off a new year than with a series of posts on Regency era waste disposal systems? I plan to wade in slowly; this week we’ll just admire the general beauty of ye olde potty.
Some families and homes of wealth had primitive water closets, and some had outdoor privies, but all had pots stored under the beds for when nature called. It was one of the many duties of the chamber maid to empty the chamber pots. Those lucky girls.
Some even had member mugs in the corner of the drawing room. For those times when you just had to go, but didn’t want to go too far.
The pots ranged in beauty from utilitarian to quite stunning. Some fooled future generations into serving food out of them, thinking they were tureens. True story.
What follows is a selection of Regency era chamber pots. Most remaining member mugs hail from the Victorian era, but there are a few lingering from Georgian privies. Contemporaneous use for dispensing soup, optional.
- Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.
- See all the chamber pot collection at Chipstone.
- Read more about urinating on Napoleon’s head, and other ways the emperor was defiled, at Waterloo200.