Henry VIII’s Stair Lift to Freedom

Did you know that the humble stair lift has a very Royal past? Well it really does! Although the infamous King Henry VIII is remembered by most for his six wives who inspired the little rhyme that follows, he also has another claim to fame, as the inventor of the earliest known stair lift!

King Henry VIII,

To six wives he was wedded,

One died,

One survived,

Two divorced

Two beheaded.

So how did the humble stair lift come into being? Well, Henry loved jousting and his beloved sport is said to have inspired his new invention! If you’ve ever seen a joust, you can imagine the injuries that being knocked off a galloping horse with a long wooden stick would have caused poor old King Henry. During one very rough match, Henry took a nasty fall and his injuries made it incredibly difficult for him to climb the Royal staircase unaided. That is when Henry had the most brilliant idea!

We like to imagine Henry said something along these lines:

“Servant, I wish for a chair that goeth up and down!”

Building a stair lift that could take the King’s weight was quite a challenge for the Royal staff and they came up with a complicated system of ropes and pulleys. King Henry’s Stair Throne really was nothing like the stair lifts we know and love today! When Henry decided that he wanted to retire for the night, he needed an army of servants to haul him up and down the 20-foot staircase!

Stair lifts have come a long way since King Henry’s time and we’re pretty sure that His Highness would be pretty impressed with the range we have to offer here at Western Stairlifts. Come on down to see us and get the Royal stair lift treatment.

Before we leave you, we have another interesting historical tidbit for you – King Henry didn’t stop with his stair lift. He was a real mobility trendsetter as he also had a number of wheelchairs dotted around his palaces. Who would have thought it!

So next time you take a ride on your stair lift or take a soak in your walk-in tub, just stop for a minute and remember Henry. Can you imagine the Royal rush of excitement that he would get if he had the chance to zoom up the stairs on an electric stair lift, or drive himself around the Tower of London on a speedy mobility scooter? We can …

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