The title of “Herb Strewer” did not become official until the royal family deemed it to be around the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Their job was to mask the foul odors from both outdoors and indoors using herbs.  This job was no longer needed once sewage systems, plumbing,  cleaning products and perfumes were invented. I think that as an “Urban Deodorizer”, I could go to a particularly smelly place in Richmond and use a mixture of herbs of my own creation to hide the aroma. To make it interactive, I could make it like a febreze commercial, but outside (where they blindfold people and put them in a disgusting room, but spray frebreze so they think they’re in a field of flowers or something).  This might be difficult..also they would definitely know where they were because we are traveling there as a class… I could maybe create more than one concoction of herbs or my own home-made frebreze and test it on different items of trash and have the people test them and see which one masks the smell. I think that I should dress like Bridget Rumney did, but modernized. Or I could dress as a cleaning woman with rubber gloves and an apron. We’ll see..

This needs to be environment friendly! I have found some natural frebreze-like recipes that I could personalize and alter. Brown Thumb Mama   Green Cleaning Recipes   The Conscious ShopperAll of these call for essential oils, so I could substitute many different herbs and fruits to make it my own. I could make my own logo and put it on the spray bottles!

 

Research

“The primary duty of the Herb Strewer was to distribute herbs and flowers throughout the royal apartments in order to mask less pleasant aromas (such as those from the Thames which at that time, before the construction of London‘s network of sewers, was particularly unhygienic).”

“The earliest recorded Herb Strewer was Bridget Rumney,[2] who held the post from 1660 to 1671 and received an annual salary of £12, as well as two yards of superfine scarlet cloth for livery, as did all of her successors. The last full-time Herb Strewer was Mary Rayner, who served George III and two of his sons for a total of 43 years.”

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“Herb strewing at the 1685 coronation procession of King James II and Queen Mary of Modena

For his coronation in 1820, George IV appointed an old friend, Anne Fellowes, to the post, and she and her six attendants scattered flowers and herbs along the carpet of Westminster Abbey. She wore a traditional dress of white satin with a scarlet mantle trimmed with gold, a head dress of gold wheat intermixed with laurel and oak leaves, and bore a gold badge and chain.[3]

“The title of Royal Herb-strewer was a popular profession in England in the days before proper drainage and medicines were the norm, back then, herbs were used for their deodorising and healing properties. A herb strewers primary duty was to distribute herbs and flowers throughout the royal apartments in order to mask the rather unpleasant aromas of the city.

Strewing herbs were used throughout Europe from the late Medieval to early Renaissance periods. A variety of herbs were often used along with the rushes and straw, this was done in order to take advantage of the herbs aromatic and insect repelling properties and the absorbent properties of the straw and rushes. Walking on the herbs would crush them, allowing the plants natural oils and aromas to be released. Strewing herbs were used in all areas of the household including the dinning room, kitchen, and bedrooms, they were even used in stables to help deter fleas and ticks from the animals.”

 

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