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Sir Jeffrey Hudson's 'Tom Thumb' trousers sold at auction

A pair of trousers that belonged to the ‘Queen’s Dwarf’ have sold at auction.

Sir Jeffrey Hudson’s 29cm trousers fetched £9,750 when they went under the hammer at Sworders in Essex.

Sir Jeffrey, the son of a 17th Century Oakham butcher, is often known as “England’s smallest man from England’s smallest county”.

Sir Jeffrey Hudson's little trousers
Sir Jeffrey Hudson's little trousers

He was under 3ft 9in tall and his tiny stature caught the interest of Charles I’s wife, Henrietta Maria.

After meeting him at a banquet held in her honour at the Duke of Buckingham’s estate near Oakham, where Sir Jeffrey worked as a page, she took him back to London as entertainment.

Sir Jeffrey would often jump out of pies and cakes, but later fought as a royalist in the English Civil War. Following the Popish Plot 1678-1681, his Roman Catholic faith led to his imprisonment due to anti-Catholic hysteria.

Sir Jeffrey Hudson's former home in Melton Road, Oakham
Sir Jeffrey Hudson's former home in Melton Road, Oakham

There were many rumours of Sir Jeffrey's life after this, including being kidnapped by pirates and participating in a duel against a relative of a powerful baron.

His opponent entered the duel with a water gun, mocking Sir Jeffrey’s size, before he was shot fatally.

Sir Jeffrey was condemned to death for the man’s murder.

Due to his loyalty to the crown, the Queen pardoned him and he returned to Oakham for several years before he died.

While he was small, his experiences were extraordinary and it is said that he was the inspiration for the character of Tom Thumb.

To this day, his house still stands in Oakham, and his life is commemorated by a blue plaque.

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