Old Thomas Parr, a poor man of modest habits but an active libido, died in 1635, allegedly (although improbably) 169 years old. If he had, in fact, lived between 1483 and 1635, he would have lived in one of the rare periods in its history where England was relatively little involved in the world. It was, like all long time spans, a period of momentous social, economic and political change, including the English, Welsh and Scottish, although not the Irish, shifting from Catholic to Protestant allegiance. But it was not a period in which the wider world intruded much on British life, except perhaps at the very end of Parr’s supposed long life. If we imagined another Thomas Parr living 169 years before him (in other words, from 1314–1483), that Parr would have lived during a period of intense involvement of the four nations of the British archipelago with each other, where Wales and Ireland became aligned with England and when Scotland engaged in frequent conflict and a time when England was heavily involved in western Europe as a result of the First Hundred Years’ War. If we imagine, moreover, a Thomas Parr born in the year of Parr’s death in 1635 who lived as long as Parr was meant to have done (i.e. between 1635 and 1804), this Parr would have lived in a world of many transformative events, including a calamitous civil war, the overthrow of monarchy and a successful foreign invasion and a revolution in the economy of Britain away from agriculture to industry.