LIFE IN THE 1500's

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

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caroline
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LIFE IN THE 1500's

Post by caroline »

Someone sent me this. haven't a clue how accurate it is but I rather liked it!

LIFE IN THE 1500'S

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting
to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour,
hence todays custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the
cats and other small animals lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would fall off the roof, hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs".

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the word "threshhold."

Folk cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, "Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Pork was considered a status symbol. When visitors came over, folk would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

When folk ran out of burial places they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these
coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ...dead ringer.

Now, whoever said History was boring... :)
Forget injuries, never forget kindness - Confucius

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Lord High Everything Esle
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Post by Lord High Everything Esle »

Oh not that again :cry:

:evil: :o
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caroline
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Post by caroline »

Oh don't be such a grumble bunny...

There will be lots of people who haven't read it before...
Forget injuries, never forget kindness - Confucius

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Lord High Everything Esle
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Post by Lord High Everything Esle »

I recommend everyone to read "The Meme Machine" by Susan Blackmore.

Discuss :lol:
Will/Dave, the Jolly Box Man and Barber Surgeon

"Physicians of all men are most happy; what good success soever they have, the world proclaimeth, and what faults they commit the earth coverest." Frances Quarles (1592-1644) Nicocles

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Karen Larsdatter
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »


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caroline
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Post by caroline »

Lord High Everything Esle wrote:I recommend everyone to read "The Meme Machine" by Susan Blackmore.

Discuss :lol:
Don't need to...I've read it 8)
Forget injuries, never forget kindness - Confucius

m300572
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Post by m300572 »

A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the word "threshhold."
The threshold was originally a piece of wood across the doors of a threshing barn - there are still a few barns in this part of the world (Lancashire) where the grooved stone blocks to fit them still survive as part of the structure.
Wilkes and Liberty, Wilkes and the Forty Five

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Post by Alan_F »

I read that one as well Karen. Amazing how so few other people have. :roll:
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ViscontesseD'Asbeau
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Post by ViscontesseD'Asbeau »

The fact it is peppered with Americanisms gives it away as having no authority. ('Thatch' not 'thatched', the crack about England being little & old, etc).

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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

And that you can find it on the Herstmonkey site.
OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

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