#1: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: carnie, Location: Barnsley. South Yorks.Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:50 pm ---- The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be . Here are some facts about the 1500s:
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 odor. Hence the 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 nice 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 (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and 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 floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.
(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)
In those old days, they 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, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they 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.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So 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..
And that's the truth. Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !
#2: Re: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: BillieDeKid, Location: IllinoisPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:30 pm ---- Mike this was really interesting thanks for posting it. If you've got anymore please post them when you have time.
Thanks for the history lesson.
#3: Re: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: Cathy, Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:32 am ---- Wow - that was interesting. Thanks Mike.
#4: Re: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: nuccia, Location: Toronto, Ontario, CanadaPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:01 am ---- I really enjoyed reading this too. Thanks Mike!
#5: Re: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: mahart, Location: Liverpool UKPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:09 pm ---- Great Stuff Mike,
But being born and bred their I'll tell you now not much has changed!!
Funny thing is they did not always replace the burials. In being an archaeologist I've dug a few grave sites in England in my time and I've come across many times, later graves being dug into ealier burials and ending up with the earlier skeleton having it's leg bones removed to accomodate the new burial looks great on the photo's, imagine one skeleton (with no legs) sitting on top of another. You have to also realise that they always look like their either in fits of laughter or agony because the jaw bone drops over time.
Funny lot we English folk
#6: Re: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: BillieDeKid, Location: IllinoisPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:45 pm ---- mahart
Do you have any interesting stories about any excavating you've done that you can share with us. I'd love to hear how sites are found, preparation, findings and how they're handled etc. Maybe you can start a thread in general discussion. And I wouldn't mind seeing a few photo's of an actual excavation or dig if you're allowed to share them.
#7: Re: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: JamesBianco, Location: Westfield, MA.Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:22 pm ---- Wow what a fascinating read! Really interesting.
#8: Re: LIFE IN THE 1500'S *** Author: CowryShells, Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:51 pm ---- Interesting reading, but according to Snopes:
"In a nutshell, this whole thing is a hoax, someone's idea of an amusing leg-pull. It began its Internet life in April 1999."