Life In The 1500's

Post your factoids here. Things you find interesting. Items that we may not know about.
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:34 pm

Life In The 1500's

Post by ashleydoom »

My mom sent this to me awhile back. I'm not sure if it should go here or under another topic. I thought it was pretty interesting. Some of you might have already seen it. I though it was worth posting anyways.

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


(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 ! ! !

Educate someone. Share these facts with a friend
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:40 am

Life In The 1500's

Post by sleepingbeauty »

wow, thats really cool to know all of that stuff
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:31 pm

Life In The 1500's

Post by Tan »

I love it!

Did you have your bath this year? lol

raining cats & dogs, holding a wake,peas porridge hot,dead ringer, chew the fat...

It all makes sense now! Thank you doom!

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