Life in the 1500's - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 3:17 am Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 128
Cool Life in the 1500's

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 odour. 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
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats
other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it
slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
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 really
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

* * * * * *
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 kept adding 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."

* * * * * *
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 the 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 and
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 "upper crust."
* * * * * *
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes
knock them 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 thought 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."
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 6:12 am
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 100
Once again, disagrees......
guitarian is offline  

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