Education in the Elizabethan Era

Education in the Elizabethan Era


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Besides the traditional option of private tuition, Elizabethan England (1558-1603 CE) offered formal education to those able to pay the necessary fees at preparatory schools, grammar schools, and universities. There was, however, no compulsory national system of education, no fixed curriculum, and still only a small number of children were sent to schools, but it was a progression from the situation in the Middle Ages. The idea prevailed that education was a luxury and designed to prepare children for the working life they would assume when adults. Study solely as a pursuit of knowledge was still largely limited to the clergy or the idle rich. Far fewer girls received an education compared to boys, and the universities were entirely male-dominated but at least now offered courses in subjects other than religious matters. Consequently, although opportunities had widened, the level of one's education still depended on gender and class. Still, over the latter half of the 16th century CE more people were being educated than ever before and levels of literacy greatly improved thanks to some free schools, the presence of relatively cheap grammar schools in most towns, and the increased availability of printed reading matter and teaching tools.

Informal Education

When children reached around the age of six years old, they were taught by their parents and expected to contribute more to the daily life of the family. What they learned depended on their parents' own position. Children of farmers and artisans began to learn the skills needed for those kinds of work. Those with parents in the trades might enter an apprenticeship. The children in better-off families, the gentry and aristocracy, would have received private tuition and may also have spent time learning how to properly conduct themselves by living in the residence of a local noble (although this was becoming less fashionable) or even going abroad on the Grand Tour. The very rich would not have attended the schools mentioned below but the universities and Inns of Court did attract such students. Non-aristocratic children might also have received some private tuition to fill gaps and learn subjects their school did not provide such as French, dancing, or music.

Schooling was still mostly for boys as girls were not considered in need of it, given that they were expected to live a domestic life when adults. Girls were only taught to read so as to appreciate the Bible, but some did receive a better education beyond the preparatory schools, thanks to enlightened parents, or if they were children of the aristocracy, via private tuition. Schools specifically for girls would not arrive until the 17th century CE. There were some institutions in the Elizabethan era that took in girls only, but these were akin to babysitting services where the adult guardian was often illiterate themselves.

Preparatory Schools

There were a number of small preparatory schools (aka ABC, alphabet or 'petty' schools) for young children, and these offered a rudimentary education, focussing on the alphabet, communal reading, and simple arithmetic (writing was not seen as absolutely necessary at this stage). Reading was done first and only if satisfactory progress was made did a pupil move on to mathematics. The result of this policy was that many children never learnt how to do anything else but count. Writing could be learnt separately from school by paying a scrivener (a professional copyist who specialised in creating legal documents), but it was not easy in a time without dictionaries and when there were varied forms of spelling and punctuation based only on custom. Another complication was the letters i and j were considered the same (j often being used as the capital), as were u and v (the latter often being used only at the beginning of words).

The English Reformation ensured the separation of the Church from education but children still learnt prayers and the catechism, and religious texts were often used to teach reading. The children of more religious parents, especially Puritans, were obliged to regularly read and memorise parts of the Bible. Perhaps around 30% of men and 10% of women were able to read and write in late-Elizabethan England although figures varied wildly in regard to urban and rural populations, class, wealth, and amongst certain trades. Literacy in London may have been as high as 80% as many people were attracted to the city for the very reason of the educational opportunities on offer in the capital.

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The teachers at preparatory schools varied tremendously in terms of their own skills and knowledge, only around one-third would have studied at a university themselves. Teachers had few materials to help them in their work - perhaps a board, a counting frame, and picture cards they made themselves - but one ubiquitous item was the horn-book. Shaped like a paddle, a written text was pasted onto a wooden board and covered by a protective layer of horn. These horn-books were especially used to teach children the alphabet or provide a short and simple reading text to work with. Another tool, although one of more dubious didactic value was a birch rod, used extensively to punish children. Despite the threat of a thrashing, discipline must have been difficult to maintain as the classes were often large with five or six multi-levelled and multi-aged groups within them. Children at the same level sat on a single bench or form - which is why in English schools today some class groups such as those to take the morning register attendance are still called 'forms'. In the Elizabethan period, the age of the child did not often relate to what they studied, much depended on individual ability rather than the modern idea of moving a whole class of the same age along a fixed curriculum. Children sitting on the same form, then, could be of various ages.

Preparatory schools could be managed by a local town council, a parish or a trade guild. Like grammar schools, they might have been established by a rich benefactor (endowed schools) or were maintained by a community subscription. Some preparatory schools were free - although there was a small fee for materials, candles, fuel, etc. - but most preparatory schools charged a fixed quarterly price. Some of these establishments were private, and they might, too, be affiliated to a grammar school, which just about every major market town now possessed. Alternatively, some youngsters may have progressed to a cheap private tutor, a role often taken on by women and some members of the clergy.

Grammar Schools

A boy who performed well at a preparatory school and whose parents had the necessary means could be sent to a private grammar school. Some girls might be sent but typically did not attend after the age of nine or ten. Most pupils attended from around the age of seven to nine and the curriculum was based around the classics, especially the learning of Latin and, much more rarely, Greek and even Hebrew. The Bible was a popular text, along with works of Greek and Roman literature with a bit of modernity thrown in such as the works of Erasmus (1466-1536 CE).

Classes began early, around 6 in the morning and finished for lunch at 11 am. The afternoon lessons began at 1 pm, and the day finished at 4 or 5 pm. The day was shortened by an hour at either end in the winter months, and pupils were usually left free on Thursday and Saturday afternoons. Classes were led by a teacher or 'master' who was assisted by an usher (who also went by the splendid name of hypodidascalus). Sometimes older boys would teach the younger ones for them to polish up their Latin and reach the required standard needed in the lessons with the master.

Memorising texts and performing endlessly tedious translations of Latin phrases was the norm, even if some scholars like Erasmus questioned the value of these methods. Creating situations of competition between pupils with an atmosphere of fear of physical punishment and humiliation was the usual approach. Although there were rewards such as a place in a higher class, or for group teaching, which was common, an entire class could be given a half-day holiday or permitted a period of 'misrule' to let off steam. Many masters would have employed more progressive ideas, but then, as now, one suspects that results were what mattered in the end for the school's owners and parents and that to be seen to be learning was more important than actually learning. In short, education was established to teach the subject and not the child.

Schools often had a mix of boarders (aka 'tablers' because they stayed for lunch and dinner) and day-only pupils, charging a small fee and often differentiating between pupils who came from the town or outside it. Fees were a few pennies per day but could add up to some £20 per year and so were beyond the means of some tradesmen. The school year was a tough one with the only holidays being a couple of weeks at Easter and Christmas. Pupils who lasted the course might leave the grammar school at the age of 14 or 15, although some continued until they were 18.

Grammar school teachers were as keen on discipline as in the preparatory schools so the birch cane (or a bundle of them) would have been painfully remembered by most pupils. Although the majority of the teaching was done orally, there were some printed textbooks for Latin grammar and vocabulary, and for arithmetic. Relief from the rather tedious curriculum was provided by some time spent on sports. Non-academic activities included running, wrestling, archery, and chess. Finally, then just as now, some schools organised an annual play, which involved much rehearsal and preparation throughout the academic year.

The Universities

Oxford and Cambridge universities were founded in the 12th century CE and, concentrating on preparing boys for a career in the Church, they went from strength to strength as independent institutions where students, teachers, and scholars (fellows) lived and studied together in one place. By the 16th century CE the universities had lost their independence and were controlled by the Crown. The Reformation had largely wiped away their original purpose and so the universities struggled to attract students. During Elizabeth I of England's reign (1558-1603 CE), however, they made a comeback thanks to the gentry sending their sons for a higher and broader secular education. As, even at this level, education continued to be seen as something that helped one in one's future career as opposed to a pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, women were not present. Males who attended varied in age from 14 to 18 as, again, performance at preceding levels was the most important factor.

The universities were organised as individual colleges with teaching being carried out in small groups and one-to-one tuition. A basic degree course typically lasted four years (a Master's degree was up to seven years), and subjects focussed on the well-established seven liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music). Additionally, the three philosophies (moral, natural, and metaphysical) were studied in detail. The ideas of Humanism which had become popular during the Renaissance greatly influenced the curriculum with the idea that, once armed with a knowledge of Latin and Greek, students could learn from classical texts the civic values which would allow them to best serve their careers and the state. Studies also evolved to reflect changing patterns in wider society, especially an interest in trade, history, and geography.

Finally, the universities never quite lost their old ties to the Church, and many clergymen took a higher degree in divinity; indeed, now that the monasteries had disappeared, ecclesiastical libraries were much more difficult to find. Even more humble clergy were now attending university as were pupils not from elite families. Such were the chances of mixing with different classes, sons of aristocrats were warned in printed guides of the dangers of mixing with anyone other than their peers.

Inns of Court

Graduates of the universities or those who left mid-course often moved on to the Inns of Court, which were institutions offering the study of Common Law, or more specifically, an apprenticeship in that field. There were also the Inns of Chancery, which offered studies in Parliamentary Proceedings and a more basic introduction to legal matters. The name of these institutions derives from the fact that students of Common Law in the 14th century CE came to reside in particular inns. Four such inns in London were Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, and Inner Temple, and these collectively became known as the Inns of Court. On completion of their studies, the students were issued with a license to represent clients in the law courts, which were booming with an unprecedented wave of litigations.

Courses involved lectures, practical tests, moots (mock trials), and debates, all given or supervised by experienced practitioners. Passing the course meant being 'called to the bar' of the Inn and receiving one's license to practise, an expression which still prevails in England today for newly qualified lawyers. Curiously, by the Elizabethan period, the Inns of Court also attracted young men who had not the slightest intention of becoming lawyers. This is because the Inns came to be regarded as a suitable place for the gentry to round off their education, much like a finishing school, and, not of the least importance, it was a place where one could make many useful connections for one's future career. As always, one suspects that in the Elizabethan period it was always more important who one knew than what one knew.


Main keywords of the article below: entertainment, era, lived, period, people, important, elizabethan, time.

KEY TOPICS
Entertainment In the Elizabethan Era Entertainment in the Elizabethan Era was very important to all of the people that lived during that time. [1] Gambling and other sports were also a very important part of the entertainment during the Elizabethan Era. [1] There are many different types of entertainment during the Elizabethan Era. [1] Overall, card playing was one very popular form of entertainment during the elizabethan era. [2] Plays were the most popular of all the entertainment in Elizabethan time. [1] How did people entertain themselves in Elizabethan times? Elizabethan entertainment was popular whenever there was something to celebrate. [3]

Entertainment in Elizabethan England Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information). [4] What importance was hunting to the Elizabethans? In the Elizabethan era hunting was not for food, but for entertainment and as a sport. [3]

There were many different types of Elizabethan sports and entertainment. [5] This general trend in the shifting types of entertainment made theatre an obvious choice to Elizabethan audiences. [6] Elizabethan tried to please people in the entertainment industry with different music. [7] During the Elizabethan era, people were entertained by sources of entertainment, such as plays, music, and poetry. [7] Music, poetry, and plays were important parts of entertainment during the Elizabethan era. [7]

Theatre today tends to have a sense of refinement and artistic integrity, but to audiences of the Elizabethan era it was a base and bawdy form of entertainment, where shouting at the actors onstage was commonplace, and both food and drink were served liberally in the audience -- all for a fee, of course. [6] The general trends in entertainment during the Elizabethan Age provide one reason that theatre was able to become so popular the aesthetic similarities, for better or for worse, are clearly evident. [6] The blend of many different forms of entertainment was almost certainly a major cause of theatre's popularity as a form of entertainment in the Elizabethan Age. [6]

Bear biting (in which trained dogs were set against chained bears, often to the point that the bear and/or several of the dogs were dead), dog fights, and cockfights were all common entertainments of the time -- the viciousness and violence perhaps serving as a vicarious outlet for such impulses in the time of peace and prosperity (Elizabethan Entertainment). [6] The various iterations of animals ripping each other apart, or attempting to rip each other apart, were often included in a theatre's entertainment wither prior to the play or during an intermission (Elizabethan Entertainment). [6] The feasting and banqueting that formed another common diversion for many Londoners during the Elizabethan Age could also be incorporated into and evening of theatre, with those able to afford the privilege obtaining tables in the higher balconies of the theatre, away from the grabbing hands of the rabble (Elizabethan Entertainment Shakespeare Info). [6]

Terms about things that happened in the Elizabethan era, entertainment, and even Queen Elizabeth herself. [8]

How is Elizabethan Era music different from the music that we listen to during this period of time? The music during the Elizabethan era is different from today’s music For example the music during the Elizabethan era is very significant to them due to the fact that it was history being made. [7] During the Elizabethan era, people looked forward to holidays because opportunities for leisure were limited, with time away from hard work being restricted to periods after church on Sundays. [5]

In this period, the Renaissance, or rebirth, spread throughout Europe ("Elizabethan Age"). [7] During the Elizabethan period, citizens not connected with nobility ere finding an ability to amass wealth in a way previously unheard of, and they needed a way to show this off. [6] This era in English cultural history is sometimes referred to as "the age of Shakespeare" or "the Elizabethan era", the first period in English and British history to be named after a reigning monarch. [7] The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen ElizabethI (1558-1603). [5]

Elizabethan England was not particularly successful in a military sense during the period, but it avoided major defeats and built up a powerful navy. [5]

In the Elizabethan and early Stuart period, the theatre was the focal point of the age. [9] The word "entertainment’ was seldom used in the Elizabethan period with quite the passive overtones it has since acquired then, it was the sense of mutuality inherent in its etymology that was generally to the fore. [10]

The primary importance of theatre to the Elizabethans was its entertainment value. [11] The modern world is filled with ready-made entertainment television, computers, music centers, etc. Before the entertainment economy was developed, in the Tudor period people had to make their own form entertainment. [12] Many of the forms of entertainment in the Tudor period echoed those of other pre-modern civilizations, such as the Romans. [12]


A period named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, it is from this period that modern day society has its foundation for the entertainment industry. [13] In addition the lesson looks at the influences of religion and gender on the development of entertainment in the period. [14]

A lesson that covers the required knowledge for Elizabethan sport, leisure and entertainment. [14] Students learn about how social divides influenced Elizabethan entertainment. [14] Balls made of leather or sheep and pig bladders were popular toys and served as a source of almost limitless entertainment for children in the Elizabethan age. [15] Bear-baiting was popular entertainment during the Elizabethan Era. [16]

Shakespeare flourished, entered he most prolific period in the late 1590's and early 1600s, becoming the paragon of the Elizabethan artist. [17] It was not until the Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) that is often considered to be a golden age in English history, that the English Renaissance began. [18] The Elizabethan era is the period of English history when Queen Elizabeth I ruled England (1558-1603). [19]

The life expectancy of people during the Elizabethan Era was short due to the outbreaks of the bubonic plague and the high mortality rate. [1] There were many ways that the people in the Elizabethan times entertained themselves. [2] Jousts and Tournaments that were held in the Elizabethan Time were enjoyed by all types of people. [1]

The world renown Shakespeare has made plays in elizabethan times something that wouldn't be forgotten. [2]

This relates to entertainment because the Shakespeare plays were performed in this renown place known as the Globe Theatre. [2] People know mostly of plays, but those weren't the only entertainment although people did really enjoy the plays. [2] The entertainment was more popular when there was a celebratory event going on. [1]

Court entertainment was regular, often a nightly occurrence combined with feasts, jousts and banquets often accompanied by music and dancing. [3] Probably the most popular form of entertainment is going to the theaters. [3] Card playing was a popular form of entertainment, especially around holidays like christmas. [2] It was more likely that the dogs would lose. (59, Chambers) Bear baiting was a very popular form of entertainment that even Queen Elizabeth herself greatly enjoyed. [2]

Religious festivals were celebrated in the form of feasts which is a a large, elaborately prepared meal, usually for many persons and often accompanied by court entertainment. [3] Dancing was also a very important area of entertainment because it is present at mostly any type of entertainment. [1]

The theatre often competed with popular entertainment like this. [2]

This quote is from, The Book of Days, a book written during Elizabethan times. [2] Feasting In the Elizabethan Times, there were some days dedicated to feasting. [20]


Though we know a little bit about the behavior of theatre audiences we do not know much about the actual Elizabethan stage, however because plays of this time were written expressly for this stage, we can get an idea by looking at the stage directions in the play(Albright 38). [21] The plays of this time -- particularly Shakespeare's -- are still popular today, but going to the theatre in the Elizabethan age was arguably more popular than attending movies is today. [6] Many times the music gave a chance for comic relief in serious when not to use music in his plays he understood that during his era, the Elizabethan Age, that it was expected that there be at least one musical performance n every play and he delivered, regardless. [22]

Many Elizabethans occupied their time with various activities. [23] This, in fact, explains theatre's popularity at the time -- Elizabethans were no strangers to contradiction, and in fact thrived on it. [6] The Protestant/Catholic divide was settled, for a time, by the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, and parliament was not yet strong enough to challenge royal absolutism. [5]

Elizabethans enjoyed playing cards, with a game called triumph (modern day whist ) being popular. [24] The game of BOWLS refers to a popular Elizabethan game in which a small "bowl," or ball (called a jack) was used as a mark at the end of a green lawn. [23] In popular culture, the image of those adventurous Elizabethan seafarers was embodied in the films of Errol Flynn. [5]

With William Shakespeare at his peak, as well as Christopher Marlowe and many other playwrights, actors and theatres constantly busy, the high culture of the Elizabethan Renaissance was best expressed in its theatre. [5] To put it briefly, Elizabethan music had develop into sophisticated varied forms. [7] Afterwards Elizabethan started playing different types of music on the streets of her home town. [7] Elizabethans were extremely sensitive to beauty and grace they had an undying enthusiasm for music and poetry. [22]

Though certainly the preeminent practitioner of playwriting in the Elizabethan style, he did not so much create the genre as perfect it and perpetuate it into the Jacobean age. [6] Elizabethan style football was comparable to the present-day sports of rugby union and rugby league. [24]

Elizabethan general public or people who were not nobility were referred to as groundlings. [21] It was taboo, but the taboo was titillating and exciting to Elizabethan audiences then as now, only they admitted to this titillation more openly and fully. [6] "The average Elizabethan," writes historian M.St. Clair Byrne, "was not sensitive to the spectacle of physical suffering, either in human beings or in animals." [23] Of course, the Elizabethan Era being the time of Shakespeare, going to the theatre was always an option. [23] Shakespeare must have thought so too, moving his play company out of open-air theatres in 1609 to perform at Black-friars which were an indoor theatre that was supposed to produce a more refined audience ( Elizabethan Era). [21] Sewage was buried in pits or disposed of in the River Thames, this improper sanitation could have been responsible for outbreaks of the plague, which was the only time when then there was less of an audience at the theatres ( Elizabethan Era ). [21] Theatre performances were held in the afternoon, because there was no artificial lighting, this required the imagination of the audiences during scenes that were to take place at night ( Elizabethan Era ). [21] Rich nobles could watch the play from a chair set on the side of the Globe stage itself, so an audience viewing a play may often have to ignore the fact that there is a noble man sitting right on the stage( Elizabethan Era ). [21] Special effects were a spectacular addition at the Elizabethan theaters thrilling the audiences with smoke effects, the firing of a real canon, fireworks (for dramatic battle scenes) and spectacular flying entrances from the rigging in the heavens( Elizabethan Era ).The stage also featured trap doors to serve as graves, or to allow ghosts to rise from the earth. [21]

First, there is a minor description about the Elizabethan era and how Queen Elizabeth's rule in England influenced the music back then. [7] Even though, Elizabethan era music was additionally extraordinary it will never be like the music that is created today. [7] This paper will provide you with more information about the music during the Elizabethan era. [7]

Color coding was also used to advertise the type of play to be performed - a black flag meant a tragedy, white a comedy, and red a history ( Elizabethan Era ). [21] Men and women attended plays, but often the prosperous women would wear a mask to disguise their identity ( Elizabethan Era ). [21]

This also happened to be when Elizabethan Theatre began to grow and playwrights like Shakespeare composed many plays that changed the way of the old style theatre ways. [7] It has a way to transport the listener to another time or place what better way to enhance a play before special effects were efficient and nearly impossible to make seamless? Shakespeare inserted music in his plays with the idea of using it as an entertainment tool, as a way to support the dramatic progression of his plays. [22] Music was also a common feature in many plays of the day, adding to the variety of entertainment available in a single sitting at the theatre (Kareti par. 5). [6] Due) During Shakespearean time music was ever evolving as an important form of entertainment and as an expressive tool in individual's daily lives. [22] Shakespeare was able to incorporate music splendidly, which enabled him to make a grand form of entertainment more brilliant and breathtaking for his audience. [22] There was another more direct way that these other forms of entertainment increased the popularity of theatre, however. [6] An examination of these other forms of entertainment can actually help to explain theatre's popularity on several levels. [6]

Read on to know about the life, food, clothing, means of entertainment, music, and famous names of this golden age. [25] At the rich end of the scale the manor houses and palaces were awash with large, elaborately prepared meals, usually for many people and often accompanied by entertainment. [5] This would include a few days or even a week of feasting in each noble's home, who depending on his or her production and display of fashion, generosity and entertainment, could have his way made in court and elevate his or her status for months or even years. [5]

For entertainment, people looked towards theater and sports. [25]

The symbol of Britannia (a female personification of Great Britain) was first used in 1572, and often thereafter, to mark the Elizabethan age as a renaissance that inspired national pride through classical ideals, international expansion, and naval triumph over the Spanish - at the time, a rival kingdom much hated by the people of the land. [5] The Elizabethan Age, a time of English nationalism and flourishing arts, was part of the Renaissance in England. [22] The Elizabethan Age was a time of change and new ideas (Holzknecht 33). [7]

Long before the invention of modern technologies, such as radios and televisions, movies, video game systems and the ever popular internet, people in the Elizabethan age created an elaborate system of activities and events to keep themselves entertained [21] Recreation during the Elizabethan Era encompassed spectator/blood sports, team sports, simple games, and individual amusement activities. [23] In the Elizabethan era (1558-1603), there was a wide range of leisure activities entertaining both the nobility and the common classes. [24]

Names There are many popular names today whose origins lie in the Elizabethan era. [25] The following article provides a quick peek into the lifestyle of people during the Elizabethan era. [25] Queen Elizabeth played a huge role in the Elizabethan era ("Queen"). [7] The Elizabethan era was the Queen Elizabeth I's reign which was from 1558-1603. [7]

English achievements in exploration were noteworthy in the Elizabethan era. [5]

The Elizabethan Age was strongly influenced by the rise of theater specifically through the play The Tempest, written by William Shakespeare. [7] In Elizabethan theater, William Shakespeare, among others, composed and staged plays in a variety of settings that broke away from England's past style of plays. [7] William Shakespeare played an enormous role in the Elizabethan theatre his unique writing style in "The Taming of The Shrew" influenced modern day literature. [7]

This is true to the point that many of the other playwrights of his era are obscured and forgotten in light of Shakespeare's prominence his fame today might lead one to believe that he was single-handedly responsible for the popularity and genius of Elizabethan theatre. [6] The fact is, Shakespeare's genius might simply have gone unnoticed if not for the already-present popularity of theatre going in the Elizabethan age. [6] Dancing, which was one of the only activities that members of the opposite sex could publicly engage in together with impunity (provided they were in the right situation, of course) also gained in popularity during the Elizabethan Age. [6]

This popularity is not immediately understandable given the complex relationship that Elizabethan's had with their theatre. [6]

Some of the popular theaters were the Globe, the Curtain Elizabethan Theater, the Bull Ring and the Hope Elizabethan Theater, the Swan Theater, Newington Butts, and the Boars Head. [25] While Elizabethan England is not thought of as an age of technological innovation, some progress did occur. [5] Higher prices got more exclusive and less crowded seats in the several tiers of seating that surrounded the central courtyard-like area of Elizabethan theatres (Shakespeare Info). [6] However, Shakespeare was relatively late in Elizabethan theatre. [6]

She played different types of instruments such as the violin, which was called a viol during the period of time. [7] One must remember that sugar in the Middle Ages or Early Modern Period was often considered medicinal, and used heavily in such things. [5] Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period. [5]

It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm before its royal union with Scotland. [5] England during this period had a centralised, well-organised, and effective government, largely a result of the reforms of Henry VII and Henry VIII, as well as Elizabeth's harsh punishments for any dissenters. [5]

On balance, it can be said that Elizabeth provided the country with a long period of general if not total peace and generally increased prosperity due in large part to stealing from Spanish treasure ships, raiding settlements with low defenses, and selling African slaves. [5] Potatoes were just arriving at the end of the period, and became increasingly important. [5] It was a brief period of internal peace between the English Reformation and the religious battles between Protestants and Catholics and then the political battles between parliament and the monarchy that engulfed the remainder of the seventeenth century. [5]

Watching plays became very popular during the Tudor period. [5] During the Tudor period, the use of glass when building houses was first used, and became widespread. [5] In response and reaction to this hyperbole, modern historians and biographers have tended to take a more dispassionate view of the Tudor period. [5]

The common people during this time period were often less educated and might even be illiterate. [11] The boom in theatre during this period has led to it often being dubbed as Renaissance Theatre. [11] There was an upsurge of interest in theatre during this period (1562 - 1603) due, to a large extent, the patronage of Queen Elizabeth 1. [11] During Elizabeth's reign, theatre became more structured and organised, so much so that permanent structures were built and there were about 17 theatres erected during this period. [11]

Throughout this period, everyday life in England could be quite complicated. [26]

The theatre was a place of expression and experience that was offered in few other ways for the Elizabethans. [11] Theatre was important to the Elizabethans for several reasons. [11] Where can I find the link about the "Elizabethan Theatre Actors"?I need to find the. [11]

Shakespeare, along with all Elizabethans, would have been well aware of the ebbs and flows of this power struggle, and Shakespeare often referenced religion and its effects on culture and politics in his plays. [26] Some Elizabethans were strong supporters of the Protestant reformation, some were staunchly Catholic, some were ambivalent, and some still practiced a stricter form of Christianity, Puritanism. [26]

How was Elizabethan theater important to people that lived during the time of Shakespeare? How. [11] Some frequently visited Theaters included the Curtain Elizabethan Theater, the Globe, the Swan Theater, the Bull Ring and the Hope Elizabethan Theater, etc. As most of the residents loved their Queen, the Theaters were named after Elizabeth. [27]

During Golden Age of Elizabethan Era (1558-1603), what was the resident’s life like? What made the era special actually? Historically, there were numerous facts and vital information about the customs and culture of the epoch for us to explore. [27] His plays, however, do give a clear picture of the religious climate in Elizabethan England and its effect on daily life. [26]

In reference to entertainment, the habitants had the tendency to fall in love with sports and theaters. [27] Identifying a clearly defined subset of "country house’ entertainments from the innumerable events included in Nichols’s Progresses, and catalogued in Mary Hill Cole’s The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony (1999), is by no means unproblematic, but Kolkovich’s principle of selection is largely dictated by her interest in the conflicted relationships between the court and the provinces (p. 21). [10] Tudor entertainment was filtered through a Christian framework that hewed to the liturgical calendar and included Saint's Days, feasts, Christmas, and Easter. [12] Banquets were a popular form of entertainment for the rich, but the poorer folk would also hold feasts on special occasions. [12]

The time for entertainment was on a Sunday or Saint's day or when there was a great public event, such as a royal wedding or public execution. [12]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(27 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)


Main keywords of the article below: idea, yellow, renowned, humor, terms, era, four, things, phlegm, period, galen, living, created, black, medicine, blood, each, bile, connoted, elements, elizabethan, comprised.

KEY TOPICS
The most renowned idea in terms of medicine during the Elizabethan era was that of Galen who connoted that each living things were created with four elements or Humor which comprised the Phlegm, Blood, black bile, and yellow bile. [1] The Elizabethan England medicines were simple leaches and cupping were used to get blood. [1] The weakness of Elizabethan England medicine paved the way for the citizenry to have a shorter life than the usual. [1] Advanced remedies for these illnesses were not available, of course, thus Elizabethan England medicine include potions obtained from the concoction of plants and herbs. [1]


The Elizabethan Period encompassed the late 16th century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled England from 1558 until her death in 1603. [2] The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen ElizabethI (1558-1603). [3] This era in English cultural history is sometimes referred to as "the age of Shakespeare" or "the Elizabethan era", the first period in English and British history to be named after a reigning monarch. [4] In this period, the Renaissance, or rebirth, spread throughout Europe ("Elizabethan Age"). [4] During the Elizabethan era, people looked forward to holidays because opportunities for leisure were limited, with time away from hard work being restricted to periods after church on Sundays. [3] Elizabethan England was not particularly successful in a military sense during the period, but it avoided major defeats and built up a powerful navy. [3]

Medicine was not scientific during this period, so people used Supernatural Arts to determine the cause and treatment of a given disease. [5] A recent exhibit organized by the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library highlighted themes from Shakespeare’s works, including plague, midwifery, domestic medicine, herbal remedies, astrological medicine, surgery, and other medical topics from the period between 1589 and 1613, when Shakespeare produced most of his known work. (Shakespeare lived from 1564 to 1616.) [6]

Some areas of medical knowledge saw significant advances in the Elizabethan Age--Andreas Vesalius laid the foundations for modern anatomy, and Ambroise Paré revolutionized battlefield medicine. [6] Ambroise Paré The Advancement Of Medicine Medicine today would be much less developed if the doctors of the Elizabethan era hadn't tested and studied the human body.People were killed during the tests for cures,but it was all for a good cause:a future with improved medicine. [7] Elizabethan Era Physicians Medicine was extremely simple, and was not very effective, People who needed teeth pulled out got their teeth pulled out hard, with no pain killer! People had limited access to medicine because very basic medicine was fairly expensive. [5] Bubonic Plague Elizabethan Era Medicine & Illness Small pox was passed around from contact with an infected person, animal, area, ect. [5] Elizabethan Medicine Elizabethan Medicine was extremely basic in an era where terrible illnesses such as the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) were killing nearly one third of the population.The cures that were thought to rid the body of illnesses,were usually the causes for a patients death. [7] Medicine In The Elizabethan Era Ranking System Elizabethan medicine was administered by different people.Your doctor depended on your class and whether you had money to pay the fee. [7] Elizabethan medicine was partly based on the notion of the four "humors," a belief originating in classical antiquity. [2]


Medicine and Health in Elizabethan Times The Elizabethan era was not only a period of rations medical science, but also a time of great superstition. [8] During the Elizabethan period, astrology was used for calendars, medical purposes, horticulture, agricultural, navigation, and many other things. [9] It cured quickly and acted specifically on only a certain kind of fever. (Chamberlin) The physicians of the Elizabethan period were men of good education. [8] The dinnerware consisted of wooden plates, like those of the lower classes, but these were accompanied by other delicacies of the Elizabethan period, such as chairs, forks, and glasses. [10]

Whoever Philaretes was, his work provides us with a cameo insight into medicine in the late Elizabethan period, the contemporary religious climate in which it had to operate and against which it must be viewed. [11] Life in Elizabethan Days New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1930 Internet: www.renaissance.com Internet: www.shakespeare.com Andrews, John F. Medicine Shakespeares World and Work 2001 Ed. [8] Medicine remained attached to astrology and other beliefs such as the supernatural. (Davis) Elizabethan times was the era in which Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare lived. [8] Medicine and health in the Elizabethan times was not the best, but it helped to achieve to greatness in the medical field we have today to say the least. [8] In the Elizabethan Era they studied ancient medicine, and the ideas of Hypocrites and Galen. [12] The wise old women of the Elizabethan era were identified as witches and their medicines as magic potions. [13] During the Elizabethan Era in England, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) that is often considered to be a golden age in English history, people were in transition between the Middle Ages and modern times. [14]

Elizabethan medicine was very different from our present day practices and beliefs. [8]


Tattershall Trayned Band, dedicated to the study of pike and shot companies of the Elizabethan period, English Civil War and the Scottish Border Reivers. [15] Shakespeare Studies Links at Central Michagan University covers Shakespeare, Elizabethan theatre, and the period in general. [15] Elizabethan Authors features period texts in original and modern spelling, plus essays and other resources. [15] Period Documents Online at Duncan's Cavalier Pages (some Elizabethan texts). [15] Illnesses and ailments in the shakespearean / elizabethan times, no one knew of the importance of sanitation due to microscopic organisms called germs this disease was not a type of influenza, which was an epidemic of the elizabethan time period. [16] The elizabethan era is the epoch in the tudor period of the history of england during the reign of queen elizabeth i such as london, common diseases arising from lack of sanitation included smallpox, measles, malaria, typhus, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and chickenpox. [16]

Elizabethan era: medicine, diseases, and doctors even in these modern times, with the technology we have, you still get sick. [16] Medicine during the elizabethan era topics: sulfuric the elizabethan era medicine and alchemy the medicinal practices and problems of the elizabethan era were very important to the people elizabethan era diseases and medicines. [16] Plants and herbal medicines during the elizabethan era by sheree paige,kate kolodziej, and zoey atabek herbal medicine in the renaissance era during the renaissance era, the disease syphilis was treated with guaiac wood. [16] English 11 - health issues of the elizabethan time sean morat april 12th, 2005 english 11 health issues of the elizabethan time the elizabethan times was the era in which poor sanitation and a rapidly growing population contributed to the spread of disease medicine and health in. [16] Elizabethan era medicine and illness carried by fleas living on the fur of rats, the elizabethan era death rates were high due to disease and people got very few days off work (only sundays and occasional special days like may the. 62 ecg bpm elizabethan medicine elizabethan medicine was very basic in an era when there were terrible diseases such as the black death that were killing half of the population. [16] The elizabethan era was a time of turbulence another cause of disease was prostitution this is just a quick snippet into the world of elizabethan medicine and illnesses. [16] Visit this site dedicated to providing information about elizabethan medicine and illnessesfast and accurate details and facts about the history of elizabethan medicine and diseases were easily spread in this unsanitary environment where fleas, lice and rats elizabethan era index. [16] Project on elizabethan medicine project on elizabethan medicine skip navigation sign in four humours and mental illness in elizabethan england - duration: 5:53 kevin li 3,839 views roles of men and women in the elizabethan era - duration: 1:21 molly mallas 10,991 views. [16]

Medicines in the medieval period were sometimes homemade, if they weren’t too complicated. [17]

Other things that were used during this specific time period were minerals, to make people healthier and laxatives, to get people’s digestive systems to start working. [19]

The doctors would commonly prescribe herbal medicine to improve their patient’s health. [19] Because these doctors knew very little about medicine, they were completely willing to try experimental treatments on their patients (Alchin). [4] This Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episode is all about medicine in the era when Shakespeare was writing: who the practitioners were, the involvement of astrology, common medical practices, and balancing the humors. [20] "We wanted not only to discuss Shakespeare but to go beyond what Shakespeare might say and write," said Grafe, adding that the exhibit included works not directly connected to Shakespeare in order to give a fuller picture of medicine in that time and place. [6] In stark contrast, though, it was also a time when erroneous beliefs prevailed about medicine and the causes of illness. [2]

Not until the 19th century did Western medicine abandon the notion, first proposed by Hippocrates, that there are four humors (blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm) corresponding to four human temperaments (sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic). [6] As a schoolboy,Andreas dissected mice,cats,and dogs.While studying medicine in Belgium,where human dissection was outlawed,Vesalius stole the body of a hanged criminal and then dissected it.Later,he went to study anatomy in Padua,Italy,where dissecting bodies was permitted. [7]

"Medicine in Shakespeare’s London," curated by historical librarian Melissa Grafe, Ph.D., was part of a university-wide Shakespeare festival and on display from March through June. [6]

This also happened to be when Elizabethan Theatre began to grow and playwrights like Shakespeare composed many plays that changed the way of the old style theatre ways. [4] In Elizabethan theater, William Shakespeare, among others, composed and staged plays in a variety of settings that broke away from England's past style of plays. [4] William Shakespeare played an enormous role in the Elizabethan theatre his unique writing style in "The Taming of The Shrew" influenced modern day literature. [4] With William Shakespeare at his peak, as well as Christopher Marlowe and many other playwrights, actors and theatres constantly busy, the high culture of the Elizabethan Renaissance was best expressed in its theatre. [3]

The Protestant/Catholic divide was settled, for a time, by the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, and parliament was not yet strong enough to challenge royal absolutism. [3] Elizabethans still used ancient and medieval curative practices. [2] In this conversation with Neva Grant, they discuss how Elizabethans understood the physical world, particularly the human body and its functions. [20] Elizabethans viewed the human body as an integral part of the universe. [2]

Few Elizabethans were wealthy enough to afford a licensed physician. [20] The symbol of Britannia (a female personification of Great Britain) was first used in 1572, and often thereafter, to mark the Elizabethan age as a renaissance that inspired national pride through classical ideals, international expansion, and naval triumph over the Spanish - at the time, a rival kingdom much hated by the people of the land. [3]

Did you know there was a time where infectious diseases like the common cold could kill you and your family? This was the elizabethan era probably the last time where sickness became the "grimm reaper" before modern medical advancements. [4] Elizabethan Doctors This picture is of an Elizabethan physician.At first,the physician might look more like a murderer than a doctor,but his getup probably saved him from contracting diseases from his patients. [7]

Treatment: There was no known cure for the Small pox during the Elizabethan Era, so physicians suggested that the infected drank water, and slept. [5] During the Elizabethan era, people were entertained by sources of entertainment, such as plays, music, and poetry. [4] During the Elizabethan Era, doctors worked to diagnose and treat Bubonic Plague patients. [21] In the Elizabethan Era there was no adequate health system. [5] The Elizabethan era was the Queen Elizabeth I's reign which was from 1558-1603. [4] Queen Elizabeth played a huge role in the Elizabethan era ("Queen"). [4]

Although not during the Elizabethan era, the Plague brought about then did make it easier for it to come back later during the 16'th and 17'th centuries. [21] The Victorian era and the early 20th century idealised the Elizabethan era. [3] English achievements in exploration were noteworthy in the Elizabethan era. [3]

The Elizabethan Age was a time of change and new ideas (Holzknecht 33). [4] The Elizabethan Age was strongly influenced by the rise of theater specifically through the play The Tempest, written by William Shakespeare. [4] The Elizabethan Age contrasts sharply with the previous and following reigns. [3]

While Elizabethan England is not thought of as an age of technological innovation, some progress did occur. [3]

It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm before its royal union with Scotland. [3] England during this period had a centralised, well-organised, and effective government, largely a result of the reforms of Henry VII and Henry VIII, as well as Elizabeth's harsh punishments for any dissenters. [3]

It was a brief period of internal peace between the English Reformation and the religious battles between Protestants and Catholics and then the political battles between parliament and the monarchy that engulfed the remainder of the seventeenth century. [3] The period brought great advances in medical science, namely in the study of. and developments in. and. [22] On balance, it can be said that Elizabeth provided the country with a long period of general if not total peace and generally increased prosperity due in large part to stealing from Spanish treasure ships, raiding settlements with low defenses, and selling African slaves. [3] With taxes lower than other European countries of the period, the economy expanded though the wealth was distributed with wild unevenness, there was clearly more wealth to go around at the end of Elizabeth's reign than at the beginning. [3] Child mortality was low in comparison with earlier and later periods, at about 150 or fewer deaths per 1000 babies. [3]

During the Tudor period, the use of glass when building houses was first used, and became widespread. [3] In response and reaction to this hyperbole, modern historians and biographers have tended to take a more dispassionate view of the Tudor period. [3] Watching plays became very popular during the Tudor period. [3]

One must remember that sugar in the Middle Ages or Early Modern Period was often considered medicinal, and used heavily in such things. [3]

It was the height of the English Renaissance and a transitional period between the late middle ages and the early modern era. [9] This late period, during which Dee was reportedly communicating with the angels and practicing alchemy, a science of medieval times that attempted to transform base metals into gold and find a potion for eternal life, led later historians to dismiss his efforts as unscientific. [14] Throughout this period, everyday life in England could be quite complicated. [23]

People believed in the supernatural ability of the witches and this led to the development of many superstitions during this period. [13] In this chapter, experienced instructors help you explore the historical period in Europe corresponding with Queen Elizabeth's reign. [24] His philosophy of science greatly influenced the next generation of scientists, and spawned the Scientific Revolution, a period of major scientific change that took place in the seventeenth century. [14] It has become almost a rule that the birth of scientific psychiatry and what we today term clinical psychology took place in the short period between the last decade of the XVIII century and the 1820s. [25]

In this paper, however, I am providing the argument that, first, the roots of contemporary psychiatry reach at least to England of the early modern period, and that, second, it may still turn out that in the field of mental health care historical continuities are more numerous and persistent than discontinuities. [25]

Most Elizabethans believed that health was governed by four basic fluids, or humours blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. [8] Elizabethans at home Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1957 Chamberlin, E.R. Everyday Life in Renaissance Times London: B. T. Butsford LTD, 1967 Davis, William Stearns. [8] Shakespeare, along with all Elizabethans, would have been well aware of the ebbs and flows of this power struggle, and Shakespeare often referenced religion and its effects on culture and politics in his plays. [23] A funny example of words not in use in the modern English language anymore is the Elizabethan word "gong", which meant dung. [12] His works also promoted early English literature, providing a basis for the Elizabethan poets, essayists, and dramatists to come. [14]

Elizabethan apothecaries, or pharmacists, had no formal medical training, like surgeons. [8] A typical school week at an Elizabethan grammar school looked like this: Monday - an examination based on the previous Sunday’s sermon, Tuesday to Thursday - the basic curriculum, Friday - examinations and punishments, and Saturday - study of the catechism and some arithmetic. [12]

The Elizabethans used this saying to ward off the devil that could enter one's body when you open your mouth to sneeze. [13] Many words used in the Elizabethan language are no longer in use. [12]

Elizabethans found a new faith in the power of the individual to unravel the mysteries of the physical world--just as human beings in the early sixteenth century had explored the great unknown areas on the world map. [14] The three main organs in the body according to the Elizabethans were the heart, liver, and the brain. [8] The Elizabethan alphabet contained 24 letters, our present day alphabet consists of 26 letters. [12] Another similarity which I am sad to say it is a similarity is the serious lack of sanitation in Elizabethan days, especially in big cities. [12] There were differences in numbers in the Elizabethan days compared to present day as well. [12]

The average number of words used in a "commoners" vocabulary during the Elizabethan times was less than 500, compared with at least 7500 words that are used in modern day English. [12] During the Elizabethan times the number of words used in their language was constantly developing. [12]

Electional astrology, still used to pick auspicious times to take action, was also used during the Elizabethan Era to time ceremonies and rituals, as well as to produce astrological talismans and for invoking spirits. [9] New scientific methods arose during the Elizabethan era thanks to people like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Vesalius, Harvey, and their fellow workers. [12] These changes happened very gradually, however most people during the Elizabethan Era held onto the medieval model of the universe even as they began to adopt a new worldview. [14]

The filthy living conditions, crowded cities, and poverty also caused many of the feared diseases, such as the Black Plague and Smallpox, during the Elizabethan era. [12] " The Elizabethan Era " refers specifically to the reign of Britain's monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, from 1558 to 1601. [9] The superstitions that originated during the Elizabethan era were based on various beliefs and traditions. [13] Elizabethan Era, the similarities and differences this era has to our present day. [12] Elizabethan era was not only the era of scientific discoveries, but also of superstitions. [13] In Elizabethan England people did not distinguish between astronomy, the scientific study of the stars and planets, and astrology, the study of the influence of the stars and planets on human life. [14] In Elizabethan England most people accepted the medieval model of the universe and the moral lesson it conveyed. [14]

The brain was the place of reason, memory, and imagination. (Davis) Many physicians in Elizabethan England held medical degrees from Oxford or Cambridge University. [8] His plays, however, do give a clear picture of the religious climate in Elizabethan England and its effect on daily life. [23] This is where the quote Raining cats and dogs derived. (Pearson) Because of all of these things, health was a major concern in Elizabethan England. [8] Deadly diseases were the main cause of poor health and fear of dying in Elizabethan times. [8] The most famous and dreaded disease in Elizabethan Times was the plague. [8]

Elizabethan doctors frequently practiced bloodletting--cutting open a vein to let the blood flow--to cure fevers, infections, and diseases. [14] I. Clothing Paraphrasing: Elizabethan doctors and physicians wore very interesting clothing. [10]

The accepted social mores of Elizabethan times are comparatively very different to those of the present day. [12]

Most people had no understanding of the disease and those who survived it were often scarred for life. (Chamberlin) Medicine was not very scientific at this time and often beliefs were relied upon to determine a treatment of disease. [8] He didnt use bloodletting and purging but used chemical medicines and improved the sued of mercury. (Lyons and Pertrucelli) William Shakespeare has been credited as being ahead of his time with regard to his understanding of the medical field. [8] Poor sanitation and a rapidly growing population contributed to the spread of disease. (Andrews) Medicine and health in the sixteenth century was very different from that of today, however their medical problems were very different from the medical challenges we face presently. [8]

The historians opine that during the Celtic era, the tradition of making medicines was handed over to women, i.e., the priestesses. [13] Another difference was that advanced medicine didn’t exist like it does today, therefore people sought for basic remedies to various illnesses usually by making their own medicine and potions using herbs and plants. [12] People today don’t worry about being infected with the Black Plague or Smallpox because of the advancements in medicine. [12]

After completing their studies, every new doctor was examined by the Royal College of Physicians before receiving a license to practice medicine, (Andrews). [8]

As modern medicine is based on natural sciences, its history is not regarded as a source of relevant knowledge, but is relegated among humanistic disciplines. [25]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(25 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)


Elizabethan Age begins

Queen Mary I, the monarch of England and Ireland since 1553, dies and is succeeded by her 25-year-old half-sister, Elizabeth.

The two half-sisters, both daughters of King Henry VIII, had a stormy relationship during Mary’s five-year reign. Mary, who was brought up as a Catholic, enacted pro-Catholic legislation and made efforts to restore the pope to supremacy in England. A Protestant rebellion ensued, and Queen Mary imprisoned Elizabeth, a Protestant, in the Tower of London on suspicion of complicity. After Mary’s death, Elizabeth survived several Catholic plots against her though her ascension was greeted with approval by most of England’s lords, who were largely Protestant and hoped for greater religious tolerance under a Protestant queen. Under the early guidance of Secretary of State Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth repealed Mary’s pro-Catholic legislation, established a permanent Protestant Church of England, and encouraged the Calvinist reformers in Scotland.

In foreign affairs, Elizabeth practiced a policy of strengthening England’s Protestant allies and dividing her foes. Elizabeth was opposed by the pope, who refused to recognize her legitimacy, and by Spain, a Catholic nation that was at the height of its power. In 1588, English-Spanish rivalry led to an abortive Spanish invasion of England in which the Spanish Armada, the greatest naval force in the world at the time, was destroyed by storms and a determined English navy.

With increasing English domination at sea, Elizabeth encouraged voyages of discovery, such as Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the world and Sir Walter Raleigh’s expeditions to the North American coast.


Children In The Elizabethan Era

All families in all classes were fairly small. Women gave birth to many children but only 2-3 survive to adulthood. Experienced frequent pregnancies but also many miscariages and infant deaths. Physical seperation of spouses amoung married couples could limit pregnancy. For instance, men working in long distance trade could be seperated from wives for years on end. Birth control was forbidden for everyone except Jews as there was not much space in Jewish community dwellings so family size was limited. Some healthy women had double digit births and could occasionally have aroud 10 children live to at least teenhood.

Mothers were usually busy working around the house and property to watch a toddler so children ages 6 and up had this responsibility. Having such young children in charge could result in terrible accidents. When an infant was considered able to sit up, crawl, and stand, the swaddling was removed and solid food was introduced such as porridge. Kinds of things that young children played mimicked activities of their parents. Little girls played things like cooking and boys cutting wood.

Infansy was a very risky period because of many diseases and accidents. The odds of surviving the first year of life was only 50%. When a child was born they were wrapped in swaddling bands for the first 6-12 months. They were nursed for 2 years. The first 5 years of a child's life was the most dangerous.

Activities for kids after age 5 were dominated by work and schooling but still included some time to play. Play activities were similar to today with things such as climbing trees.They were not supervised well so danger of injury was high. Ages 5-12 was when children were given more responsibility and became more independent. Peasant children began working at age 5 by taking care of younger children and helping around the house.Elite children had fewer chores but still their own responsibilities.Education begins at age 5 from tutors and boys learning about war while girls learn things such as weaving and cooking. Sometimes children were sent away for their schooling. Lower class kids started school around age 7.

Children in the Elizabethan Era

Marriage choices and criteria parents used to pick a candidate was not based on love but more so security, wealth, political influence, and physical proximity of land. The king had a say of the marriages of children as well especially if parents were dead. By the time a girl was 13 and often earlier, they were considered marriable. At such a young age, they could not be psychologically prepared the experience especially since the husband was often closer in age to their mother than themself.

A young boy dresses in skirts (same as girls) until age 3-7, depending on his parents' and nurse's evaluation, when he gets his first pair of breeches. It is a big event with a party. The event is called "breeching" and is often marked by the point when a father becomes involved in raising his son.


Did Elizabethan women get educated?

The women of the Elizabethan era were given education only if they were members of the nobility. Otherwise, they had to stay home and learn to run the household. For Elizabethan era women of noble birth, education included knowledge of several languages, including Latin, Greek, Italian, and French. However, even noblewomen were not allowed to go to university and were only taught by tutors who visited them in their home.

Gender roles during the Elizabethan era were clearly defined, with men reigning superior over women. Men really had such great influence over women. While a man went out to work, a woman at that time was only expected to keep the hearth – to stay at home and manage the household duties in the family.

From birth, Elizabethan era women were taught how to govern a household and perform domestic duties so that when they married, which was expected of them regardless of their class and ancestry, their husbands would be proud.


Early Elizabethan England – Education

2) Read the following extract about Elizabethan education. Make a list of the differences from present day education. Use your answers for Q1 to help you.

During the Elizabethan era very few children attended school for a number of reasons. Firstly, every school charged fees as a result only those with enough money to pay could attend. Secondly, people’s view of education was very different from the present day. People though that only the rich needed to attend. Children of lower social status, for example a labourer’s son, did not need a formal education. Children who did attend school were taught subjects that would help them prepare for their adult life. Consequently, only an estimated 15-20% of the population were literate.

Literate: can read and write.

Question

3) Readthe coloured cards below
Find the answers to the following questions 3a – 3e. You need to write out the answers in full sentences. Remember the points in bold detail the main points.

Some sample example answers to help you get started:
3a) B
3b) M
3c) F
3d) N
3e) Start with Petty School / Dame School, 4 – 7 years old.

A) School was not compulsory.

B) Literacy rates improved. By the end of the era 30% of men could read or write.

C) Discipline was harsh. Punishments included the cane or a beating.

D) Boys, who attended school between the ages of 4 and 7, attended Petty schools. They were run privately and taught basic literacy. Girls who received an education were taught in Dame Schools.

E) Petty schools charged a small fee for attendance. Children from the gentry, merchants and yeomanry attended.

F) Between the ages of 7 and 15 years, boys who went to school attended Grammar School. Members of gentry, merchants, yeomen and farmers attended.

G) During the Elizabethan era 72 new Grammar Schools opened in England.

H) With financial support some boys from lower classes were able to attend grammar school.

I) Subjects taught in Grammar schools included English, Latin, writing of classical authors and arithmetic (mathematics).

J) Some lower class children, such as apprentices, were taught to read and write by their masters.

M) Members of the nobility were taught at home by private tutors. Most wealthy girls were literate. At the age of 15 boys could attend university.

N) More people from all social groups wanted an education during the Elizabethan era.

O) There were two universities in England during the Elizabethan period, Cambridge and Oxford. Over a third of students who went to university were from the nobility.

P) At university students studied a range of topics including English and mathematics. Most students opted to specialise in law.

Q) University became more important during Elizabethan England. The number of students attending university increased.

Question

4) Match the statement with the correct explanation to detail what influenced education during the Elizabethan era.

FactorDetails
Printing pressThey argued people needed to be able to read the Bible and religious passages.
Increase in tradeThere were more books available which were cheaper because they could be produced quicker.
Actions of ProtestantsAs buying and selling, trading, and markets became more popular basic mathematics and record keeping became more important.

Well done you have completed your learning today.

What to know more?
Grades 9- 7

Read about Elizabeth I’s visit to Cambridge University in 1564: A ‘rare and merveleous’ guest: Elizabeth I samples life in Cambridge. A piece of research completed by PhD candidate Jessica Crown.
This is also a great opportunity to gain a brief insight in to the work of PhD student – it could be you in the future!
https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/a-rare-and-merveleous-guest-elizabeth-i-samples-life-in-cambridge-450-years-ago

Watch this video to find out about the different schools and changes in more detail.


Shakespearean & Elizabethan Medicine and Doctors

Doctors in Shakespeare’s time were not very educated compared to today’s doctors. Most of their work was based on the philosophies of Aristotle and Hippocrates. The beliefs that the doctors shared were accepted by most people during the Shakespearean era. There were some doctors that did not agree with Hippocrates and Aristotle. They believed that if the planets were not aligned correctly, someone would fall ill judging by their horoscope sign.

For the doctors to get their training, they would go to the College of Physicians. This college was founded in 1518. To be given a license a doctor was required to have a certificate saying they graduated from University. In 1565 this college was given the right to do dissections on human corpses. The bodies that were used were interestingly, the bodies of executed convicts and criminals.

In Shakespearean times the medicinal suggestions were commonly based on superstition and complete guesses. The doctors would commonly prescribe herbal medicine to improve their patient’s health. Back then, many diseases were not recognized, so the doctors would just use the most powerful herbal drugs.

Another common idea was to use leeches to “suck out the bad blood”. Other things that were used during this specific time period were minerals, to make people healthier and laxatives, to get people’s digestive systems to start working. Other ideas were bloodletting, purges, and using physiology. Most of these drugs were not used for their correct purposes.

In Shakespearean times, broken legs were not treated like they are today. It was believed that the body was part of the universe. Yellow bile was the equivalent of fire. Phlegm was the equivalent of water. Black bile was the equivalent of earth. Finally, blood was the equivalent of air.

Doctors’ treatments as I already stated were completely based on guesses. It was quite possible in these times that a man who broke his leg was never going to walk again. Many doctors wouldn’t try to help because they believed when things like a broken leg happened it was because there had been several sins of the soul.

There were hospitals in Shakespearean times. St. Leonard’s is an example of a hospital in Shakespearean times. There is proven evidence that every day at medieval hospitals there would be 300 people lined up at a gate and the nurses would choose 30 people that they would help on that day. 206 people were the capacity of the former hospital.

There were 13 brethren at the hospital and eight sisters. The eight sisters had the responsibility of looking after the extremely sick people in the hospital. The hospital was also a church where people could pray for the sick and dying.

The lower floor of the hospital was dedicated to nursing sick infants back to health and the upper floor was dedicated to helping adults recover from injuries and diseases. I think that the health care system in Shakespearean times is very interesting.


Contents

The Victorian era and the early 20th century idealised the Elizabethan era. The Encyclopædia Britannica maintains that "[T]he long reign of Elizabeth I, 1558–1603, was England's Golden Age. 'Merry England', in love with life, expressed itself in music and literature, in architecture and in adventurous seafaring". [2] This idealising tendency was shared by Britain and an Anglophilic America. In popular culture, the image of those adventurous Elizabethan seafarers was embodied in the films of Errol Flynn. [3]

In response and reaction to this hyperbole, modern historians and biographers have tended to take a more dispassionate view of the Tudor period. [4]

Elizabethan England was not particularly successful in a military sense during the period, but it avoided major defeats and built up a powerful navy. On balance, it can be said that Elizabeth provided the country with a long period of general if not total peace and generally increased prosperity due in large part to stealing from Spanish treasure ships, raiding settlements with low defenses, and selling African slaves. Having inherited a virtually bankrupt state from previous reigns, her frugal policies restored fiscal responsibility. Her fiscal restraint cleared the regime of debt by 1574, and ten years later the Crown enjoyed a surplus of £300,000. [5] Economically, Sir Thomas Gresham's founding of the Royal Exchange (1565), the first stock exchange in England and one of the earliest in Europe, proved to be a development of the first importance, for the economic development of England and soon for the world as a whole. With taxes lower than other European countries of the period, the economy expanded though the wealth was distributed with wild unevenness, there was clearly more wealth to go around at the end of Elizabeth's reign than at the beginning. [6] This general peace and prosperity allowed the attractive developments that "Golden Age" advocates have stressed. [7]

Plots, intrigues and conspiracies

The Elizabethan Age was also an age of plots and conspiracies, frequently political in nature, and often involving the highest levels of Elizabethan society. High officials in Madrid, Paris and Rome sought to kill Elizabeth, a Protestant, and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, a Catholic. That would be a prelude to the religious recovery of England for Catholicism. In 1570, the Ridolfi plot was thwarted. In 1584, the Throckmorton Plot was discovered, after Francis Throckmorton confessed his involvement in a plot to overthrow the Queen and restore the Catholic Church in England. Another major conspiracy was the Babington Plot — the event which most directly led to Mary's execution, the discovery of which involved a double agent, Gilbert Gifford, acting under the direction of Francis Walsingham, the Queen's highly effective spy master.

The Essex Rebellion of 1601 has a dramatic element, as just before the uprising, supporters of the Earl of Essex, among them Charles and Joscelyn Percy (younger brothers of the Earl of Northumberland), paid for a performance of Richard II at the Globe Theatre, apparently with the goal of stirring public ill will towards the monarchy. [8] It was reported at the trial of Essex by Chamberlain's Men actor Augustine Phillips, that the conspirators paid the company forty shillings "above the ordinary" (i. e., above their usual rate) to stage the play, which the players felt was too old and "out of use" to attract a large audience. [8]

In the Bye Plot of 1603, two Catholic priests planned to kidnap King James and hold him in the Tower of London until he agreed to be more tolerant towards Catholics. Most dramatic was the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament. It was discovered in time with eight conspirators executed, including Guy Fawkes, who became the iconic evil traitor in English lore. [9]

Royal Navy and defeat of the Armada

While Henry VIII had launched the Royal Navy, Edward and Mary had ignored it and it was little more than a system of coastal defense. Elizabeth made naval strength a high priority. [10] She risked war with Spain by supporting the "Sea Dogs", such as John Hawkins and Francis Drake, who preyed on the Spanish merchant ships carrying gold and silver from the New World. The Navy yards were leaders in technical innovation, and the captains devised new tactics. Parker (1996) argues that the full-rigged ship was one of the greatest technological advances of the century and permanently transformed naval warfare. In 1573 English shipwrights introduced designs, first demonstrated in the "Dreadnaught", that allowed the ships to sail faster and maneuver better and permitted heavier guns. [11] Whereas before warships had tried to grapple with each other so that soldiers could board the enemy ship, now they stood off and fired broadsides that would sink the enemy vessel. When Spain finally decided to invade and conquer England it was a fiasco. Superior English ships and seamanship foiled the invasion and led to the destruction of the Spanish Armada in 1588, marking the high point of Elizabeth's reign. Technically, the Armada failed because Spain's over-complex strategy required coordination between the invasion fleet and the Spanish army on shore. Moreover, the poor design of the Spanish cannons meant they were much slower in reloading in a close-range battle. Spain and France still had stronger fleets, but England was catching up. [12]

Parker has speculated on the dire consequences if the Spanish had landed their invasion army in 1588. He argues that the Spanish army was larger, more experienced, better-equipped, more confident, and had better financing. The English defenses, on the other hand, were thin and outdated England had too few soldiers and they were at best only partially trained. Spain had chosen England's weakest link and probably could have captured London in a week. Parker adds that a Catholic uprising in the north and in Ireland could have brought total defeat. [13]

Colonising the New World

The discoveries of Christopher Columbus electrified all of western Europe, especially maritime powers like England. King Henry VII commissioned John Cabot to lead a voyage to find a northern route to the Spice Islands of Asia this began the search for the North West Passage. Cabot sailed in 1497 and reached Newfoundland. [14] He led another voyage to the Americas the following year, but nothing was heard of him or his ships again. [15]

In 1562 Elizabeth sent privateers Hawkins and Drake to seize booty from Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa. [16] When the Anglo-Spanish Wars intensified after 1585, Elizabeth approved further raids against Spanish ports in the Americas and against shipping returning to Europe with treasure. [17] Meanwhile, the influential writers Richard Hakluyt and John Dee were beginning to press for the establishment of England's own overseas empire. Spain was well established in the Americas, while Portugal, in union with Spain from 1580, had an ambitious global empire in Africa, Asia and South America. France was exploring North America. [18] England was stimulated to create its own colonies, with an emphasis on the West Indies rather than in North America.

Martin Frobisher landed at Frobisher Bay on Baffin Island in August 1576 He returned in 1577, claiming it in Queen Elizabeth's name, and in a third voyage tried but failed to found a settlement in Frobisher Bay. [19] [20]

From 1577 to 1580, Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe. Combined with his daring raids against the Spanish and his great victory over them at Cádiz in 1587, he became a famous hero [21] [22] —his exploits are still celebrated—but England did not follow up on his claims. [23] In 1583, Humphrey Gilbert sailed to Newfoundland, taking possession of the harbour of St. John's together with all land within two hundred leagues to the north and south of it. [24]

In 1584, the queen granted Sir Walter Raleigh a charter for the colonisation of Virginia it was named in her honour. Raleigh and Elizabeth sought both immediate riches and a base for privateers to raid the Spanish treasure fleets. Raleigh sent others to found the Roanoke Colony it remains a mystery why the settlers all disappeared. [25] In 1600, the queen chartered the East India Company. It established trading posts, which in later centuries evolved into British India, on the coasts of what is now India and Bangladesh. Larger scale colonisation began shortly after Elizabeth's death. [26]

England in this era had some positive aspects that set it apart from contemporaneous continental European societies. Torture was rare, since the English legal system reserved torture only for capital crimes like treason [27] —though forms of corporal punishment, some of them extreme, were practised. The persecution of witches began in 1563, and hundreds were executed, although there was nothing like the frenzy on the Continent. [28] Mary had tried her hand at an aggressive anti-Protestant Inquisition and was hated for it it was not to be repeated. [29] Nevertheless, more Catholics were persecuted, exiled, and burned alive than under Queen Mary. [30] [31]

Elizabeth managed to moderate and quell the intense religious passions of the time. This was in significant contrast to previous and succeeding eras of marked religious violence. [32]

Elizabeth said "I have no desire to make windows into mens' souls". Her desire to moderate the religious persecutions of previous Tudor reigns — the persecution of Catholics under Edward VI, and of Protestants under Mary I — appears to have had a moderating effect on English society. Elizabeth, Protestant, but undogmatic one, [33] reinstated the 1552 Book of Common Prayer with modifications which made clear that the Church of England believed in the (spiritual) Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Communion but without a definition how in favor of leaving this a mystery, and she had the Black Rubric removed from the Articles of Faith: this had allowed kneeling to receive communion without implying that by doing so it meant the real and essential presence of Christ in the bread and wine: she believed it so. She was not able to get an unmarried clergy or the Protestant Holy Communion celebrated to look like a Mass,. [34] The Apostolic Succession was maintained, the institution of the church continued without a break (with 98% of the clergy remaining at their posts) and the attempt to ban music in church was defeated. The Injunctions of 1571 forbade any doctrines that did not conform to the teaching of the Church Fathers and the Catholic Bishops. The Queen's hostility to strict Calvinistic doctrines blocked the Radicals.

Almost no original theological thought came out of the English Reformation: instead the Church relied on the Catholic Consensus of the first Four Ecumenical Councils. The preservation of many Catholic doctrines and practices was the cuckoos nest that eventually resulted in the formation of the Via Media during the 17th century. [35] She spent the rest of her reign ferociously fending off radical reformers and Roman Catholics who wanted to modify the Settlement of Church affairs: The Church of England was Protestant, "with its peculiar arrested development in Protestant terms, and the ghost which it harboured of an older world of Catholic traditions and devotional practice," [36]

For a number of years refrained from persecuting Catholics because she was against Catholicism, not her Catholic subjects if they made no trouble. In 1570, Pope Pius V declared Elizabeth a heretic who was not the legitimate queen and that her subjects no longer owed her obedience. The pope sent Jesuits and seminarians to secretly evangelize and support Catholics. After several plots to overthrow her, Catholic clergy were mostly considered to be traitors, and were pursued aggressively in England. Often priests were tortured or executed after capture unless they cooperated with the English authorities. People who publicly supported Catholicism were excluded from the professions sometimes fined or imprisoned. [31] This was justified on the grounds that Catholics were not persecuted for their religion but punished for being traitors who supported the Queen's Spanish foe in practice, however, Catholics perceived it as religious persecution and regarded those executed as martyrs.

Lacking a dominant genius or a formal structure for research (the following century had both Sir Isaac Newton and the Royal Society), the Elizabethan era nonetheless saw significant scientific progress. The astronomers Thomas Digges and Thomas Harriot made important contributions William Gilbert published his seminal study of magnetism, De Magnete, in 1600. Substantial advancements were made in the fields of cartography and surveying. The eccentric but influential John Dee also merits mention.

Much of this scientific and technological progress related to the practical skill of navigation. English achievements in exploration were noteworthy in the Elizabethan era. Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe between 1577 and 1581, and Martin Frobisher explored the Arctic. The first attempt at English settlement of the eastern seaboard of North America occurred in this era—the abortive colony at Roanoke Island in 1587.

While Elizabethan England is not thought of as an age of technological innovation, some progress did occur. In 1564 Guilliam Boonen came from the Netherlands to be Queen Elizabeth's first coach-builder —thus introducing the new European invention of the spring-suspension coach to England, as a replacement for the litters and carts of an earlier transportation mode. Coaches quickly became as fashionable as sports cars in a later century social critics, especially Puritan commentators, noted the "diverse great ladies" who rode "up and down the countryside" in their new coaches. [37]

Historians since the 1960s have explored many facets of the social history, covering every class of the population. [38]

Health

Although home to only a small part of the population the Tudor municipalities were overcrowded and unhygienic. Most towns were unpaved with poor public sanitation. There were no sewers or drains, and rubbish was simply abandoned in the street. Animals such as rats thrived in these conditions. In larger towns and cities, such as London, common diseases arising from lack of sanitation included smallpox, measles, malaria, typhus, diphtheria, Scarlet fever, and chickenpox. [39]

Outbreaks of the Black Death pandemic occurred in 1498, 1535, 1543, 1563, 1589 and 1603. The reason for the speedy spread of the disease was the increase of rats infected by fleas carrying the disease. [40]

Child mortality was low in comparison with earlier and later periods, at about 150 or fewer deaths per 1000 babies. [41] By age 15 a person could expect 40–50 more years of life. [42]

Homes and dwelling

The great majority were tenant farmers who lived in small villages. Their homes were, as in earlier centuries, thatched huts with one or two rooms, although later on during this period, roofs were also tiled. Furniture was basic, with stools being commonplace rather than chairs. [39] The walls of Tudor houses were often made from timber and wattle and daub, or brick stone and tiles were more common in the wealthier homes. The daub was usually then painted with limewash, making it white, and the wood was painted with black tar to prevent rotting, but not in Tudor times the Victorians did this afterwards. The bricks were handmade and thinner than modern bricks. The wooden beams were cut by hand, which makes telling the difference between Tudor houses and Tudor-style houses easy, as the original beams are not straight. The upper floors of Tudor houses were often larger than the ground floors, which would create an overhang (or jetty). This would create more floor-surface above while also keeping maximum street width. During the Tudor period, the use of glass when building houses was first used, and became widespread. It was very expensive and difficult to make, so the panes were made small and held together with a lead lattice, in casement windows. People who could not afford glass often used polished horn, cloth or paper. Tudor chimneys were tall, thin, and often decorated with symmetrical patterns of molded or cut brick. Early Tudor houses, and the homes of poorer people, did not have chimneys. The smoke in these cases would be let out through a simple hole in the roof.

Mansions had many chimneys for the many fireplaces required to keep the vast rooms warm. These fires were also the only way of cooking food. Wealthy Tudor homes needed many rooms, where a large number of guests and servants could be accommodated, fed and entertained. Wealth was demonstrated by the extensive use of glass. Windows became the main feature of Tudor mansions, and were often a fashion statement. Mansions were often designed to a symmetrical plan "E" and "H" shapes were popular. [43]

Cities

The population of London increased from 100,000 to 200,000 between the death of Mary Tudor in 1558 and the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. Inflation was rapid and the wealth gap was wide. Poor men, women, and children begged in the cities, as the children only earned sixpence a week. With the growth of industry, many landlords decided to use their land for manufacturing purposes, displacing the farmers who lived and worked there. Despite the struggles of the lower class, the government tended to spend money on wars and exploration voyages instead of on welfare.

Poverty

About one-third of the population lived in poverty, with the wealthy expected to give alms to assist the impotent poor. [44] Tudor law was harsh on the able-bodied poor, i.e., those unable to find work. Those who left their parishes in order to locate work were termed vagabonds and could be subjected to punishments, including whipping and putting at the stocks. [45] [46]

The idea of the workhouse for the able-bodied poor was first suggested in 1576. [47]

Education

There was an unprecedented expansion of education in the Tudor period. Until then, few children went to school. [48] Those that did go were mainly the sons of wealthy or ambitious fathers who could afford to pay the attendance fee. Boys were allowed to go to school and began at the age of 4, they then moved to grammar school when they were 7 years old. Girls were either kept at home by their parents to help with housework or sent out to work to bring money in for the family. They were not sent to school. Boys were educated for work and the girls for marriage and running a household so when they married they could look after the house and children. [49] Wealthy families hired a tutor to teach the boys at home. Many Tudor towns and villages had a parish school where the local vicar taught boys to read and write. Brothers could teach their sisters these skills. At school, pupils were taught English, Latin, Greek, catechism and arithmetic. The pupils practised writing in ink by copying the alphabet and the Lord's Prayer. There were few books, so pupils read from hornbooks instead. These wooden boards had the alphabet, prayers or other writings pinned to them and were covered with a thin layer of transparent cow's horn. There were two types of school in Tudor times: petty school was where young boys were taught to read and write grammar school was where abler boys were taught English and Latin. [50] It was usual for students to attend six days a week. The school day started at 7:00 am in winter and 6:00 am in summer and finished about 5:00 pm. Petty schools had shorter hours, mostly to allow poorer boys the opportunity to work as well. Schools were harsh and teachers were very strict, often beating pupils who misbehaved. [51]

Education would begin at home, where children were taught the basic etiquette of proper manners and respecting others. [52] It was necessary for boys to attend grammar school, but girls were rarely allowed in any place of education other than petty schools, and then only with a restricted curriculum. [52] Petty schools were for all children aged from 5 to 7 years of age. Only the most wealthy people allowed their daughters to be taught, and only at home. During this time, endowed schooling became available. This meant that even boys of very poor families were able to attend school if they were not needed to work at home, but only in a few localities were funds available to provide support as well as the necessary education scholarship. [53]

Boys from wealthy families were taught at home by a private tutor. When Henry VIII shut the monasteries he closed their schools. He refounded many former monastic schools—they are known as "King's schools" and are found all over England. During the reign of Edward VI many free grammar schools were set up to take in non-fee paying students. There were two universities in Tudor England: Oxford and Cambridge. Some boys went to university at the age of about 14. [54]

Availability of food

England's food supply was plentiful throughout most of the reign there were no famines. Bad harvests caused distress, but they were usually localized. The most widespread came in 1555–57 and 1596–98. [55] In the towns the price of staples was fixed by law in hard times the size of the loaf of bread sold by the baker was smaller. [56]

Trade and industry flourished in the 16th century, making England more prosperous and improving the standard of living of the upper and middle classes. However, the lower classes did not benefit much and did not always have enough food. As the English population was fed by its own agricultural produce, a series of bad harvests in the 1590s caused widespread starvation and poverty. The success of the wool trading industry decreased attention on agriculture, resulting in further starvation of the lower classes. Cumbria, the poorest and most isolated part of England, suffered a six-year famine beginning in 1594. Diseases and natural disasters also contributed to the scarce food supply. [57]

In the 17th century the food supply improved. England had no food crises from 1650 to 1725, a period when France was unusually vulnerable to famines. Historians point out that oat and barley prices in England did not always increase following a failure of the wheat crop, but did do so in France. [58]

England was exposed to new foods (such as the potato imported from South America), and developed new tastes during the era. The more prosperous enjoyed a wide variety of food and drink, including exotic new drinks such as tea, coffee, and chocolate. French and Italian chefs appeared in the country houses and palaces bringing new standards of food preparation and taste. For example, the English developed a taste for acidic foods—such as oranges for the upper class—and started to use vinegar heavily. The gentry paid increasing attention to their gardens, with new fruits, vegetables and herbs pasta, pastries, and dried mustard balls first appeared on the table. The apricot was a special treat at fancy banquets. Roast beef remained a staple for those who could afford it. The rest ate a great deal of bread and fish. Every class had a taste for beer and rum. [59]

The diet in England during the Elizabethan era depended largely on social class. Bread was a staple of the Elizabethan diet, and people of different statuses ate bread of different qualities. The upper classes ate fine white bread called manchet, while the poor ate coarse bread made of barley or rye.

Diet of the lower class

The poorer among the population consumed a diet largely of bread, cheese, milk, and beer, with small portions of meat, fish and vegetables, and occasionally some fruit. Potatoes were just arriving at the end of the period, and became increasingly important. The typical poor farmer sold his best products on the market, keeping the cheap food for the family. Stale bread could be used to make bread puddings, and bread crumbs served to thicken soups, stews, and sauces. [60]

Diet of the middle class

At a somewhat higher social level families ate an enormous variety of meats, who could choose among venison, beef, mutton, veal, pork, lamb, fowl, salmon, eel, and shellfish. The holiday goose was a special treat. Rich spices were used by the wealthier people to offset the smells of old salt-preserved meat. Many rural folk and some townspeople tended a small garden which produced vegetables such as asparagus, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, beans, cabbage, turnips, radishes, carrots, leeks, and peas, as well as medicinal and flavoring herbs. Some grew their own apricots, grapes, berries, apples, pears, plums, strawberries, currants, and cherries. Families without a garden could trade with their neighbors to obtain vegetables and fruits at low cost. Fruits and vegetables were used in desserts such as pastries, tarts, cakes, crystallized fruit, and syrup. [61] [62]

Diet of the upper class

At the rich end of the scale the manor houses and palaces were awash with large, elaborately prepared meals, usually for many people and often accompanied by entertainment. The upper classes often celebrated religious festivals, weddings, alliances and the whims of the king or queen. Feasts were commonly used to commemorate the "procession" of the crowned heads of state in the summer months, when the king or queen would travel through a circuit of other nobles' lands both to avoid the plague season of London, and alleviate the royal coffers, often drained through the winter to provide for the needs of the royal family and court. This would include a few days or even a week of feasting in each noble's home, who depending on his or her production and display of fashion, generosity and entertainment, could have his way made in court and elevate his or her status for months or even years.

Among the rich private hospitality was an important item in the budget. Entertaining a royal party for a few weeks could be ruinous to a nobleman. Inns existed for travellers, but restaurants were not known.

Special courses after a feast or dinner which often involved a special room or outdoor gazebo (sometimes known as a folly) with a central table set with dainties of "medicinal" value to help with digestion. These would include wafers, comfits of sugar-spun anise or other spices, jellies and marmalades (a firmer variety than we are used to, these would be more similar to our gelatin jigglers), candied fruits, spiced nuts and other such niceties. These would be eaten while standing and drinking warm, spiced wines (known as hypocras) or other drinks known to aid in digestion. One must remember that sugar in the Middle Ages or Early Modern Period was often considered medicinal, and used heavily in such things. This was not a course of pleasure, though it could be as everything was a treat, but one of healthful eating and abetting the digestive capabilities of the body. It also, of course, allowed those standing to show off their gorgeous new clothes and the holders of the dinner and banquet to show off the wealth of their estate, what with having a special room just for banqueting.

Gender

While the Tudor era presents an abundance of material on the women of the nobility—especially royal wives and queens—historians have recovered scant documentation about the average lives of women. There has, however, been extensive statistical analysis of demographic and population data which includes women, especially in their childbearing roles. [63] The role of women in society was, for the historical era, relatively unconstrained Spanish and Italian visitors to England commented regularly, and sometimes caustically, on the freedom that women enjoyed in England, in contrast to their home cultures. England had more well-educated upper-class women than was common anywhere in Europe. [64] [65]

The Queen's marital status was a major political and diplomatic topic. It also entered into the popular culture. Elizabeth's unmarried status inspired a cult of virginity. In poetry and portraiture, she was depicted as a virgin or a goddess or both, not as a normal woman. [66] Elizabeth made a virtue of her virginity: in 1559, she told the Commons, "And, in the end, this shall be for me sufficient, that a marble stone shall declare that a queen, having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin". [67] Public tributes to the Virgin by 1578 acted as a coded assertion of opposition to the queen's marriage negotiations with the Duc d'Alençon. [68]

In contrast to her father's emphasis on masculinity and physical prowess, Elizabeth emphasized the maternalism theme, saying often that she was married to her kingdom and subjects. She explained "I keep the good will of all my husbands — my good people — for if they did not rest assured of some special love towards them, they would not readily yield me such good obedience," [69] and promised in 1563 they would never have a more natural mother than she. [70] Coch (1996) argues that her figurative motherhood played a central role in her complex self-representation, shaping and legitimating the personal rule of a divinely appointed female prince. [71]

Marriage

Over ninety percent of English women (and adults, in general) entered marriage at the end of the 1500s and beginning of the 1600s, at an average age of about 25–26 years for the bride and 27–28 years for the groom, with the most common ages being 25-26 for grooms and 23 for brides. [72] [73] [74] Among the nobility and gentry, the average was around 19-21 for brides and 24-26 for grooms. [75] Many city and townswomen married for the first time in their thirties and forties [76] and it was not unusual for orphaned young women to delay marriage until the late twenties or early thirties to help support their younger siblings, [77] and roughly a quarter of all English brides were pregnant at their weddings. [78]


Marriage and Family

  • The father was always the head of the house
  • It was considered foolish to marry just for “love” rather than money
  • People had arranged marriages to bring wealth into the family
  • Every woman was expected to get married
  • Woman were considered “property” of husbands
  • Woman were expected to bring “dowry” (an amount of money, property, and goods) to the family
  • Woman run households and provide for children
  • Woman obeyed men
  • Woman were raised to believe they are inferior to men and men knew everything
  • It was legal for men to marry at 14 and girls to marry at 12 (not common)
  • Major elements of family life were determined by whether the family was wealthy or poor
  • Wealthy kids were taught manners and would be severely punished for bad behaviour
  • People got married in the church they got baptised in
  • Every family (wealthy and poor) were expected to attend a protestant church service every Sunday
  • Infant mortality was high, so kids were cherished
  • The most common age to marry was 21 (for males)
  • Childbirth was considered dangerous, so abortions were common- took herbs and other dangerous physical activity to lose the baby
  • Families were very close with each other
  • People were judged/ranked depending on the type of clothing they wore
  • Wealthy families (houses) support 166 people

Social Structure

Elizabethan England had four main classes: the Nobility, the Gentry, the Yeomanry, and the Poor. A person's class determined how they could dress, where they could live, and the kinds of jobs people and their children could get.

A nobleman was rich and powerful and therefore during the reign of Elizabeth as well as the reigns of her father and grandfather Henry VIII and Henry VII, the monarch rarely appointed new nobles. They viewed the noble class as a threat to their power and liked to keep their numbers small. A person could become a noble either by birthright or by grant from the king or queen. Nobility could lose their fortune, but it took a high crime like treason to lose their title.

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The gentry were knights, squires, gentlemen and gentlewomen whose fortunes were great enough that they did not have to work with their hands for a living. Their numbers grew rapidly, and became the most important class during Elizabethan time. They could start as a knight and through generations and marriages they could gradually build a wealth and title. Most of the important people of this time came from this class.

The Yeomanry were the &lsquomiddleclass'. They could live comfortably with the little savings they built up, but at any moment, be it illness or famine, could lose everything. While the gentry spent their wealth building large homes, the yeomen used their wealth more simply and instead worked to expand their land and improve it.

At the bottom were the Poor who for some reason or another found themselves without money, food, or shelter. Because their numbers were increasing, the Poor Laws were passed to assist them. Any Poor person found guilty of being able to do an honest day's work but who chose not to, could be sentenced to death.


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