In Tudor England about a third of the population lived in poverty. Their suffering always increased after bad harvests. A shortage of food resulted in higher prices. This meant that poorer families could not afford to buy enough food for their needs.
What did poor people do in Tudor times?
Tudor people who were poor had little time for entertainment, but during their holidays and religious festivals they enjoyed singing, dancing, drinking and eating, as well as playing games and watching plays. Morris dancing was usually performed by a group of men dressed in white.
How was life different for the rich and poor people in Tudor times?
Life in Tudor times was tough, and life expectancy was low regardless of class. Rich people had opulent lives, with grand houses, spectacular clothing and rich, protein-laden diets. Rich women would have lived very different lives to their poor counterparts, being shielded from the reality of hard daily manual labour.
How many people were poor in the Tudor times?
The Tudor Poor Laws ended with the passing of the Elizabethan Poor Law in 1601, two years before the end of the Tudor dynasty, a piece of legislation which codified the previous Tudor legislation. During the Tudor period it is estimated that up to a third of the population lived in poverty.
What did poor Tudors do for work?
Most poor Tudors were farmers. They had to grow their own food to eat. They grew crops and kept cows and sheep and chickens. There were lots of other jobs that poor people in Tudor times did.
What were poor Tudor houses made of?
Houses were usually made of timber (wood) and wattle and daub. Wattle is the intertwined sticks that are placed in a wall between posts. You can see the woven sticks in the photographs below.
Did people get wealthier under the Tudors?
Most people in Tudor times did not earn much money, but noblemen and noblewomen didn’t need to work for a living, and they could afford to live a life of luxury.
Did the Tudors smell?
It is a myth that in Tudor times people were very dirty and smelly. Most people tried to keep themselves clean but it was difficult to keep free of vermin. On the wreck of the Mary Rose many lice combs were found. A bone ear scoop and a bone manicure set were also found.
What was it like to be a child in Tudor times?
In Tudor times, childhood was often unpleasant and short-lived. It was commonly believed that physical punishment was an important part of bringing up children, both at home and at school. Adulthood came early. Noble girls could be married as early as 12 and boys at 14.
People would wipe their bottoms with leaves or moss and the wealthier people used soft lamb’s wool. In palaces and castles, which had a moat, the lords and ladies would retire to a toilet set into a cupboard in the wall called a garderobe. Here the waste would drop down a shaft into the moat below.
Why was poverty a problem in Elizabethan England?
From the mid-1500s on the following factors contributed greatly to the problem of poverty. The population rose by a million during the Elizabethan period. More people meant there was more demand for goods, and so prices rose. Prices for goods rose, but wages fell as there were more people around to do the work.
Why was poverty important in Elizabethan England?
The Poor Laws passed during the reign of Elizabeth I played a critical role in the country’s welfare. They signalled an important progression from private charity to welfare state, where the care and supervision of the poor was embodied in law and integral to the management of each town.
What did Tudor peasants wear?
Poor people wore simple, loose-fitting clothes made from woollen cloth. Most men wore trousers made from wool and a tunic which came down to just above their knee. Women wore a dress of wool that went down to the ground. They often wore an apron over this and a cloth bonnet on their heads.
What did poor Tudor ladies wear?
If you were a poor Tudor lady or girl, you would have worn a simple, white underdress called a chemise, woollen stockings tied above the knee and a practical, short dress, along with a plain headdress and an apron.
What punishments did the Tudors have?
Executions, such as beheading, being hung, drawn and quartered or being burnt at the stake were punishments for people guilty of treason (crimes against the king) or heresy (following the wrong religion). Executions were public events that people would come to watch. They were very popular and huge crowds would attend.
What were women’s jobs in Tudor times?
Some Tudor women worked spinning cloth. Women were also tailoresses, milliners, dyers, shoemakers and embroiderers. There were also washerwomen. Some women worked in food preparation such as brewers, bakers or confectioners.