Thursday, November 09, 2006

Life in the 1500`s

I found some nice things the other night at the vintage shop and will post some pictures soon, maybe today since I`m not working until this afternoon. The kitchen is in progress....slow progress. Who feels like working after work? LOL
My Mum bless her, is finishing the cupboards tomorrow and today if I can, I`ll be putting clear coat on the woodwork. My daughter sent this the other day and if anyone is interested in where certain sayings originate, this is worth reading. The one about people being buried alive is I know for certain true....horrifying!

*LIFE IN THE 1500's

** Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath
in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting
to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
****Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

**Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the
house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons
and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
**** Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

**Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
****Hence the saying - It's raining cats and dogs.

**There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house... This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.
****Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.
That's how canopy beds came into existence.

**The floor was dirt Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, dirt poor.
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you pened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway.
****Hence the saying a thresh hold.

**In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.
They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
****Hence the rhyme, peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

**Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon.
They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

**Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

**Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

**Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would
sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would ta ke them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom of holding a wake.

**England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all nigh (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ..dead ringer


Christine said...

I feel rather ill.
Those poor babies, having to use that horrible bath water! You'd think the babies would get to go first!

Ms Charity Case said...

Wow what interesting stories, I love hearing where sayings come from. Don't fancy being buried alive or the bath water, if I was the last in. You would of been dirter than when you went in.

Ms Charity Case said...

Tea, thank you for your comment on my blog about how you met your guy, I think it is a great story. I will do what you said about writing down exactly what type of guy I want, declare it to the universe and it just might happen one day.Thanks for taking the time to post on my blog.
Hugs Diane.

Anonymous said...

I always love reading these's amazing we are still using the sayings hundreds of years later.I'm looking forward to seeing what you found on your 'vintage' shopping jaunt.

Anonymous said...

These were all interesting and fun to read. I wouldn't want to take a bath like that!! And how awful to be buried alive! I especially liked how they thought the tomato was the problem when all along it was the lead.

snappy said...

That was fun to read.Especially throwing the baby out...I love how words and phrases can be traced back sometimes.Like traditional english nursery rhymes have adult memories really.

Anonymous said...

I like those. Also; like the pic of the jester.
have a great day.

Anonymous said...

great historical information. was fun to read. ;p

greetings from the "other" province (lol).

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

I wonder what people will say about us...I can think of a few bizarre things.
I liked the use of the word HENCE!

Fun post!