BRITISH LIFE IN THE 1500s

September 11, 2011 at 4:40 am | Posted in BULLY | Leave a comment

India was the land of milk and honey. That is why the Whites had been trying to come to India. It had a very civilised and advanced society. Then the Europeans landed carrying the Whiteman’s Burden. The following document from the Net might interest Indians.

How did they live in England in those days?
Most people married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good in June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom 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 sons and other 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 dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, rats, and 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 was a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. A bed with big posts and a sheet 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 on the floor to help their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until it would all start slipping outside when you opened the door. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway, a “thresh hold.”

In those days people 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, then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while; hence the rhyme, “peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which was 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 a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from stale bread which was so old and hard that it could be used for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed. Sometimes worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy, moldy trenchers, one would get “trench mouth.”

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

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock people out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up; hence the custom of holding a “wake.”

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

And that’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…whoever said history was boring?

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The above document has been denounced in the Net  as a malicious EMail.

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