Skip to comments.Life in the 1500's (email I received - relevant as we all may be living this way soon)
Posted on 02/10/2009 12:42:17 PM PST by Grumpybutt
** LIFE IN THE 1500'S **
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body 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 opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way. Hence the saying a threshold.
(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)
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 platters 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 a person out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they 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. Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !
Wow, now I know... thanks
Have you ever seen the show “Connections”? It is a s interesting as what you have stated here. I remember much of this list is listed in the show.
Hmmmm...thought that was from boxing.
It could be true. Keep your ear to the ground.., thats how they knew if horses or buffalo or a train was coming in the old days.
I think the history channel could do a series on where sayings and words come from
And after 4 years of Hussein, we’ll look at those as the “good old, old days!!”
It appears not everyone is keen on clicking links.
Folks, this whole cute letter is full of it.
It started with the magic words “email I received”. That should be a red flag right there.
oh well. still funny tho
Most of this is fantasy, esp. the parts about bathing and cooking. People bathed frequently. Most towns had public bathhouses for that purpose. The avoidance of bathing because it was thought unhealthy is an early modern development—1600s and early 1700s; Louis the XIV’s era. Towns became filthier in the early modern period (late 1500s, 1600s onward). Absolute monarchy grew in that period, warfare became nearly nonstop. Witch persecutions are also early modern more than medieval. “Around 1500” is right between these two epochs.
Almost all the filthy, tyrannical stuff that most people associate with the “Middle Ages” is actually more characteristic of the early modern era than medieval period.
Well, anyone who’d believe all that is probably gullible enough to have voted for....
Look on the bright side. There’s an ample supply of village idiots in D.C. to choose from.
PBS did one years ago - Phil Donahue was the host. As I recall, it was excellent (even though I cant stand either Phil or PBS for most stuff).
Hey—those folks lived pretty well compared to what Obama has in store for middle- class white folks!
Well it should have been, but what can I say???... I thought it was funny anyway. Thanks for the heads up and link.
this part I know is untrue. The form of "dead" used in terms like dead ringer and dead reckoning is not the same as dead as in "not alive". Saved by the bell, I believe, is from boxing.
Some of the other things in this may be true, I don't know.
Did you know when people used to get messages that they knew where bogus or a fraud, they would yell out “eeeeeeee” in a way to scare off evil spirits, thus the term e-mail.
The part about tomatoes certainly is incorrect.
It’s an email. It must be true.
Oh, and the burying alive stuff is pure crap. Look, people knew the difference between dead and alive people. We are the ones who are in such a hurry to harvest organs that we declare people dead based on fancy machines measuring brain waves and starve them to death if it suits our convenience.
They had to go with simple old vital signs. They waited until the heart and lungs stopped. Yes, it can happen that someone’s breathing and pulse slow down to be almost undetectable and then later the person thought dead revives, but it’s very rare, not common as this stupid piece asserts. And if the pulse and breathing really stop, then it doesn’t take too long before the person is irretrievably dead. They didn’t have electric paddles etc. to revive them.
So the idea that half the coffins had nail scratches is pure, simple outrageous BS, that only the credulously naive would believe. This hoary tale has been told around flickering camp fires for millennia, I’m sure, but even those who tell it know it’s crap.
As for digging up bodies, yes, they did that routinely. We think it’s macabre but that’s our problem. We are the ones so screwed and antsy about death that we ship our dead off to professionals to process. In 1500 the family washed and prepared the body for the wake and burial. They could tell whether the person was really dead or not. And they weren’t squeamish about exhuming the bodies after a number of years to reuse the burial space. That’s why they had charnel houses, to house the bones.
We are the ones so messed up about life and death that we can’t tell the difference and thus kill the innocent and excuse the guilty.
They knew death first hand, stared it in the face, and faced it with faith. We are so messed up because we’ve abandoned faith that we are scared to death of death.
We’re the fools.
No problem, you know we are going to keep razzing you. Speaking of which, did you know that in the middle ages, when people wanted to scare off thieves from their homes, they would dig up dead bodies, cut off the heads, and place them in the window, thus the term 'heads-up'.
Tomatoes are a New World food. They wouldn’t have been around in the 1500’s.
Oh now that’s just plain silly, but funny nonetheless.
I could watch Celtic Women over and over again.
Nothing like getting history from E-mails. Virtually all of this is incorrect.
1. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and travelled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.
2. The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked "am I my brother's son?"
3. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.
4. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.
5. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.
6. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer, but by another man of that name.
7. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.
8. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.
9. Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.
10. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: "Tee hee, Brutus."
11. Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
12. Joan of Arc was burn to a steak and was canonised by Bernard Shaw. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offence.
13. In midevil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature.
14. Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.
15. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of the blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking.
16. During the Renaissance, history began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America whilst cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe.
17. Later, the pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim's Progress. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.
18. One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally, the colonists won the war and no longer had to pay for taxis. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
19. Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
20. Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin, which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theatre and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assassinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.
21. Meanwhile, in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity, and also wrote a book called Candy.
22. Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.
23. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died of this.
24. The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West.
25. Queen Victoria was a the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. She was a moral woman who practised virtue. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
26. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.
“so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.”
Thresh never referred to straw. Thresh means to stamp or mash and is the real origin of the term Threshold, which is the first place one steps when enterting a house.
The term “It was a 3 dog night” came from it being so cold, you had to get 3 of your dogs in bed to keep you warm.
“Low man on the pecking order” came out of the chicken coop as 1 hen was usually picked on by all the others and would be chased from the feed. I like your name Grumpbutt
The term “It was a 3 dog night” came from it being so cold, you had to get 3 of your dogs in bed to keep you warm.
“Low man on the pecking order” came out of the chicken coop as 1 hen was usually picked on by all the others and would be chased from the feed. I like your name Grumpybutt
To goat granny, I am sorry for the double post...me bad. Hope not to do it again......Signed goat granny
I like your name goat granny :-)
Thanks for that link!
I really enjoyed reading it!
If I recall correctly, the "dead" in "dead reckoning" comes from "de'd" which is a shortened form of "deduced". In navigation, it means deducing one's position based on the time, course, and speed from a previous known position.
In his book about the Spanish American War, Charles Johnson Post wrote how all the men in his company were ordered to take a bath - in the community tub. By time it was his turn the water was as dark as coffee and the surface was lined with brown foam. He objected but the Sgt said his orders were to see that everybody got a bath "for health purposes" and By God, everybody in the company would bathe. Johnson said he was dirtier when he got out than when he went in.
Very little of it true.
The midievals actually enjoyed fairly frequent social baths, would put a board across the tub and dine.
No, I think it’s an old Saxon or Celtic word, can’t recall which, which just happens to be the same as the “dead” which means “lifeless”. It’s an intensifier, making the adjective to which it is attached absolute, exact.
O.E. dead, from P.Gmc. *dauthaz, from PIE *dheu-. Meaning "insensible" is first attested c.1225. Of places, meaning "inactive, dull," it is recorded from 1581. Used from 16c. in adj. sense of "utter, absolute, quite." Dead heat is from 1796. Dead reckoning may be from nautical abbreviation ded. ("deduced") in log books, but it also fits dead (adj.) in the sense of "unrelieved, absolute.
However, most uses of "dead" as an intensifier have some whacky folk theory that is wrong, so I would not be surprised if the "deduced" theory is wrong, too. Dead reckoning could simply be "exact" reckoning, not "deduced", like "dead eye" and "dead right".
Just for laughs.
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These things are always garbage filled. Even the ones that deal with the 1950s!
As for thatched roofs. Good quality thatch is a great roof and so much cooler than the asphalt shingles of today.
Most of this is true!
I don’t know about the 16th century, but in the early America, red was a barn color because blood could be added to white pigment...
Taking a bath in early america was a big deal. Go out and pump enough water to fill a tub, but first warm it up in the fireplace or on an old wood burning stove, carry to tub, add until 1/2 full and then add cold water to make it just warm enough so as not to burn...On my grandma’s farm we were lucky and had a pump house attached to the kitchen. Circa early 1900’s to 1940’s. But you sure had to lug a lot of water to fill a tub.. . Dad was born in 1901, tub baths were few and far between, but that didn’t mean they didn’t wash. In nursing its called a PTA bath if short of staff...Stands for Pit, T!ts and a$$
You are apparently sadly misinformed about organ procurement practices in the 21st century. Since 2001, more organ donors have been living donors than cadaveric (dead). Most are related to the recipient, but more and more are directed donations from unrelated persons. Furthermore, with advances in organ preservation and harvesting, Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD) is the most common method of cadaveric organ harvest. Brain death is still used as a criteria, but much less often than in the 70's and 80's.
Read a little and broaden your mind. It's fun.
It also looks very cool! Modern "thatch" substitutes are safe and attractive. And awfully expensive!
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