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Life in 1500's and 1600's
Transcript of Life in 1500's and 1600's
Most people married in June because the annual baths were usually taken in May and everyone still smelled "pretty good." In the 1500's when some families would have to pee in a pot and sell it it to the tannery to survive, they were called "piss poor." This saying is still widely used. Families had a pot that would stay over a fire at all times and they would throw random vegetables in every day without dumping the leftovers from the day before. Some things would sit in the pot for weeks at a time. The average life expectancy for females during this time period was around 49 years old and 42 for males. The biggest cause of these young deaths are the horrible sanitation. Surgeries that actually could be performed were done without anesthesia and with unwashed hands usually. The sewers were open ditches. People would use bowls as toilets and throw it out into the streets. Trepanation has been used for centuries. This treatment involved drilling a hole into the head of a person to help with headaches, and without any form of anesthesia. Cleanliness was a major problem in the 1500s-1600s. Not much was known about germs, so nobody worried much about it. The streets were filled with garbage and the contents of their chamber pots that people would throw out their window. Rivers were filled with garbage. There is no wondering why there was so much sickness in this time period. Education was mainly a grammar school where teacher was almost a male. Doctors in this age were highly looked upon because of their vast knowledge. They were also very expensive, so most people went to an apothecary for free advice. Houses had thatched roofs with thick, piled straw instead of wood. This provided warmth so all the animals would stay on the roof. Occasionally, when it was raining and the roof was slippery, the animals would slip off the roof. This is where our saying, "It's raining cats and dogs" originated. Since there wasn't much protecting your house from uninvited intruders, many times bugs and bird droppings would fall into the house. To protect their clean beds, people would put up sticks around their beds and a tent like canvas over the sticks to cover their beds. This is a very early form of the beautiful four post beds we enjoy today. When families came across the money to buy any meat they were proud. When visitors would come, they would hang the meat around the house because it was a sign of wealth. This is where the term, "bringing home the bacon" comes from. Diseases in this time like the plague and small pox killed thousands. There was very little knowledge of diseases and bacteria in this time period, so recovering from a disease such as these was unlikely. Even if you succeeded in doing so, many people suffered permanent damage to their bodies such as deafness and or blindness and scars or sores. The most common death by disease was caused by malaria. Food was left out for days in pots to be reheated and eaten. Rats infested food that people would eat and bug infestations plagued many parts of Europe from the horrible sanitation. To cure pleurisy, a dried, ground boar's penis was used and given to the patient. A very commonly practiced method of curing people was blood letting. This is where the patient would have be punctured and bleed until they were healed or died one. Since little was known of the body in this time, not much was known to cure certain ailments. People often times got amputated legs and and arms because of something as simple as an ache. Work Life Common Jobs Another very common job was servantry. Many young people worked in this occupation to save money for marriage. Middle class families usually had 1-2 servants, but upper class families might have ten or more servants. Some families owned shops like tapestries or blacksmiths would have their trade passed down by generation. In all shops, people sold what they made themselves. There was no middle man involved in this time period. Midwives were also highly looked upon because birthing was an all female event. There were no men who assisted in this. Midwives cared for the newborn and the mother if she survived. These ladies were very important in their communities. . Boys of middle class often attended grammar school. Girls mostly stayed at home with their mothers to learn to tend a house. Wealthy children often had at home tutors and wouldn't even leave the comfort of their home for education. Lower class children might attend a parish for a small amount of schooling before starting work, usually at a very young age.