A Married Persons Guide to Sex

Sex outside marriage is prohibited both by the church and by law. However within marriage sex is to be encouraged, the church maintains that sex within marriage is best reserved for the procreation of children but all sensible people acknowledge that sufficient sex is…

Issues with Inventories

The minutae of detail sometimes present in Probate inventories makes them a useful tool for helping to understand ordinary life. However the interpretation of such information is often imaginative and without due consideration of any limtations of that evidence. In this article I hope…

The Practice of Witchcraft

Witchcraft is an important theme in Elizabethan England, legal accounts of witchcraft are abundant, the church saw it as a major problem and devoted a fair bit of energy towards it and both popular and more intellectual writings and plays deal with it repeatedly….

Re-Enactment – Is it still a Hobby ?

This article was originally written by Mark Goodman on behalf of The Tudor Group for the magazine Echoes Of The Past as a discussion paper on the future of re-enactment. It is reproduced here by kind permission of Mark Goodman and Echoes Of The…

A Counter Blast to Machine Sewing – Comments by a 16th Century Tailor

This article was originally written by Mark Goodman on behalf of The Tudor Group for the magazine Echoes Of The Past. It was in response to comments about the impracticality of attempting to accurately reproduce period clothing in re-enactment and the preference for machine…

Social Structure in the 16th Century

Life in the 16th century was by and large governed by two important factors- religion and social structure. To the contemporary mind social order and position represented a structured world; the bible advocated the ‘natural order’, and it is fair to say that generally…

The Elizabethan Trayned Bandes

The Trayned Bandes had 3 general components; The trained bands; The untrained men and The pioneers. All men between 16 and 60 were elligible. The Trained bands were the chosen volunteers from the local community who would spend up to 2 days a month…

Money, Finance, Scams & Wheezes

Britain throughout the 16th century and long before was a money economy. The poorest being perhaps the most reliant on cash, having no land or other means of production with which to produce the necessities of life, wages and charity having to supply all….

Popular Medicine

Documentation As with modern Britain, Elizabethan Britain had many different providers of healthcare – Physicians, Apothecaries, Surgeons, Bonesetters, Midwives, Cunning men/ women, Keepers, Wives and Mothers. Some of these practiced medicine full time and others as a part time business, some were professionally trained…

What Did You Do When You Were Young?

At least 60% of people in late Tudor England spent their youth as a servant in someone else’s house. Gentlemen’s sons spent their youth in formal schooling, their daughters in learning housewifery from their female relatives. The more wealthy Yeoman followed the same pattern….