The TudorsPrimary Homework Help
The Tudors

by Mandy Barrow

WW ll
Roamn Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
500 BC
AD 43
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Poor Tudors


Life for the poor in Tudor times was harsh.

poor TudorsThe poor had to work hard and struggled to survive. Many poor people lives lived in villages doing farm work or making cloth in their own homes for very little pay. They worked six days a week and only had holy days and public holidays off work.

When the harvest failed it was tempting for poor people to steal food. When people did break the law, they risked public flogging or being hanged.

rose Four sorts of People

In 1577, William Harrison, a church minister, wrote a book called 'Description of England'. In it he describes four types of people living in Tudor England.

'We in England divide our people commonly into four sorts.' The first are gentlemen, which covers everyone from nobles to professionals; next come the citizens of the cities, who are free men with special privileges; next come the yeomen of the countryside; and finally the poor – farm workers, servants and vagrants, who have 'neither voice nor authority'.

rose Food and drink

Poor TudorsThe poor living in cities survived on bread made from flour in mills alive with rats, and pies filled with spiced meats to disguise the fact that the meat was 'off'. Those living in the country had a little more choice because they could at the wheat and oats grown in the fields and fresh meat from hares and rabbits.

Meat was a luxury but poor people sometimes kept animals to provide milk, cheese and eggs. Both rich and poor ate fish, which was packed in barrels of salt to stop the fish going rotten.

Honey was used instead of sugar to sweeten desserts such as fruit pies.

Water was too polluted to drink, so the poor drank 'small beer' - watered ale - while the rich drank wine and sherry.

rose Entertainment

Tudor people who were poor had little time for entertainment, but during their holidays and religious festivals they enjoyed singing, dancing, drinking and eating, as well as playing games and watching plays.

globe theatre
Globe Theatre, London

dancing inside the globe theatre
Dancing in the globe Theatre

Morris Dancing
Morris dancing was usually performed by a group of men dressed in white. Sometimes they wore ribbons or bells on their legs and carried handkerchiefs or sticks.

Morris Dancer
A Morris Dancer

Click here to find out more abouot Tudor Entertainment

rose Some of the poor became even poorer

It was often hard for the poor to afford things, since the cost of living kept going up. Life got harder when there was a bad harvest or when the disease of plague struck. There were not often enough jobs because the population was growing fast.

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Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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