Livin' it up in the
Late Middle Ages
Times Have Changed!
Most people got married in June because they
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
their 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
the other sons and men, then the women
and finally the children-last of
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
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-
piled high, with no wood underneath. It
the only place for animals to get warm,
all the dogs, cats and other small
(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
problem in the bedroom where bugs and
other droppings could really mess up
nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with
big posts and a sheet
hung over the top afforded some
protection. That's how canopy beds
people in 16th Century Europe could not
to eat meat very often. 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
the bacon." They would cut off a little to
share with guests and would
all sit around and
"chew the fat."
Bread was divided according to status.
got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got
the middle, and
guests got the top, or "upper
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
combination would sometimes knock them out
for a couple of days. Someone
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.
reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25
coffins were found to have scratch marks
inside and they realized they had been burying
thought they would tie a string on the
wrist of the corpse, lead it through
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
or was considered a "dead ringer."
And that's the truth... Now, whoever said
History was boring ! ! ! ! !