⒈ When Was Elizabethan Era

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When Was Elizabethan Era

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The Elizabethan Era: Life in Elizabethan Times (Part 4) *Revision*

Made of plain wood if you were a commoner or covered with gold, jewels and ebony if you were of high social status, the simple platform bed was topped with a mattress made of wool cushions. Linen sheets and a stone or wooden head support added extra comfort. The wealthier citizens of ancient Rome slept on raised beds made of metal, with woven metal supports to hold the feather or straw-stuffed mattress. Less-wealthy people had similar beds made from wood, with wool strings holding up the mattress. If you were poor, however, you still had to make do with a mat on the floor. Whatever type of bed, you probably would have been warm underneath your wool blanket , which were common throughout the Roman empire.

The bed shown here is in the Vatican Museum. If you lived in medieval Europe, your sleeping arrangements would have largely depended on your position in life. If you were lucky enough to be wealthy, your bed was an opportunity to show off your status. Large, impressive, often ornately carved or encrusted with gold or jewels, beds expanded far beyond a simple platform during the Middle Ages. Typically made of heavy wood, the beds of the wealthy were raised high off the floor, sometimes so high that a step stool was required to reach them. The mattress was thickly stuffed with down and feathers, and sheets were made of fine linen. As these beds were very expensive, they were treasured belongings and passed down through the generations.

It even became common for royal or wealthy owners to remain in bed to receive visitors, eat meals and carry on business. Although not as lavish as some, the bed in the photo here is typical for the period. Since the homes of the poor were small and families were typically large, your bed might well be used not just for sleeping at night, but also for sitting or as a table during the day.

This room is typical of a medieval peasant's hut. While the poorest folks continued to sleep on simple pallets of hay laid on the floor or on a simple platform, it was now common for those of middle-class status to have not only a four-poster bed but also a separate bedroom to hold it. Typically, a bedroom during the time of the Renaissance would be on an upper floor of the home, and would contain a bed with a trundle underneath that could be pulled out to sleep family members or servants, along with a wooden trunk to hold clothing. For the wealthiest people, the bedchamber continued to be a popular spot to receive visitors and carry on business.

The ubiquitous four-poster grew even more lavish and ornate during this period, with fanciful carvings, inlaid paintings, colorful trim, and luxurious, heavy fabric curtains to enclose the bed on all four sides when desired, along with a canopy that might be fabric or wood. The tragic Lady Jane Grey was used as a pawn to further the ambitions of her powerful family by joining the family in marriage to the Dudleys. She was, first of all, forced to marry Guildford Dudley. Jane did raise objections saying that she was already promised to Edward, Lord Hertford. The punishment for disobey was the whipping stool - Elizabethan girls were beaten into submission and this happened to Lady Jane. She was later forced into taking the throne against her wishes.

She was eventually executed by beheading - she was just seventeen years old. These stories about the lives of Elizabethan women illustrate how, even Royal Woman were totally dominated by the male members of their families. Elizabethan women from wealthy and noble families were sometimes allowed the privilege of an Education. The girls of Noble families were invariably taught by tutors at home and Elizabethan women were taught from the age of five, or even younger. Various languages were taught including Latin, Italian, Greek and French. Music and dancing skills were essential for Elizabethan women. Elizabethan women were not allowed to go to university but might be sent away to complete their education.

As young as seven years old girls would be sent away from their home to live with another noble family. Elizabethan women would be taught a range of subjects and skills. Manners and etiquette were of prime importance, including how to curtsey. Music, dancing , riding and archery were also taught. These young girls were expected to act as servants to the Ladies of the castle - their duties would be to look after clothes and the assist ladies with dressing and coiffure. Some housewifely duties such as preserving fruits and household management would be also be learnt. High ranking young women would take on the role of ladies-in-waiting to the Queen.

Lower Class Elizabethan Women Elizabethan Women from the lower classes were also expected to obey the male members of their families without question. Lower class Elizabethan women would not have attended school or received any formal type of education. Elizabethan women would have had to learn how to govern a household and become skilled in all housewifely duties. Their education would have been purely of the domestic nature in preparation for the only real career option for a girl - marriage. Single Elizabethan women were sometimes looked upon with suspicion. It was often the single women who were thought to be witches by their neighbours. All Elizabethan women would be expected to marry, and would be dependant on her male relatives throughout her life.

Elizabethan Women and Marriage Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. They also had shoulder pads. Starch was used to stiffen the fabrics. A farthingale to make the skirts and gowns look extended was also very common. Men mostly wore a loose-fitting shirt, buttoned-down and cuffed. For pants, they wore short breeches that were puffy. The Elizabethan era clothing materials varied according to social status. The upper class of Elizabethan England wore elegant and luxurious clothing that was made of expensive velvet, exotic silk and satin. Only the members of the Royal Family were allowed to own robes which were trimmed with ermine.

Less noble folk wore clothing trimmed with either fox or otter. Quite the contrast to the luxurious clothing of the affluent was the clothing worn by peasants and the lower classes. They wore clothing made of simple materials such as English cotton, wool and leather. Woollen clothing was in fact quite popular among the working as well as domestic classes since it was rather cheap and the wool trade saw an increase during the period. People of middle-class status in the Elizabethan era mostly wore clothes made of cotton, linen and broadcloth.

They wore a short top called chemise which would protect the lower clothes from sweat. These chemises were like vests on which the bodice was worn. Petticoats were used to keep the body warm.

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