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Life in 16th century England

This category contains 5 posts

Halloween, With a Medieval/Early 16th Century Twist

Nothing can be worse in college than having a professor who gives boring lectures, who shares no images or tales to get one’s imagination going, who dryly gives an account of the past without ever changing the tone of their voice.I try not to be that professor. Which is why this Halloween, I have decided … Continue reading

Jane Seymour, the Churching of Women, and the Book of Common Prayer (1549 & 1559 versions)

On October 24, 1537, Jane Seymour died of childbed fever. This sickness, properly known as puerperal fever, was often caused by unsanitary conditions during the delivery of a child. The fever was a fact of life until the advent of modern medicine, and was just one of many complications that could go wrong with the … Continue reading

Anne and Elizabeth: The Need of a Wet Nurse for Elizabeth

An excerpt from this note comes from the thesis “To Trust Man of that Nation”?: Degeneration, James FitzGerald, and Elizabethan Mercy in Ireland by Natalie Sweet Nursing one’s own infant was just not something that noblewomen did in the 16th century. Certainly, their less-wealthy sisters might have fed their own young, but status demanded a … Continue reading

Anne and Elizabeth: The Role of the Ladies Who Attended Anne

On August 19th, 1533, George Tayllour wrote to the Lady Lisle that, “The King and Queen are in good health and merry. On Thursday next they will come by water from Windsor to Westminster, and on Tuesday following to Greenwich, where the Queen intends to take her chamber.” (Letters and Papers, Henry VIII) The 19th … Continue reading

Anne and Elizabeth: Consulting the Stars for Elizabeth’s Birth

As September 1533 approached, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn expected that a prince would soon be born. Announcements of a prince’s arrival were drawn up ahead of time, but an extra “s” had to be added to Elizabeth’s birth announcement to proclaim the birth of a princess. Henry’s confidence was based on no less than … Continue reading

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