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Re: Many things including the yearly bath

Posted by Lotg on August 06, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Many things including the yearly bath posted by ESC on August 06, 2003

: : : A friend emailed all the following to me. I have no idea where she got the information, and cannot vouch for the accuracy. But I'd be curious to know if anyone else can vouch for their accuracy.

: : : * * * * * *
: : : Here are some facts about the 1500s:

: : : Most people got married in June because they took their 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 the body odour. Hence,
: : : the
: : : custom today 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 all the other sons and men,
: : : then
: : : the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. 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 bath water."

: : : * * * * * *

: : : Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood
: : : underneath.
: : : It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats
: : : and
: : : other small animals (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
: : : posed a
: : : real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really
: : : mess
: : : up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung
: : : over
: : : the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into
: : : existence.

: : : * * * * * *

: : : The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
: : : Hence
: : : the saying: "dirt poor."

: : : * * * * * *

: : : The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when
: : : wet,
: : : so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.
: : : As
: : : the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened
: : : the
: : : door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in
: : : the
: : : entranceway. Hence the term: "thresh hold."

: : : * * * * * *

: : : In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that
: : : always
: : : hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the
: : : pot.
: : : They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat
: : : the
: : : stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and
: : : then
: : : start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had
: : : been
: : : there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: "Peas porridge hot, peas
: : : porridge
: : : cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

: : : * * * * * *

: : : 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 home the bacon." They would cut
: : : off
: : : a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the
: : : fat."

: : : * * * * * *

: : : Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content
: : : caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning
: : : and
: : : death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400
: : : years or
: : : so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

: : : * * * * * *

: : : Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of
: : : the
: : : loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper
: : : crust,"

: : : * * * * * *

: : : Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would
: : : sometimes
: : : knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along 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. When reopening these coffins, 1 out
: : : of 25
: : : coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they
: : : realized
: : : they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a
: : : string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin 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 bell" or was considered a "dead ringer,"

: : : * * * * * *

: : : And that's the truth...

: : : Now, whoever said that History was boring !!!!!

: : Ever see your dog sleep on your roof?
: : Think about it. Think about all these "origins".
: : Most are pure poppycock!
: : Junkarama and crapola.

: Sorry. It's a hoax.

: From Snopes.com

: Claim: The numerous current sayings listed in the popular "Life in the 1500s" e-mail sprang from ordinary living conditions in that era.
: Status: False.

: http://www.snopes.com/language/phrases/1500.htm
:

:::: Hmmmm - shame, they're quite colourful. And hey - who am I to assume dogs didn't sleep on thatched rooves??? I've seen them on top of haystacks.