Children in Elizabethan England By: Isabella Carusone

Portrait of two young women, standing, each with a child in her arms. The two women are wearing aprons and bonnets. They are probably the children's nannies. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. quest.eb.com/search/153_2378290/1/153_2378290/cite. Accessed 13 Mar 2017.

In wealthy homes, who often raised children? Why?

In wealthy homes in Elizabethan England, the children were usually raised by their nurses because their father was busy working, and the mother was busy doing womanly/ wifely things. These things include cleaning the house, cooking meals, planning things for her and her husband, etc. The parents didn't play a big role in helping their kids grow up, in some cases they rarley even interacted. The boys and girls usually stayed in the care of their nurse until they were about 6 or 7. They only saw their parents when there were set times or when they were called into talk to them. (Jones 15)

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, c1880. - A grammar school classroom in Brooklyn, New York. Wood engraving, c1880.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. quest.eb.com/search/140_1681759/1/140_1681759/cite. Accessed 13 Mar 2017.

What was education like for children in the Elizabethan era?

The children's education mainly depended on their families social class. Laborers were more often than not illiterate, but the middle class could attend grammar school, that's if they were male. Females could not attend school not matter what social class they belonged to. There was public school which was free of charge and supported by the wealthy. There was also public school which required payment. Private school consisted of all wealthy children. And if you were a child of Nobility, you could continue your education at a university or college. (Medici 28-29)

Baby nurse winding an infant. Photograph. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. quest.eb.com/search/109_146105/1/109_146105/cite. Accessed 16 Mar 2017.

What was the infant mortality rate in Elizabethan England? What were some of the most common causes of infant mortality during Elizabethan England? How did families react to this?

Some of the most common causes of infant mortatlity was disease, not good enough medical care, and sometimes living in an unhygenic place, if the family was poor and didn't have a stable home. The infant mortatlity rate in Elizabethan England was estimated to be at almost 33%. A quarter of the children died before they got to turn 10, and an eighth before they were even 1. The parents were often cold and insensitive about this topic, and didn't seem to care much that their child had passed away. (Medici 31)

Children were often considered to be miniature versions of what?

Children in Elizabethan England were considered to be miniature versions of adults. They were supposed to be kind, respectful, and responsible. They were taught to always stand when they spoke and to never interupt anyone. If they interupted anyone or spoke back, there were punishments. (Jones 9)

What was expected of children in terms of behavior? What was the punishment for misbehavior?

All children were brought up to obey their parents and be very polite. It was a rule that they had to stand up when speaking to their parents, and interrupting was very frowned upon. Most fathers believed that it was their job to correct their kids such as beat them if they misbehave. Children usually didn't have chairs in their room or the rooms that their parents worked in because they were expected to stand in their presence. Beating by the father was not uncommon at all. (Jones 9)

https://youtu.be/aJ1BZMcUBxo (this video has plenty of other information as well, there is some information about our topic closer to the end of the video)

Works Cited

  1. Jones, Madeline. Growing up in Stuart times. G.B.: Batsford, 1979. Print.
  2. Medici, Anthony G. "Society and Culture in Shakespeare’s Day." The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare, by William Baker and Kenneth Womack, vol. 1, Facts on File, 2012, pp. 24-45. Facts On File Library of World Literature. Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&sw=w&u=nysl_ca_queen&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CCX2025400014&it=r&asid=c87445b884972c236c27fad35e6c08ba. Accessed 13 Mar. 2017
  3. Medici, Anthony G. "Society and Culture in Shakespeare’s Day." The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare, by William Baker and Kenneth Womack, vol. 1, Facts on File, 2012, pp. 24-45. Facts On File Library of World Literature. Gale Virtual Reference Library

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