Daily Life in the Elizabethan Era Kailyn Sarosa Period 6

Thesis: The daily life in the Elizabethan Era consisted of the many achievements, education and career, and social events and entertainment.

Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth established a protestant church of England as the national church of England. She also avoided war with Europe's leading Roman Catholic nations. "Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was queen of England from 1558 until her death in 1603. Her reign is often called the Golden Age or the Elizabethan Age because it was a time of great achievement in England. Elizabeth established a moderately Protestant Church of England as the country's national church. At the same time, she long avoided war with Europe's leading Roman Catholic nations. The English navy defeated a powerful Spanish fleet, and English merchants and sailors challenged the Spaniards with greater confidence around the world. England's economy also prospered. Elizabeth's court became a center for musicians, scholars, and writers." Elizabeth established a moderately protestant church of England as the country's national church. She also long avoided war with Europe's leading Roman Catholic nations. Elizabeth's court became a center for musicians, scholars, and writers.

The Elizabethan Era, also called the Golden Age was a period of English history during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I from 1558 to 1603. "Elizabethan Age, or Elizabethan Era, was a period of English history during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, from 1558 to 1603. Elizabeth was a strong ruler who gained the loyalty and admiration of her subjects. The Elizabethan Age is sometimes called the Golden Age, because it was a time of great achievement in England." The Elizabethan Era was a time of great achievement in England under Queen Elizabeth's rule.

Education in Elizabethan Era

Only children of the nobility were educated, but girls were usually taught the art of homemaking at home. "Only about one-fifth of the population could sign their own names at the beginning of the era, but by Elizabeth's death about one-third of the population was literate. Education was by no means available to everyone, nor were all schools equal in quality. The children of nobility continued to receive their education in their homes from some of England's top scholars, who were hired at considerable expense as tutors. For the sons of the growing middle classes, though, there was an increasing opportunity for education in the country's public schools. (Girls were usually educated at home in the arts of homemaking." Only about one-fifth of the population could sign their own names at the beginning of the era, but by the end of the era, about one-third of the population was literate. Only a portion of the population was able to be educated. Children of the nobility received education from some of England's top scholars. Boys had a higher chance of being educated.

The poor did not receive education, however they worked at very young ages. "Poor children usually began working at very young ages and had neither the time to receive an education nor the money to pay for it. Education was more widespread in the cities, where the middle classes were larger. Even some working-class parents in the cities were successful enough to be able to spare their sons from working full-time, and a growing number of working-class boys went to school for at least a couple of years—long enough to learn the basics of reading and writing in the English language." Education was more widespread in cities because the middle class was larger.

There were many opportunities during the Elizabethan Era. Outbreaks of the Bubonic plague had reduced the population and even peasants were paid to work and wool trade provided opportunities for Englishmen. "The Medieval Feudal system had broken down. Outbreaks of the plague had reduced the population - even peasants were paid for their labor. The wool trade provided opportunities for Englishmen. There were opportunities for young Englishmen to become apprentices and learn a trade which would bring them a good standard of living. A Wealthy Merchant class was emerging in England. Elizabethan Daily life provided many opportunities which had been denied to previous generations." The wool trade provided opportunities for Englishmen to become an apprentice and learn a trade. A wealthy merchant class was also emerging from England.

Elizabethan Celebration

For most Elizabethan workers, the workweek was long and hard so times of socializing and entertainment were eagerly anticipated. "England had a long and much beloved holiday tradition. For most Elizabethan workers, the workweek was long and hard; times for socializing and being entertained were eagerly anticipated. Many of the traditional English holidays were actually holy days, days honoring the lives of the saints (deceased people who, due to their exceptionally good behavior during life, receive the official blessing of the Catholic Church and are believed to be capable of interceding with God to protect people on earth) or events in the life of Jesus Christ. Holidays were celebrated within the parish, often with feasting and games as well as prayers." Many English holidays honored the lives of saints or celebrated events in the life of Jesus Christ. They were often celebrated with feasts and games along with prayers.

Wealthy households ate a variety of meats while the poor ate bread, eggs, and dairy products. People rarely drank water because the water was impure and could cause illness. "Wealthy English households usually ate large quantities of meat, such as beef, mutton (sheep), pork, venison (deer meat), and rabbit. Elizabethans tended to cook their meats with fruits, preferring the sweet taste. At social gatherings, many varieties of meats and other foods were served. Because there were no refrigerators, meat was usually preserved in salt to last throughout the winter; the taste of old or spoiled meat was covered up with spices imported from Asia. Meat was a rare luxury for the poorer classes. Their meals typically featured bread, eggs, and dairy products. Vegetables were also fairly rare in their diet. Elizabethans rarely drank water because it was impure and could lead to sickness. Instead, people of all ages and classes drank wine, flat beer, or weak ale, even with their morning meal. Both classes ate bread, but not the same type. The wealthy usually ate a refined white wheat bread called manchet, while the poor were more likely to eat black or brown breads made from rye or barley." The wealthy are large quantities of meat such as beef, sheep, pork, deer, and rabbit. They tend to cook meats with fruits because they preferred the sweet taste. A variety of meats were served at social gatherings.

The break with Rome and establishment of the Church of England led to changes in daily life. In 1534, England no longer answered to the Pope in Rome. "Prior to the reign of Queen Elizabeth had England undergone massive religious changes. The break with Rome and the establishment of the Church of England by her father led to massive changes in Elizabethan Daily life. This major event occurred in 1531 when the Commons acknowledged the king as their "only and supreme lord and, as far as the law of Christ allows, even supreme head." In the Act of Supremacy of 1534, the caveat "as far as the law of Christ allows" was deleted. England no longer answered to the Pope in Rome. The Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII followed between 1536 and 1540 put vast sums of money into the royal coffers and saw Monks and Nuns homeless and many poor people without a place of refuge. These events had a profound effect on Elizabethan Daily Life. In just a few short years from 1531 religion in English Daily life changed according to the reigning monarch." In a few short years from 1531, religion in English Daily life changed according to the reigning monarch.

Some pleasures during the Elizabethan era were dancing and attending masques and pageants. Wealthy people played instruments at social occasions. "Popular pleasures during the Elizabethan Age included archery, bowls (similar to bowling), and dancing. People liked music, and wealthy people were expected to play musical instruments on social occasions. The English also enjoyed dressing up for masques, pageants, and plays at Christmas and other special times. Elizabeth’s court became a center for musicians, scholars, and writers." People enjoyed many different activities during the Elizabethan Era.

All plays were performed by male actors for several years. "In one interesting aspect the theater in Shakespeare's day was very different from the theater we know today. Plays were originally performed by the all-male medieval trade guides, so all women's parts were played by boys. It would be many years before women appeared on stage in the professional English theater. In Shakespeare's day, Juliet would have been played by a trained boy actor." Women were not allowed to perform in professional English theaters.

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