Fw: VERY interesting

storkrn storkrn at EMAIL.MSN.COM
Wed Aug 2 00:49:16 UTC 2000

This is in wide circulation on the net with no attribution or other
identifying data.

Subject: VERY interesting

> Life in the 1500s:
> Most people got married in June because they took
> their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by
> June.  However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried
> a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o.
> Baths equaled 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 loose 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
> pets ... dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, 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. So, they found if they made
> beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that
> problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies.
> The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt,
> hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors which would
> get slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh 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 at the entry way,
> hence a "thresh hold."
> They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over
> the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They
> mostly ate vegetables and didn't 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 in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: peas porridge hot,
> peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.
> Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special
> when that happened. When company came over, they would
> bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of
> wealth and that a man "could really bring home the bacon." They
> would cut off a little to sharewith guests and would all sit around
> and "chew the fat."
> Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid
> content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened
> most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes ... for 400
> years.
> Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers- a piece of
> wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trencher were never washed
> and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy
> trenchers, they would get "trench mouth."
> 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 the
> "upper crust."
> Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. 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 they started running out of places to
> bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones
> to a house and reuse the grave. In reopening these coffins, one 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 astring on their wrist and 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 to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard
> shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell"
> or he was a "dead ringer."

More information about the Ads-l mailing list