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What Was Life Like For The Rich In The 1500s?

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What Was Life Like For The Rich In The 1500s?

Postby Arie » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:22 pm

it would vary depending on where we are talking about.
generally, wealthy people had large homes, and employed many servants.
if they were nobility or gentry, they were likely to own country estates which would be largely self- supporting, with their own farms producing food for their households.
Any items that could not be grown or made at home would be ordered from towns.
They would have glass windows (glass was still quite expensive at this time) and handsome carved wooden furniture.
beds would have curtains round them to keep them warm.
A 1500s manor house would have beautiful gardens laid out with formal flowerbeds in patterns, clipped hedges, orchards, and vegetable gardens and a herb garden.

the two main meals of the day were dinner, served sometime between 10am and noon, and supper, served between 6 and 8pm.
generally, a meal would consist of two or three courses, each offering a selection of different dishes spread out on the table to choose from.
there would br a variety of meat or fish dishes with spicy and sweet sauces (spices were very popular, as they were expensive and so a conspicuous sign of wealth). people ate with their fingers, but did so very daintily, good table manners were very important for the well bred.
bowls of scented water were brought round before dinner and between courses for the diners to wash their hands.
A wealthy family might have their own professional musicians to entertain them while they dined, and often there would be dancing after dinner.

Hunting was a source of enjiyment for the upper classes, they hunted with dogs, or with hawks, and many different animals were killed, such as deer, hare, rabbit, pheasant, etc, providing food for the table as well as sport.

A nobleman would have administrative duties about his estate, Keeping an eye on what was being rpdocued, how the farms were being managed, settling any disputes between tenants etc.
When he was away, as he often was at court or on other business, his wife would run the estate in his absence.
A noble lady would oversee the upbringing and education of her children, and might give the little ones their first lessons, She would oversee the work of the servants, and perform some of thr more skilled work herself, it was generally the lady's taks to make the 'subtleties' elaborate sugar confections that were served at banquets, and to oversee the still room, where cordials, preserved, and home remedies for illness were made.

the ideal 1500s 'Renaissance man' was cultured as well as athletic, so a gentleman who wished to be fashionable would be able to ride and fence and engage in manly sports, but would also be able to play music and write poetry and read the classics.
ladies were often very cultured and well read as well, for instance Queen Elizabeth expected her ladies in waiting to be very well educated, able to understand Latin etc.
ladies were also expected to be good needlewomen, and many embrodiered beautifully.
ladies and gentlemen played games like chess, draughts and backgammon, and card games were very popular too.

The ambition of many noble people was a place at court, being close to the monarch was a very desirable thing, and nobles spent a lot of money ingratiating themselves with the monarch.
to make a grand display was very important.
many noblemen got places at court, and some women as well, queens always needed ladies in waiting, maids of honour etc.

There were also wealthy people who were not nobility or gentry - men who had become wealthy through trade or commerce.
these were more likely to live in cities, but they too would have handsome houses, many servants etc, and often if they became sufficiently prosperous, they would buy themselves country estates and edge their way into the gentry.

religion was an important part of everyone's lives.
people would pray every day, and go to church on Sundays, the more devout might go on weekdays as well.
A very grand house might have its own chapel, and its own priest, or chaplain.
many people had a 'book of hours' a beautifully illustrated prayer book which had prayers for the different prayer services of the day.
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What Was Life Like For The Rich In The 1500s?

Postby Adahy » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:33 pm

Which Country do you mean. Each had different standards in sharing the fruit of the harvest.
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What Was Life Like For The Rich In The 1500s?

Postby Juliano » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:01 pm

Understood in what part of the world? It's a very big world and it was understood very differently in China than Europe for instance.
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:52 am

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