Some facts about life in Tudor England – explore Playground to discover more fact pages

People lived in ‘households’- this was everyone living in a house: the owner, his family, and their servants.

In 1591, London theatres were banned from performing on Thursdays because that was the day when bear-baiting took place. Bear-baiting was a popular form of entertainment where bears were tied to a post in a pit and tormented by dogs.

Most people (rich or poor) left home as children to train for their adult life.

There were government laws about the fabrics and furs that people could wear so that you could tell at a glance how well-off and/or important a person was.

Women (and actors) wore make-up made from all kinds of ‘natural’ ingredients. These included chalk, lead (which is poisonous) and powdered mouse bones!

People didn’t drink water, as it often made people sick, because it was mixed with sewage. Instead, adults and children mostly drank ‘small’ (weak) beer.

With 12 pence you could: hire a horse for a day, go to the theatre and stand to watch in the yard 12 times, buy 12 loaves of bread, buy two dinners at an inn or buy four very small pipes of tobacco.

Rugs were not always put on the floor but used to cover tables. Floors had rushes scattered over them to soak up the dirt, or, in wealthier homes, woven rush mats.

Elizabethan football had no limits to the number of players, or the size of the pitch and people often ended the game with a broken nose, or even a broken leg.

Elizabethan boys in upperclass families would wear dresses until the age of seven when they were put into shorts called britches.

An illustration of some animals peeking behind a door