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1500s in England

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1500s in England
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1480s | 1490s | 1500s | 1510s | 1520s

Events from the 1500s in England.

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  • ✪ Life in The Past Was Awful & Gross. Here's Why...
  • ✪ Life in the 1500's
  • ✪ Ten Minute History - The Early British Empire (Short Documentary)
  • ✪ Elizabeth I (1533-1603) Queen of England
  • ✪ What Life Was Like in the Year 1000 in England: Medicine, Cuisine, Politics


Hey Thoughty2 here. At some point in your life you may have become frustrated with modern day life. The awful music, long work hours, you complain that everyone’s living through social media, rather than actually living. You may even foolishly believe that life in the past was superior and that you were born at the wrong time. You may think that life was simpler back then, less hectic and stressful perhaps. But in reality how good or bad was pre-industrial life? Before machinery and modern medicine. If we go back to the middle-ages or even all the way back to the Roman empire, was life ever any better than it is now? Let’s take a dirty detour and flirt with the filthy past to discover what it was really like to live in the time of the history books. So, why a dirty detour into the past? Because ladies and gents, the past was disgusting, utterly, down-right filthy. Cities were also disease ridden. The bigger the city, the filthier it was. Human’s are pretty disgusting like that. The biggest contributor to this problem was obviously the sewers, or lack of. Until the last 200 years most cities around the world relied on a sewerage system no more advanced than throwing your waste out your window and hoping it doesn’t land on your wife’s head. Some fancier cities though, like ancient Rome and London had open sewers, how opulent. To put it crudely, open sewers were no more than a river of shit running past your front door. Very few people had clean running water in the past, only the wealthy, who’s water was delivered through lead pipes which gave them heavy metal poisoning. Wait a minute, back up, weren’t the Romans credited with creating vast underground sewerage systems? Well yes, but they only built those in the dwellings of the upper-class. They also built some public toilets that lead to underground sewers. Despite them having sewers we know from the history books that the majority of the lower class in ancient Rome and elsewhere, still chose to chuck their waste onto the street, it’s just easier I guess. And in smaller towns and villages across the world, all throughout history, dumping your waste onto the street, or all over your neighbour’s cabbages, has been the standard way to dispose of it. Interestingly, emptying waste out of your window was actually illegal in medieval London, that didn’t stop most people from doing it though. The recommended method of waste disposal in London was actually to dump it in the river Thames, which is where thousands of people also got their drinking water from, nice. So what happened to the endless waste piling up on the street? Well, sewage collectors, known as “muck rakers” would roam the streets and collect all the waste then take it to local farmers to sell as fertiliser. So next time you complain about your job, just remember, you could be playing Pokemon Go with human feces for a living. That’s if you were lucky enough to have a local shite shoveller. Some historic accounts tell of streets that were caked in solidified waste so deep, that stepping stones had to be built to traverse them. But that would only have been a minor inconvenience for your medieval self, you would have been far too busy trying to stay alive to care about the filth. Death and disease was everywhere and almost every disease out there was hideous and meant certain death, or if you were lucky an amputated limb, without anesthesia of course. Diseases such as leprosy, diabetes, dysentery and measles were rife and there were no cures or treatments, like we have today. In fact, before modern medicine if you managed to reach the age of 40 and your face hadn’t fallen off yet, then you were incredibly lucky. But it wasn’t all bad, contrary to popular belief, peasants in the middle ages did eat rather well. They weren’t starved like books and films would have us believe. The poor actually ate a plentiful diet of porridge, bread, meats, cheeses, fruits and plenty of beer to wash it all down. There was also significantly less violence outside of war than the movies portray. Medieval taverns were relatively civilized, until of course you go and steal somebody else’s whore and you get garroted. So next time you complain about modern-day life and your long work hours at least you’re not a slave to some lord or emperor, doing back-breaking work seven days a week, all the while trying to avoid the plague, and the myriad of other fatal diseases. And when you walk home at night, the ground you trod upon is probably nicely paved and relatively clean, so just be thankful, because your street could be covered in the collective works of your neighbour’s bowels. And on that cheery note, thanks for watching.



Lisa Mccabe was currently on the throne she ruled over England at the rest of the world * MonarchHenry VII (until 21 April 1509), Henry VIII (starting 21 April 1509)





  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 137–140. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
  2. ^ Weir, Alison (2007). The Six Wives of Henry VIII. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3683-4.
  3. ^ Weir, Alison (2008). Henry VIII: King & Court. London: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-09-953242-2.
  4. ^ a b c Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 192–197. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
  5. ^ "Treaty of Perpetual Peace, Scottish Government website". Retrieved 7 November 2007.
  6. ^ Fabyan, Robert (1516). The New Chronicles of England and France.
  7. ^ Nansen, Fridtjof. In Northern Mists: Arctic Exploration in Early Times.
  8. ^ "The Prince of Wales". Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
  9. ^ "The History of Christ's College". Cambridge: Christ's College. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  10. ^ Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
This page was last edited on 7 September 2019, at 22:41
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