Monday, June 25, 2012

Life in Tudor Times - I'm Giving Away One A Girl For All Times Doll!

I posted a couple days ago about life in Tudor Times . . . since I'm giving away one Matilda, A Girl for All Time Doll and her "life" is set in Tudor Times, England. 

According to Wikipedia, "Not many children went to school in Tudor times. Those that did go were mainly the sons of wealthy or working families who could afford to pay the attendance fee. Boys were allowed to go to school and began at the age of 4, they then moved to grammar school when they were just 7 years old. Girls were either kept at home by their parents to help with housework or sent out to work to bring money in for the family. They were not allowed to go to school. Boys were educated for work and the girls for marriage and running a household so when they got married they could look after the house for their husbands.
 The wealthiest families hired a teacher (also known as a tutor) to teach the boys at home. Many Tudor towns and villages had a parish school where the local vicar taught boys to read and write, because girls did not go to school they were not able to read or write. At school, pupils often had to speak in Latin. They were also taught Greek, religion and mathematics. The boys practiced writing in ink by copying the alphabet and the Lord's Prayer. There were few books, so pupils read from hornbooks instead. These wooden boards had the alphabet, prayers or other writings pinned to them and were covered with a thin layer of transparent cow's horn. There were two types of school in Tudor times:
  • The Petty School – this taught young children to read and write.
  • The Grammar School – this taught boys Latin.
It was usual for children to attend six days a week. The school day started at 7:00 am in winter and 6:00 am in summer and finished about 5:00 pm. Petty schools had shorter hours, mostly to allow poorer boys the opportunity to work as well. Schools were harsh and teachers were very strict, often beating their pupils with birches or other canes if they misbehaved. Teachers used to give 50 strokes of the birch. Pupils were sometimes too scared to go to school because of the beatings. Wealthier boys could often afford a special friend called a 'whipping boy'. When the rich child was naughty, it was the whipping boy who received the punishment. During the reign of Henry VIII, many schools attached to monasteries suffered, often being shut. This happened when Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church after it refused to agree to him divorcing his first wife. Henry VIII needed well-educated men to work for him. Because of this, when the monasteries closed, Henry had to refound many monastic schools using his own money. This is why there are so many 'King's' schools all over Britain. During the reign of Edward VI many free grammar schools were set up to take in non-fee paying students. There were only two universities in Tudor England – Oxford and Cambridge. Some boys went to university at the age of about fourteen.

Watching plays became very popular during the Tudor period. This popularity was helped by the rise of great playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe as well as the building of the Globe theatre in London. By 1595, 15,000 people a week were watching plays in London. It was during Elizabeth's reign that the first real theatres were built in England. Before theatres were built, actors travelled from town to town and performed in the streets or outside inns. The rich enjoyed fencing and jousting contests. Most rich people also watched bear-baiting. Poor people, who could not afford these certain luxuries, played a kind of football where the posts were about a mile apart, during which they would jump on each other, often breaking their necks and backs. The football was made out of a pigs bladder blown up. They also enjoyed hunting. Rich Tudors enjoyed hawking."

In the story about Matilda, she is sent to the court of Henry VIII to help her cousin, Catherine Howard, become a wife of the king. Life in Tudor Times is very different from life today and girls who read about Matilda will learn much about life in the 1500's.

As I mentioned, I'm giving away one Matilda, A Girl for All Time doll! If you have "liked" grandma's cookie jar using the tab in the "find us on facebook" box ON THE BLOG, then you are entered in the drawing. In addition, if you "share" this post, you'll receive an additional entry (please be sure to comment to let me know if you share so I can give you your additional entry). Thank you for reading grandma's cookie jar and thank you for sharing it with the people you know!

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