Life in 15th century CE Tudor England witnessed great changes as Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547 CE) swept away the monasteries and challenged the Catholic Church. Rebellions followed and even the Tudor line was threatened before Mary I of England (1553-1558 CE) took the throne from the usurper Lady Jane Grey. Things settled down a bit during the long reign of Elizabeth I of England (1558-1603 CE) and life for ordinary folks at least got more interesting. In this collection of resources we look at many aspects of daily life from food to fashion. Elizabethan theatre took off, clothing became more colourful and more extravagant, and education widened. Public holidays became more secular, entertainments became more professional and people travelled about more as they and England moved into the modern era.
Outdoor activities included tennis, bowls, archery, fencing, and team sports like football and hockey which were more violent and less rule-bound than their modern versions. Card games, board games, and gambling were all immensely popular, as were music and dancing events where people of all classes could show their skills and make new friends. The success of all these activities and the general pleasure and hilarity they produced is evidenced by the Puritan movement’s hearty disapproval of just about all of them.