Life in Elizabethan England Next

Household Management

Bills are due and servants are paid on the traditional quarter days (so called because they divide the year into quarters.) Curiously, each of these falls on or about an equinox or solstice. (NAG: This is quarter day, not quartering day!)

Feast Day/DateWhat it's about
Lady DayMarch 25 Feast of the Annunciation. When the Angel Gabriel told Mary she would be the mother of Christ. Also the first day of the New Year in the old calendar, and an ancient date for Easter.
St. John's DayJune 24 St. John the Baptist. Also called Midsummer Day (because it falls in the middle of the whole warm season, even though it is actually the beginning of "official" summer.)
Michaelmas September 29 St. Michael the Archangel. Celebrations in the North often include horses: racing, selling, stealing, etc. And something to do with carrots.
Christmas DayDecember 25 The Birth of Christ. A solemn holy day, slightly less important than Easter.


In the country...

You may pay for some services in kind instead of money: such as an amount of firewood, the use of land, or a number of fish from your stream by the quarter or by the year.

Some of your tenants may pay part of their rents in kind: calves, honey, milk, wool, etc.

The lady of the house, even a noble lady, may do or at least oversee many homely things herself, such as the brewing of ale or mead. Even noble ladies take responsibility for making shirts for the gentlemen of the house.

If you live mostly in the country, you are likely to be very proud of your ale, or how pure your milk is, or what excellent honey your bees produce.

Bees love gossip. It is considered lucky for your estate and family to tell the bees every bit of news. If you don't, they may leave and take their good luck with them.

::  Plan of Ingatestone Hall, a Country House of the Latter Sixteenth Century
::  Masters & Servants
::  Staffing a Great Household
::  The Steward and His Office
::  The Steward in Matters Domestical
::  Paying the Servants
::  Domestic Details
::  Good English Ale

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26 March 2008 mps